Wednesday, November 21, 2007

DEFINITION - Cyber Bullying

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Cyber bullying or online bullying) is a term used to refer to bullying over electronic media, usually through instant messaging and email. Other terms for cyberbullying are electronic bullying, electronic harassment, e-bullying, SMS bullying, mobile bullying, online bullying, digital bullying, or Internet bullying.

It can constitute a computer crime. For example, in the United States it is a federal crime to anonymously "annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person" via the internet or telecommunication system, punishable by a fine and/or up to two years imprisonment.

Cyberbullying is willful and involves recurring or repeated harm inflicted through the medium of electronic text. According to R.B. Standler bullying intends to cause emotional distress and has no legitimate purpose to the choice of communications. Cyberbullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender. Cyberbullying may also include threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech). Cyber-bullies may publish personal contact information for their victims at websites. They may attempt to assume the identity of a victim for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames or ridicules them.

Identifying cyber-bullies

Online identity stealth blurs the line in infringement of the right of would-be victims to identify their perpetrators. See Computer networking tools as "tracert" or "nslookup" in order to trace an individual's computer to either their hosts, IP addresses or MAC addresses that are legal, legit and easy to use tools that allow one person to trace another one's computer.

However tools may help an IP address can only be traced back to its origin and subnet in this way. The gateway point is part of a large range of IP addresses that are usually owned by Internet service providers. Directory information disclosed by such a trace is likely to be Internet Service Provider contact information. While such information can be useful it is improbable that a single user by him or herself can locate the offending (remote) computer directly without some authoritative law enforcement and court order.

While an IP address is usually not traceable users can view other relevant information by searching on Google of the offending IP and find referenced information such as forum posts or other reported issues by Administrators. Users who choose to purchase their own domain names from a registrar such as a personal website may also be at risk of revealed home/billing personal information in the lookup unless it is concealed or changed.


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