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July 5th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

With cyberbullying, there's no safe place, study finds

It used to be that the bully in the schoolyard taunted victims face to face. Today, attacks of name calling or being the target of rumors can come via e-mails and text messages, sometimes anonymously, from a teenage cyberbully sitting at a computer or texting on a cell phone long after the school bell has rung and the halls have gone dark. Now, new research is painting a worrisome portrait of those attackers and their victims.

A study published in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry examined the social and psychological risk factors associated with cyberbullying. Researchers in Finland surveyed more than 2,200 teens in the seventh and ninth grades. The study found the majority of victims who were repeatedly attacked in cyberspace perceived a definite or severe amount of difficulty in their lives. They reported having headaches, ongoing physical pains and trouble sleeping. One in four felt unsafe.

"The feeling of being unsafe is probably worse in cyberbullying compared with traditional bullying," says study author Andre Sourander, a professor at Turku University, in the report. "Traditional bullying typically occurs on schoolgrounds, so victims are safe at least within their homes. With cyberbullying, victims are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no time when messages cannot be left on mobile telephones or sent via e-mail."

The study found that cyberbullies also perceived their lives to be rife with difficulty. They reported emotional problems and trouble concentrating. The said they felt hyperactive and struggled to get along with other people. The bullies also reported being drunk frequently.

"Cyberbullying and cybervictimization are associated with psychiatric and psychosomatic problems," Sourander says in his study. "The most troubled are those who are both cyberbullies and cybervictims."

The rate of cyberbullying in the United States and the United Kingdom is as high as 20 percent, according to some surveys. In his study, Sourander warns parents that cyberbullying is potentially traumatizing and calls for more research into ways to effectively reduce it.

The Cyberbullying Research Center and U.S Department of Health Resources and Services Administration have advice for parents about cyberbullying.


soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Amunaka

    Why are kids so cruel.. and I'm not just talking about todays generation..

    July 5, 2010 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • evoc

      Apparently, adolescent hormones cause a type of insanity in teens, esp. from the ages of 14-16.
      We see it as angry, defiant behavior, lots of door slamming, etc. There are so many changes happening within the brain and body, it is like a mental illness.

      July 5, 2010 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
    • Thought Crime

      Why is it that Americans today are so satisfied creating a culture of being victims? Our nation's psyche continues to degenerate along with the nation as a whole. Cyberbulllying, wrong as it may be, should not be accepted as just one more pre-made excuse for failure. The defining character of Americans has become fear, and it will be this countries downfall.

      July 5, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      What do you expect from a bunch of large, highly aggressive chimps?

      July 5, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • angie h

      We all learn a lesson to teach our kids and closly monitor them to be-friend only the nice kids whose families pay them a good amount of attention–so they are loving. Many cruel kids were not loved properly in their lives. On the other hand, kids need to realize online life isn't everything! If someone attack you on facebook, stopping loggin in, creat a new account, etc. I also think online sites should control bullying activities.

      July 5, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • james patterson

      With cyberbullying, there's no safe place, study finds?????
      you have got to be freaking kidding me......
      What a waste of an article..... What a waste of life...
      So whats next on the list? start censoring the internet?
      WELL OF COURSE

      July 6, 2010 at 00:25 | Report abuse |
    • john

      With your family and friends is safe place to escape bullying. But yes, I agree that nowadays for kids it may be harder to escape bullying once they are outside of the school, because nowdays if they log into facebook or myspace or twitter, they are still getting made fun of.

      Bullying as always been a big thing amongst kids though. Some can handle it and continue to live normal lives, some can't. I'm not sure theres much you can do though. It's simply part of growing up.

      July 6, 2010 at 01:33 | Report abuse |
    • Name: (required)

      Because they are kids. Humans are born stupid and cruel. Unless they experience things with the help of their parents and friends, they will never know if what they do is wrong. We are a cruel species by default.

      July 6, 2010 at 04:03 | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Why do you think only children participate in cyberbullying, Amunaka? Many cases involve adults, especially parents.

      @Thought Crime: While I agree that many Americans are in denial about what personal responsibility actually covers, no one who is bullied should EVER be considered "at fault".

      July 6, 2010 at 04:13 | Report abuse |
    • Habs fan

      It's called an off button, it works really well when pushed..........it's one thing to face a bully face to face but this is over the internet, the only thing your facing is your monitor, how hard is it to turn msn off or go to another website or EVEN hit the OFF button, bullying over and you can go on with your day.............

      July 6, 2010 at 05:24 | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      Insecurity?

