Forms of CyberbBullying
Insulting: Posting or spreading false information about a person that will cause harm to that person or that person's reputation.
Targeting: Singling someone out and inviting others to attack or make fun of her or him.
Identity theft: Pretending to be someone else to make it look like that other person said things he or she doesn't believe or that aren't true about him or her.
Uploading: Sharing images of a person, particularly in an embarrassing situation, without her or his permission, or sharing emails without the writer's permission.
Excluding: Pressuring others to exclude someone from a community (either online or offline).
Harassment: Repeatedly sending someone nasty, mean and insulting messages.
How the Law Addresses Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying can be addressed under civil law or criminal law, based on the situation.
Civil law: This is the branch of law that deals with property rights, personal dignity and freedom from injury.
Criminal law: This branch of law determines which actions are crimes against the state. In criminal law, there are two approaches to cyberbullying:
Harassment is a crime under the Criminal Code. Harassment is when something a person says or does makes someone fear for his or her safety, or for the safety of others. Even if the perpetrator did not intend to frighten someone, she or he can be charged with harassment if the target feels threatened. Criminal harassment is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Defamatory libel is a crime under the Criminal Code. It is most often treated as a crime if the libellous statement is directed against a person in authority and could seriously harm his or her reputation. Defamatory libel is punishable by up to five years in prison.