Bullying used to be a standard hazing of growing up. Now it’s taken on a new life with the internet. Anyone can hide behind the anonymity of the web to bully, harass, or intimidate their peers.
Cyberbullying is the use of information technology such as cell phones, computers, blogs, message and social media to harass, threaten, intimidate or humiliate another person. These actions include:
- Making seriously disparaging statements or opinions about the child’s physical characteristics, sexuality, sexual activity, mental or physical health
- Online threats to inflict harm on another person
- Posting offensive or embarrassing material of another person
Pennsylvania’s Cyberbullying Laws
Pennsylvania’s Cyberbullying Law now provides protection to children from bullying and harassment by electronic means directly to a child or via social media, making cyber harassment of a child a criminal act.
Cyber harassment is charged as a third degree misdemeanor. Juveniles who engage in this behavior are subject to a diversionary program.