      July 6, 2010 at 07:02 | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      cyberbulling is so stupid if your kid lets someone on the computer them u did a bad parenting job

      July 6, 2010 at 07:55 | Report abuse |
    • Maddy

      Simply said "The society will always get the children it deserves".
      The focus should be on the parents who have not a clue what their kids are up to and can't be bothered to find out and follow up.
      Yes indeed... a percentage of our youth could easily be referred to as "chimps" run amuck. l They are the proud offspring of "chimp" parents who have never heard the word discipline. Some believe their "chimps" are incapable of engaging in despicable behaviors because if they had to come face to face with the fact, they would have to take action, and that would require way too much time and effort. Ignorance is bliss.
      So let's stop talking about the "bully" kids and start talking about the INCOMPETENT parents and how society should deal with them.
      Perhaps if we locked up the chimp parents along with their offspring when the bully behavior results in serious consequences for another child, chimp parents would think twice about turning a blind eye to what their dearly beloved kids are doing. I think a couple thousand hours of community service would be a wonderful "teaching" tool for the parents who neglect their responsibilities. Give them a little time to reflect while they clean up the gutters in their lemon lime vests on the side of the road for all to see.
      We keep talking about bully kids but not a whole lot is said about their parents. Let's start getting to the route of the problem. They need to be held responsible for their actions.
      We were all kids once upon a time and I think a whole lot of us know and appreciate that this kind of behavior would not have been tolerated for two seconds at home or at school. But then we had parents and teachers who were aware and dealt with problems. Out teachers were supported by our parents. I bet there are a whole lot of us that can remember if you were in trouble at school, you would be in far worse trouble at home. It was team effort, now it's a "blame game". It's someone else' s fault that my chimp is misbehaving.

      July 6, 2010 at 08:04 | Report abuse |
    • Dan from NH

      Kids suck nowadays because their parents are incompetent and lazy. Everything is so soft and child-safe that children don't learn to rely on themselves, which kills their self esteem and forces them to rely on everyone else for everything. Parents are entirely to blame for all of this, and I have no intention of making life so easy for my son, he's going to learn at an early age that though he can rely on me for emotional support, and until he's out on his own financial support, in the end it is up to him to forge his own destiny.

      July 6, 2010 at 08:10 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I just hate how facebook and the like require us to join their sites, obligate us to log-in, and forbids us to ignore stupid people.....hmm....wait a sec, they don't do all that? you mean we have a CHOICE? Why is it that people have this delusion that they should have the authority to control their online environment....if you go to the mall and someone harasses you, you choice is pretty much to stay and endure or leave....why would anyone think the internet would be any different? Now, at the mall, people tend to avoid behaviors that would result in their being harassed by others, but they lack the common sense to do the same online and then whine about it....if you say something stupid, racist, hateful, ignorant, etc online, you'll get hammered by the more sensible people...understand that and adjust your behavior/commenting accordingly...

      July 6, 2010 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
  2. Alex Winter

    In the 1980s being bullied meant getting your @$$ kicked in the parking lot or bathroom by the cokeheads on the football team. Kids today have it easy with virtual bullying. "Oh not I got flamed and my feelings are hurt." Boo hoo.

    July 5, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kevin

      That still happens of course. Thats not really what I call bullying that is called battery and is a crime. If that happens the police should be called not the school.

      July 5, 2010 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
    • IMHO

      Stop for a moment, Alex, and consider how you'd feel, if you were a father whose teenage daughter was being victimized by a cyberbully who was circulating malicious false rumors regarding her morals — totally trashing her reputation among her peers. In that case, I don't think you'd be quite so quick to downplay the effects cyberbullying can have on its victims. There have been way too many reports of young people killing themselves because they were totally helpless to defend themselves against these anonymous, cowardly cyberbullies.

      July 5, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Psychological bullying can be just as detrimental to someone, if not even worse. Sometimes getting punched in the face isn't as bad as someone making up rumors or insulting you all the time.

      July 5, 2010 at 20:30 | Report abuse |
    • ASDF

      I agree. This cyberbullying stuff is BS. These geeks should be happy that its limited to being teased on facebook, because in the old days, like alex said, they would probably get a major beating, have their nose broken, their money stolen, their shoes taken away (in february), and then the bullies would go to the persons home and kill their dog or something. Then the parents would be like "He he, boys will be boys!"

      July 5, 2010 at 21:20 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      I got cyber bullied once, then I went to the kids house and kicked his a$$.

      July 5, 2010 at 21:43 | Report abuse |
    • sandra

      You have effectively shown why cyberbullying is such a hardship. Think about what you have just wrote, and how no one can trace you or get in your face when they get angry at your myopic view of the world. Now you understand how people feel hurt and angry when things are said on the internet. Remember, your view is not the only one the world has to look at on a daily basis, it might help you in the future if you thought about other people and there feelings a little more, just a thought.

