Cyberbullying is the willful and repeated use of cell phones, computers, and other electronic
communication devices to harass and threaten others. Instant messaging, chat rooms, e-mails, and
messages posted on websites are the most common methods of this new twist of bullying.
Cyberbullies can quickly spread messages and images to a vast audience, while remaining
anonymous, often making them difficult to trace. It is challenging to characterize cyberbullying in legislation however, language has included electronic communication, cyberbullying, and electronic
and internet intimidation.
Many states have enacted "cyberstalking" or "cyberharassment" laws or have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication within more traditional stalking or harassment laws. In addition, recent concerns about protecting minors from online bullying or harassment have led states to enact "cyberbullying" laws. However, other state laws may still apply to those who harass, threaten or bully others online, although specific language may make the laws easier to enforce.
Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet, email or other electronic communications to stalk, and generally refers to a pattern of threatening or malicious behaviors. Cyberstalking may be considered the most dangerous of the three types of Internet harassment, based on a posing credible threat of harm. Sanctions range from misdemeanors to felonies.
Cyberharassment differs from cyberstalking in that it is generally defined as not involving a credible threat. Cyberharassment usually pertains to threatening or harassing email messages, instant messages, or to blog entries or websites dedicated solely to tormenting an individual. Some states approach cyberharrassment by including language addressing electronic communications in general harassment statutes, while others have created stand-alone cyberharassment statutes.
"A culture without property, or in which creators can't get paid, is anarchy, not freedom."