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What is Cyber-Bullying?

Cyber-bullying is a form of bullying that is carried out through the Internet in forms such as email, chat rooms, discussion forums, instant messaging, or text messaging.

Examples of cyber-bullying include:
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  • Sending threatening or insulting email, instant messages, or SMS
  • Creating a website to target other students or teachers
  • Leaving hateful voice messages
  • Forwarding private videos, messages, pictures, etc.
  • Spreading rumours by posting messages on a social networking site
  • Creating a fake email account to abuse and harass others

How to Prevent Cyber-Bullying?

  • Never give out your personal information
  • Don't open a message from someone you don't know

What To Do If You're Being Bullied?

  • Don't reply to abusive messages. This will only encourage the bully
  • Keep a record of messages or pictures. You will need them for the police, Internet Service Provider, or mobile phone company to trace the bully
  • Think before you send pictures of someone via email or mobile phone. These can spread far beyond your circle of friends
  • If you receive a rude image or text about someone else, do not forward it. You could be assisting a bully or breaking the law

Cyber-Bullying and Law

Some forms of online bullying are considered criminal acts. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is a crime to:

  • Communicate repeatedly with someone if the communication causes them to fear for their own safety or the safety of others
  • Write something that is designed to insult a person or is likely to injure a person's reputation by exposing them to hatred, contempt, or ridicule

The Canadian Human Rights Act also makes it a crime to:

  • Spread hate or discrimination that is based on race, nationality, ethnic origin, family status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, colour, or disability.

Ask Yourself:

  • Am I being kind and showing respect to others and myself?
  • How would I feel if someone did the same thing to me or my best friend?
  • How do I feel inside?
  • Is this action in violation of any agreement, rule, or law?
  • How would I feel if everyone could see me?
  • How does this action reflect on me?


Additional Resources

For more information on Cyber-Bullying, click here. For more information about Teen Bullying, click here.