      July 5, 2010 at 22:56 | Report abuse |
    • sri

      I am far more afraid of psychological bullying than of physical bullying. Bruises, I can recover in a week. Insults and damage to my self esteem, that stays for years...

      July 5, 2010 at 23:10 | Report abuse |
    • Vuksanka

      Being bullied 24/7 via technology is far worse. It's never ending.

      July 5, 2010 at 23:12 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Interesting spectrum of comments. One wants to assault and batter a cyber bully. Another espouses violence against domestic animals on private property, which on MY property would get the perpetrator shot dead, as I could only assume they were silencing a guard animal to cause harm to the family.
      A few disregard the problem as a non-issue, as it's on a computer and even denigrate the children as geeks.
      What ALL seem to have missed is the perception of reality. What these kids consider the REAL world. While it isn't REAL to you, it is to them.
      I have a great deal of expertise in perceived reality, it was part of my job in the military. Create the perception of greater threat in the mind of the enemy, while being in a highly vulnerable position. I was good at it, the proof is I'm alive and typing this.
      These kids perceive the online world as real and everything viewed as fact. Hence, denigration of character is a severe offense to them. Again, perception. If such were done to ME, I'd get a court subpoena for the content provider's records corresponding to that character assassination attempt. I would then meet them in court and take all of their worldly possessions in punitive damages for slander.
      Kids don't consider that remedy. They don't consider asking for help, largely due to YOUR responses are considered by them to be what their parents would say, hence they let the problem fester in their minds. Minds still inexperienced in coping with such problems.
      So, thanks to your "toughen up" attitude or "It's online, it's nothing" dismissive attitude, you leave them in a no win scenario. And, frankly, I always HATE encountering someone when they're having their no win moment. Sanity is out the window and ANYTHING can happen.
      In the kids case, some end up with some problems for the rest of their lives. Some manage to deal with the problem and move on. Some commit suicide. Some get weapons and kill whoever they consider their attackers.
      Each and every one of those scenarios have been in the news lately. But, I have faith in the idiocy of US citizens. You'll dismiss this and even what I have said. The problem will go on and you'll point fingers when it happens in your community.
      Just remember, when you point your finger, four of those fingers are pointing at you.
      You'll know ME, if I'm around at that time. I'll be the one calling you a dumb ass.
      Then, you'll probably attempt battery on me and become intimately acquainted with exactly WHAT I did for the US Army.

      July 5, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
    • ASDF

      wzrd1 i dont believe you were in the army

      July 6, 2010 at 01:50 | Report abuse |
    • Kiran Fan

      Wzrd1,

      If you have to tell people you are, chances are, you're not.

      July 6, 2010 at 08:07 | Report abuse |
    • Jill Yung

      It is the so-called adults that cause this by empowering little kids into becoming socialites with cell phones, computers and in lots of cases, unlimited internet access – all at early ages. I see kids all the time with mobile phones who can't be more than 10 years old. Pathetic. What lesson does this "access" teach our children? For one, it demonstrates the protective veil of anonymity, where one can say anything they like with no ramifications. It was different 15 years ago, if someone said the things I read on the Internet face-to-face, such as the garbage we call youtube 'comments', believe me there would be teeth flying. Most of the parents fall into the trap of not wanting their kid to be "different", so they give in to all this nonsense. Sure Jimmy, we'll get you an iPhone.....................

      July 6, 2010 at 08:57 | Report abuse |
  3. Spoonless Eddie

    Trolls - online troublemakers - are nothing new to sysadmins, who could easily turn them off. They don't though. There is the "IGNORE" button too - wait - most of these stupid forums don't have an Ignore feature. They could, but they don't. So. Knowing these things, what kind of a fool does it take to hang around these places? As always, there is no shortage of fools.

    July 5, 2010 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Interesting how you consider those on these forums fools, yet here you are commenting.

      July 5, 2010 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
  4. thanproduction

    Finland has also made broadband internet access a human right.. which is probably why these sort of studies turn up from there. How is bullying defined in general, and what exactly does "traumatizing" entail? a very weak case for a problem here. people can call you names on the street or at work. kids need to accept that not every opinion or accusation about them is right, or widely thought.

    July 5, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. as

    I'm in your Facebook, driving you to go emo.

    July 5, 2010 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Poogasm

      best comment of the day.
      wish I could give you a prize.

      July 5, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
  6. Sandra Zerner

    As long as kids believe it's ok to intentionally hurt someone with words (which is what cyberbullying is) they will continue to do it, especially when they think they won't get caught. One solution, which I present in my program IT'S GOOD 2B GOOD!, is to show kids that when they hurt someone else they also suffer, as this article mentions., Hurting another always results in hurting yourself. Most kids want to feel happy and be successful. Studies show that those who HELP others become happier themselves, which leads to better success. Are we teaching this to our kids in school? If not, we should be!

