Definition of Cyber-Bully (Troll)
Cyber-bullying (Trolling) involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others. Cyber-bullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender, but it may also include threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech), ganging up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule in forums, and posting false statements as fact aimed at humiliation.
Cyber-bullies may disclose victims’ personal data (e.g. real name, address, or workplace/schools) at websites or forums or may pose as the identity of a victim for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames or ridicules them.
Some cyberbullies may also send threatening and harassing emails and instant messages to the victims, while other post rumors or gossip and instigate others to dislike and gang up on the target. Research had demonstrated a number of serious consequences of cyber-bullying victimization.
For example, victims have lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of emotional responses, cyberbullying back, being scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed. One of the most damaging effects is that a victim begins to avoid friends and activities, often the very intention of the cyber-bully.
Cyber-bullying campaigns are sometimes so damaging that victims have committed suicide. There are at least four examples in the United States where cyber-bullying has been linked to the suicide of a teenager. The suicide of Megan Meier Meieris a recent example that led to the conviction of the adult perpetrator of the attacks.