When a person teases or consistently offends or intimidates another in person, it is known as bullying. The act of bullying often is seen as synonymous with the behavior of school-age children and can be considered as harmless. However, this is simply not the case. Bullying can be perpetrated by a person of any age, and it is very rarely harmless. It can also be a crime under many circumstances.
As the name suggests, cyberbullying is the act of bullying in an online environment. This behavior has become increasingly prevalent in the online space in recent years, and the anonymity that the perpetrator feels can give them an incentive to act in more extreme ways, because they may feel that they can do anything without facing the consequences of their actions. However, cyberbullying is a crime, and legal consequences can be faced.
How is cyberbullying criminalized?
Cyberbullying laws are relatively new, but they do exist. Those accused of cyberbullying can be prosecuted under more general criminal harassment statutes; however, the state of Texas also includes the mention of cyberbullying or electronic harassment in their state bullying laws. Schools also require a policy on cyberbullying, and school sanctions for this behavior are also mandatory.
What are the consequences of cyberbullying?
The consequences of cyberbullying depend on the type of actions made. If violent threats or morbid encouragements are made, serious consequences can result.
If you or someone you know has been accused of cyberbullying, it is important that you take action to understand how the law will apply to the specific situation.