    July 5, 2010 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Spoken like a pacifist.
      I LIKE pacifism. Pity is rarely works.
      Rather like socialism.
      Both require perfect people. There are no perfect people to go with those perfect systems.
      The proof of THAT is the fact that EVERY nation has a police force who are reasonably busy. EVERY nation has a military, regardless of their national policy of peace.
      So, when you find that perfect world, clue me in. I'd LOVE to move there!

      July 5, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
    • LP

      Wzrd1 – I see your point about there being no place populated solely by "perfect people"; however, you are mistaken about there being no nations without a military. Here ya go:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_without_armed_forces

      July 6, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
  7. TheSnidestGuy

    It looks like the kid in the picture is cyberbullying himself on Wordpad. Gee, I guess nowhere is safe.

    July 5, 2010 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aethior

      Haha, I am glad I am not the only one who saw that. That kid has bigger problems than cyberbullying...

      July 5, 2010 at 20:39 | Report abuse |
  8. Bellini Martini

    I have never seen this first hand. But I think forums like facebook and twitter or any other comment section of any website should always have a way of letting those that are being harassed be able to ignore them or simple block their contact.

    July 5, 2010 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Hawk

    "IMHO", is completely right about these kids being "totally helpless". It's not these kids' fault that they're born to incompetent parents that don't teach their kids to turn the power off on a device they probably shouldn't own in the first place.

    July 5, 2010 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. ThomasJ

    Get rid of anonymous surfing. Make it illegal. Simple. Jerks wielding hate as a weapon are like the Klan hiding behind their masks. Get rid of the masks and most will cower when they don't have a shield of anonymity to hide behind. many will evaporate when they are held responsible for their actions. Fewer hateful words, fake reviews/opinions, and mountains of pornography. No it won't eliminate any of them, but it would likely take the edge off the blade.

    July 5, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JLR

      Yeah, that's totally practical. How exactly would you get rid of anonymous surfing?

      July 6, 2010 at 04:55 | Report abuse |
  11. Cynical Randy

    @Alex Winter: I agree...and generally, if you made it just too hard for the bully to kick your ass, he went elsewhere. There's just TOO much liberal handwringing in the media these days. Turn the machine off....change your email.....REPORT IT!! Everything on the net leaves a fingerprint....as does texting...dont' ball up in the corner like a B Movie Emo and let it get to you.

    July 5, 2010 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. jamesnyc

    All websites must have a way to register complaints with the forum and be able to censure the offending user. If it is done across multiple forums, it is really an issue for the authorities. Parents should face penalties for not monitoring their little darlings online.

    July 5, 2010 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. jamesnyc

    the only safe thing to do is turn off the pc or not sign up for too many social sites. spreading rumors is cruel and vicious but now, geez it's ugly.

    July 5, 2010 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Eric

    Arrest and jail the kids that think bullying anywhere is OK – and slap 'em with a fine . Let's get the message through as adults that cyber-bullying is NOT OK and it leads to problems for both the bully and the victim.

    If you're a kid going through this, REPORT REPORT REPORT TO ANYONE THAT WILL LISTEN. CALL 9-1-1 NOW

    July 5, 2010 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JLR

      Sorry, not practical. While it's technically possible to trace such things, you don't necessarily leave a bright easy-to-follow trail across the Internet. For example, the way offline identity is often discerned online is via the IP address. However, some providers, such as AOL, use rotating IP addresses. Every time you log on to AOL, you are assigned a -different- IP address. This means someone using AOL is much harder to track by that method. Do you really want already overburdened, underfunded police departments wasting money chasing Internet bullies when there are murderers and rapists running loose? I don't. And I'm not one of those "the Internet isn't real so suck it up" types, either.

      July 6, 2010 at 04:59 | Report abuse |
    • mdyer

      I would like to hear that 911 call. It's possible the police wouldn't consider that an emergency.

      July 6, 2010 at 05:24 | Report abuse |
  15. KellyinCA

    Cyberbullying is a problem because we have loaded young people with the expectation that technology is essential to their lives and that they must be held accountable to someone for every moment they are not accessible via this technology. We have created and fed an addiction that is now poisoning some of our children's minds, with false accusations of wrongdoing by near-total strangers and by peers who have no genuine interest in them.

    While technology is certainly useful, it should not be an excuse for a) not learning in a formal setting, b) not meeting people face-to-face, or c) not participating in civil discourse or in community life. I would hope that the next wave of smartphones and other devices experiences diminishing returns as more people recognize that we have become slaves to technology, instead of its masters.

