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What is Cyberbullying?

Illinois Attorney General - Stop Cyberbullying - What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying occurs when a child or teen is embarrassed, humiliated, harassed, tormented or otherwise targeted by another person using the Internet or other form of digital communication.

Understanding the motives of cyberbullies can assist parents and professionals in developing effective prevention and intervention strategies that are necessary to combat cyberbullying. According to, there are generally five types of cyberbullies.

  • seeks attention from peers
  • maintains control by intimidating victim

  • was cyberbullied or bullied in person in the past
  • seeks revenge on bullies
  • may be less popular, but usually has above average computer skills

  • bullies for entertainment value and to alleviate boredom (e.g., at a slumber party)
  • aims to increase her own popularity by putting others down

  • seeks revenge on behalf of those who have been bullied or cyberbullied
  • aims to protect friends
  • doesn't see himself/herself as a cyberbully

  • uses the Internet carelessly, without considering potential impact on others
  • does not intentionally hurt others

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