Bullying is behaviour, that is usually repeated, by one or more persons intentionally to hurt, harm or adversely affect the rights and needs of another or others.

Online bullying is bullying that takes place through electronic technologies, such as:

  • Mobile or smart phones – eg. calls, texts, etc.
  • Smart phone apps – eg. Kik Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Social network sites – eg. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Gaming consoles – eg. Xbox Live, Playstation, etc.

Online bullying can happen in many different ways. It can be part of a bullying situation that is going on in the physical world or one that is just happening in the cyber world. Some examples of online bullying include:

  • Posting hurtful, embarrassing or threatening material (eg. posts, photos, video) on social network websites
  • Sending nasty messages by text or through an app
  • Excluding someone from an online game
  • Setting up fake profiles on a social network website to make fun of others
  • Sharing embarrassing photographs or video of someone to hurt them or their reputation

Research from the Department of Education in 2011 showed that 15.5% of pupils in Year 6 and 17% of pupils in Year 9 have experienced online bullying in the previous two months.

For more information see our leaflet for parents/carers - What is Cyber Bullying?

Please note that while we recognise the various risks and dangers young people may face online, DDISS’s remit in this area extends only to the issue of cyber bullying. Therefore, questions regarding other e-safety concerns, such as online grooming, access to age-inappropriate material and sharing of private information/material, should be addressed to the UK E-Safety Forum.