    July 5, 2010 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      I'll agree with your point on structured learning forums, face to face communications and civil discourse.
      I work in high tech, I'm continually amazed how many e-mail warriors there are. Right until I walk into their office in person.
      I had a few times where a four star major (at least HE thought he had 4 star authority) gave me an unlawful order.
      One time, I went to his office and he immediately caved, without ever asking WHY I declined to break the law.
      The other time, he attempted to stick to his guns. I advised him that only a 4 star general could order what he wanted to order, hence he had no authority by regulation or statute to order such, as it was FAR above his level of authority. I also reminded him that part of my job was keeping him from getting into trouble with such things.
      He backed off immediately and asked how we COULD get what he wanted done.
      One call to someone in MY direct chain of command got that request to that 4 star, who authorized what was needed and limited some things in that scope that weren't needed.
      The point was, it took a face to face meeting to get the point across.

      July 5, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
  16. ZEzrah

    Its called being strong, and able to live with the pain and ignore it. Some kids are more sensitive, but its only words. People need to get out of their little bubble and understand that their security will always be violated on way or another. So its best for the kids to just ignore the cyber-bully and block them out. There is such a thing as an ignore/block button. There is far more worse can happen than this. That's when you start worrying.

    July 5, 2010 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Grace

    It's not just kids bullying kids. The same thing happens with adults.

    It's really rather sad. People think that because no one "knows" who they are that they can get away with doing that.

    July 5, 2010 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Chris

    You do know that TheRock is split between 5 different continents right? You have very few Allies here, where as with our Alliance, we control half this continent already and growing everyday. People are beginning to go into War mode here and honestly, how are you going to receive help from Allies that are days travels away, and all by ship almost. Thats the major flaw of their Alliance, and thats why they are very unstable. If you want a solid Alliance thats rapidly growing and can send help to you very quickly, then i suggest RidersOfTheApocolypse. But of course thats your choice my friend. =) Hope to hear from you, thanks.

    July 5, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bdup

      Dude are you high?

      July 5, 2010 at 23:08 | Report abuse |
    • Whitey don't play dhat

      It's peanut butter jelly time
      peanut butter jelly time
      peanut butter jelly time

      Where he at
      Where he at
      Where he at
      Where he at

      There he go
      There he go
      There he go
      There he go

      Peanut butter jelly
      Peanut butter jelly
      Peanut butter jelly
      Peanut butter jelly
      Do the peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly,
      Peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat
      with a baseball bat

      Now, break it down and freeze
      Now, break it down and freeze
      Now, break it down and freeze
      Now, break it down and freeze

      Now tic tac toe (uh-huh)
      Tic tac toe (let's go)
      Tic tac toe (you got it)
      Tic tac toe (let's ride)

      Now, freestyle, freestyle, freestyle, freestyle, freestyle, your style, your style

      Where he at
      Where he at
      Where he at
      Where he at

      There he go
      There he go
      There he go
      There he go

      July 5, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
  19. Chris

    Tell them to meet you to settle it, then meet them with a pipe behind your back... Take pics to post and tell them if they come back it's gonna end with red ants all up in their eyes. Or just befriend a black person, we are down for beating down fools... I write this to all the asians, whites and other weak a$$ ethnicitys who actually get bothered by this shlt...

    July 5, 2010 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NoDoubt

      Chris you are too funny

      July 5, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
    • ROFL

      Oh Jea, I'm sure Obama would be proud.

      July 5, 2010 at 23:30 | Report abuse |
  20. Corvus1

    I think people who say "don't let it bother you" were never bullied for a minute of their lives. I'd like to punch one of them in the face and tell them not to let it hurt.

    And I'd like to know why anyone should have to change their sites, username, email, whatever, just to kowtow to some arrogant, hyperaggressive little brat who can't control themselves. Parents need to teach kids how to stand up for themselves, true, but they should also teach them self control, empathy for others, and tolerance for opinions/lifestyles/anything! that differs from their own.

    July 5, 2010 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Corvus1

      By the way, I do count myself lucky even though my school years were anything but idyllic. No internet when I was in school, and I was never physically assaulted. Suicide crossed my mind precisely once, and almost immediately I dismissed the idea because a) of what it would do to my family, b) I had a lot of good things going on even if school was Hell, and c) those kids weren't worth it. They were the real scum, criminals, drug addicts, teen mothers, in other words: sad, pathetic trash whose only joy in life was putting down others.

      July 5, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse |
    • mdyer

      I'm glad you're so tolerant.

      July 6, 2010 at 05:27 | Report abuse |
  21. crybaby007

    OMG i was CYBER bullied today and it really, really hurt. Some random person sent me an email saying my hair looked funny. Can you believe it?! How can I continue with my life after something so traumatic.

    July 5, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Amy

    We need to stop making excuses for these young adults and start putting them behind bars for this type of crime. How many suicides (always blamed on the victim, of course) must we endure before we start holding these kids accountable for their crimes? I was bullied in school. I am now 29 years old and *still* have social problems as a result. This is not "child's play." It causes serious, long-term damage and should be severely punished.

    July 5, 2010 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. dean

    My 12 year old daughter got a voice mail telling her she would be stabbed the next day. I called the police and even with the phone number of the caller and knowing where the caller lived, they said they couldn't do anything. Now she is scared about the upcoming school year. We definately need some control over this kind of activity.

    July 5, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Corvus1

      That's a serious problem with all this, people with the authority and power to do something, who won't for fear of lawsuits or idiotic, binding rules. Or, as others clearly believe on this blog, they think it's not important enough to take action.

      I wish your daughter safety and the strength to cope.

      July 5, 2010 at 22:12 | Report abuse |
    • len

      Dean, cops are just about useless in terms of preventative maintenance. Did you call the girl back yourself and threaten her? I mean, obviously , threatening her wont get you introuble anymore than it got her in truble. i hate to say eye for eye and all that but what else can you do to stop it? The law isnt on your side. The girl harrassing your daughter isnt scared of your daughter so you cant have your daughter threaten her.... well, maybe you can. Find out who the girl's parents are and leave the mesage their daughter sent on their voice mail. Then threaten law suit. Nothing in America works like the threat of a law suit I guess. Said it has to come to that. If onl y the cops wouldve paid a visit to the kids house.....

      July 6, 2010 at 08:38 | Report abuse |
  24. DACOOLE

    While I am occasionally guilt of mild name-calling on blogs, e.g. Mr. Pompous, others are downright cruel and vile at their rantings. I would like to see a little more courtesy and civility. CNN, e.g., says the welcome lively and courteous discussions. THEY LIE.

    July 5, 2010 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. DACOOLE

    What about blogs? People are downright cruel and vile in their attacks. CNN says they welcom lively and courteous discussions. THEY LIE. Another venue for cyber-bullying.

    July 5, 2010 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. DACOOLE

    A little more courtesy and civility in debates would be nice.

    July 5, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. NoDoubt

    The people who say 'cry me a river" and similar things are probably the ones that have done the bullying in the first place. FREAKING COWARDS!

    July 5, 2010 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Kay Raiford, Ph.D.

    Cyberbulling and cyberstalking are not just being done by kids. It is also done by adults who have a sciopathic personality
    disorder. Find out who the cyberbully/stalker is and report them online to the FBI (www.FBI.gov). You must report all of the facts and the name of the cyberbully/stalker in the narrative form on the FBI web site. Include the name, address, and phone number of the local police department where you live and file an official complaint with that department. It also helps to provide documentation of previous threats and or harassment that you have received from the cyberbully/stalker. The FBI will contact your local police department with a copy of your report. Make an appointment with
    the detective in charge of the case and take your computer to the detective so that they can see it. This particular cyberbully/stalker is the computer technician at the school in Miami, Florida, where I worked as a Guidance Counselor at Howard A. Doolin Middle School. He has hacked into my computer, since I retired from the Miami Dade Public School system two years ago and have retired to North Carolina. He has also placed malicious spyware on my home computer, in the form of worms, Trojan horses, etc. He also shadows me daily, while he is at work at the same middle school, from his home, and even from his car, where he has a laptop computer displayed near his dashboard. This individual also has previous criminal arrest, yet he is allowed to work at the same middle school. Lately, he has posted my Facebook picture on CNN's mome page web site without my permission and hacked into my facebook account and the facebook account of one of my friends and changed and deleted private information. Don't depend on the security settings on Facebook,This cyberbully/stalker has found away to by hack through them.

    July 5, 2010 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lawrence

      One way to stop a person from hacking into facebook is to make a complex password. Don't use words without numbers or special characters. I've seen people use middle names, last names, kids names, pet names and so on. Here is a good password, rtvx3d12. This is a bad password: tomorrow. Better one, t0m0rr0w1. It still looks like tomorrow with zero's instead of 'o' bullies can't get in if they don't know the password.

      July 5, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
  29. j

    More proof we should be able to walk up to some jackass doing this, taser them, and call the cops. I'd expect the victims have to know the bullies.

    July 5, 2010 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Lawrence

    What happens if a comment is just criticism that could be protected under free speech. If I told someone that their obsession with something was bad for his/her health and told him/her to see a doctor is that cyberbullying? If I tell an adult to grow up is that cyberbullying too? Yes a child can Cyberbulling too, it is not adults only. The bullies that were in my school were children too.

    July 5, 2010 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jill vice

    cyberbullying occurs in our schools all the time. We experienced first hand the impact of cyberbullying on our child. He attends the Council Rock school distrcit in Bucks County, PA. Unfortunately the school distrcit did not want to get involved. We hired an attorney, however, the superintedant of the schools pushed the issue under the carpet. He tried to appease all parties and would never put anything in writing even to our attorney. we could have spent tens of thousnads of dollars fighting it and it was not worth it. THis is the same school distrcit where a high school teacher engaged in a sexual realtionship with a student and guess what everyone looked the other way until the parents came forward. what does that tell you about the district

    July 5, 2010 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. dwighthuth

    The problem with bullies are they lack intelligence and role play their aggresion towards others at not wanting to be looked at as being the stupid one but in fact are. A bully "thinks" that everyone should gather around him or her just because of there own self perception of stature whereas everyone else has learnt how not to be a bully. The mentality of a bully can be likened to the events going on in Iran right now where the husband of a woman accused her of adultery just ot have her stoned and killed so that he could find another woman to breed and then kill in order to seed Iran with followers of Islam. Bullies are some of the most sociopathic people on the planet often times a bullies actions will result in the bully evetually harming someone or killing someone because of their absolutism of wanting to be in control of something to make theirself feel better about their own insecurity.

    July 5, 2010 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Deuce

    We are creating an entire generation of spoiled whiny brats without any of the mental discipline or toughness to handle even the slightest bumps in the roads of their lives.

    It's gonna be really interesting when these kids start entering the real world...God help us all.

    July 5, 2010 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Molly

      It's not the kids that have been taught NOT to bully people; those brought up with correct and good moral standards that you should be afraid of. It is all those Sociopathic bullies that feel the need to threaten and control the world with their hateful, destructive, and malicious behavior. That's who you should fear, BULLIES, and hope more people will realize that bulling, slandering and demonizing other people should not be tolerated as normal behavior in children or adults. Otherwise, the world will eventually be overtaken by these ruffians if we as parents do not teach them how wrong that is. We will all end up paying the price for having allowed this to happen and end up living in a country that is full of hateful sociopaths, instead of strong well adjusted individuals.

      July 6, 2010 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
  34. irsh

    I am far more afraid of psychological bullying than of physical bullying. Bruises, I can recover in a week. Insults and damage to my self esteem, that stays for years...

    July 5, 2010 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. lol@u

    "Whatever happened to catchin a good old-fashoned passionate ass-whoopin and gettin you're shoes, coat, and you're hat tooken"-Eminem

    July 5, 2010 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. mark nyc

    schools do nothing when bullies terrorize students in the hallways. you actually think the schools, the government or anyone will do anything connected to the internet? get real.

    July 5, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lila

      yep. I agree with you. And its because the grown up "ADULT" teachers are AFRAID of said bullies in thier schools. and of the bullies' parents. PUSSIES.

      July 6, 2010 at 08:47 | Report abuse |
  37. jh

    Cyber bullying is basically a dramatic form of gossip that we make ourselves vulnerable to when we enter the hyper-connected world. If it happens, the victim should change facebook, e-mail, and cell number. That will help dramatically, but to be effective, their "friends" at school have to refuse to participate in the gossip and should "unfriend" the gossipers, reject their e-mails, etc.

    July 5, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. CloudyOne

    This article is ridiculous.

    They're being bullied online? Guess what?? TURN IT OFF. Don't want to do that? The web is huge, go somewhere else.

    These professionals act like people are so helpless, and why wouldn't they when being helpless means you need to go to a professional? You are a victim if you CHOOSE to be a victim.

    Since the dawn of time there have been bullies, it wasn't until psychiatrists told us we were broken that we started breaking. Take responsibility for your own emotions, your own feelings.

    Don't let psychiatrists bully you into thinking you are helpless without "professional help" 🙂

    July 5, 2010 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Lols Finnisher

    COOL STORY:
    If your 13 year girl is so infatuated with someone over the Internet (that they've never met), that they kill themselves when they find out that said person was fake, you have a freaking parental issue. (The Megan Meier Retard Rodeo – Missouri, USA)
    "Cyberbullying" is just another step in the direction of a "BAWWWW I CAN'T BE BOTHERED TO RAISE MY CHILD MYSELF PLEASE GOVERNMENT HELP PROTECT THE CHILDREN" situation, while limiting our own rights.

    July 6, 2010 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Jennifer

    These comments are interesting...just ignore it, or when I was a kid we got beat up.

    Yes things have changed. Spreading rumors, constantly harassing someone via the web, making threats are all hurtful. Telling someone to get tougher skin isn't a good response at all. It's not like it's one comment...it's comment after comment after comment.

    My ex...a grown man in his 30's...emailed me constantly after I ended things. He emailed my family. He used the internet to constantly harass me after I was forced to move and change my number. Should I just brush it off? Ignore it? I did, and it only got worse. More threats. Saying he was looking for me, driving by my place, handing out flyers to my neighbors. The only difference is now I have evidence.

    People may think they are hiding behind anonymity, but they aren't.

    July 6, 2010 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lols Finnisher

      He would have been able to do that, Internet or not.
      Maybe you should have gotten a restraining order? Changed email addresses? Either of those things are WAY easier than having to "move and change [your] number"

      July 6, 2010 at 00:15 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Um...I changed the other things first before he started emailing me. He turned to the web as a last resort. (See key word "after") I shouldn't expect my friends and family to change personal email addresses because someone is a jerk.

      Anyway, it's difficult to get a protective order in my state. I looked into it. By then it was past the deadline, we'd been apart for too long. I could have gotten a protective order but it's expensive here. And seriously, what's a piece of paper going to do when someone is threatening you?

      Luckily, the police here take things seriously and I am meeting with the city attorney soon. Because whether or not people here think it's serious, it is often a crime.

      July 6, 2010 at 00:24 | Report abuse |
  41. Lols Finnisher

    >The rate of cyberbullying in the United States and the United Kingdom is as high as 20 percent, according to some surveys
    You people see this sentence? It's utter BS. CNN should be ashamed that this is posted on their website.
    What is "the rate of cyberbullying"? Is that the number of kids harassed, the number that do it? From what category? What kids? 20%? Oh wow, that sure seems high.
    Seriously, the image being used has the words "HORSE POOP LOL" on the screen. Is this supposed to demonstrate "bullying"?

    INFOTAINMENT, FOR THE WIN

    July 6, 2010 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Benny

    Here's a crazy idea. Parents moniter their children's email and phones. If a cyberbully is harassing them, drive over to their house and talk to the bullies parents. If you really think you can't moniter your child, then you should never have had one. Don't know who they talk to on the phone? Take it. Don't know who they talk to on the internet? Turn it off. Don't think the school is doing enough to protect them? With draw your student and go to another distract. Why you would leave your child in an environment you deem unsafe is equal to child-abuse anyway. Take responsibility! They are your children! Protect and Manage them!

    July 6, 2010 at 00:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brennan

      The bullied's parents talking to the parents of the bully will only make things worse. That "talk it out" stuff doesn't work most of the time in the real world...it's just hopeful teachings.

      July 6, 2010 at 00:35 | Report abuse |
  43. Adam

    No safe place? Pretty sure not letting your kid on facebook/myspace/etc = safe place.

    July 6, 2010 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 66Biker

    Cyberbullying? Oh, please... It's just text on a screen. Just ignore it.

    July 6, 2010 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. David Bolsterli

    Why do the bullies feel such contempt for everybody?

    July 6, 2010 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lee

      Because they are evil little animals, that is why. They are obviously emotionally spoiled by their parents (Not the same thing as spoiled materialistically). And guess what, all? These same evil little animals are going to grow up to be evil BIG animals. And then go on to raise evil little animals......... etc.

      July 6, 2010 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
  46. HF

    cyber anything my kid and I find out about it, no matter, ......... bury the lil flocker, spit at them, stand up for kids at any cost, prove to your kids they are worth it, and they will see themselves in a more powerful light. It really works, stand up for someone who can't, pick your time and place, Do them all, or the leader at least, Bullies can't stand the light of day, all these mob bad guys, always hiding under a coat or shirt, wussies. They are dangerous but we are talking this type og bully in a school yard, guns have taken a place in our kids scgool, make sure you know your enemy, first.

    July 6, 2010 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Dee

    Guess I shouldn't be but I'm somewhat surprised by the almost total lack of concern shown by some commenting here.

    Sometime's it isn't just words on a screen. They are also receiving veiled and not so veiled threats that the bully will catch up with them live at some point at the bus stop, in the restrooms at school, in the school stairwells, walking home from school. It may be a lot of hot air or it may be that some jerk is actually waiting to beat you up somewhere.

    Living with constant dread takes an emotional toll on anyone.

    Unfortunately and I'm seeing that all over the comments here speaking to the bully's parents may not be helpful as the parents may be adult bullies themselves or possibly just don't give a horse's patoot what their bullying child is up to.

    Protective or restraining orders aren't worth the documents they are printed on. By the time some authority actually arrives the violence has already taken place.

    July 6, 2010 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Madcap

    I just don't get this whole Victim Attitude of the world lately. If someone does or says something you don't like, then actually stand up and DO something about it. So sick and tired of all the whiney babys lately. Where's your pride? Grow a set and take care of your business people.

    July 6, 2010 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Alan

    This article is retarded

    July 6, 2010 at 02:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Ryan

    darn those ebaumsworld hooligans

    July 6, 2010 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
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