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  1. We've all heard the term, but what does it actually mean, and what should the repercussions be for it (if any)? It's no secret that I'm of the mindset that cyberbullying isn't really a thing. Bullying is a thing, but I don't believe cyberbullying is. Now there's a few points and examples I'd like to give on this. So first, let's talk about what actual bullying is. When I think of bullying, I think of a kid in school being verbally picked on every day, perhaps even physically assaulted. I think of an odd kid being left out of everything because no one wants to talk to them. I think of a kid sitting at the front of a classroom and hearing people gossip about them and saying nasty things from the back of the classroom. Everything I think of is a situation in which the victim has no way to reasonably escape. They can't just stop going to school, and they can't be expected to never go outside again. That's what makes bullying so awful. The fact that there's no way to escape it. If it were as simple as just making it stop and never experience it from those people again, then it wouldn't be bullying. Instead, those single altercations would be just that: altercations. Those people would be harassing you, not bullying you. Now, imagine you're on Twitter, then randomly someone starts tweeting you a bunch of insults and being nasty to you. Are you seriously going to compare that to what we just described where a kid is being treated like shit every day and can't escape it? If you're on Twitter, all you have to do is hit the block button, then you'll never hear from them again. Oh, but what if they make another account, you ask? Well then you block that account, or you set your account to private. There is always a way of escaping these altercations online. The only time you cannot escape these situations online, is when the people who are being nasty to you online, are people from your offline life. If someone random person on Twitter says "I'm going to beat you up tomorrow", you can just block them and move on. You don't have to think anything of it. You don't know them. But if it's someone from your school who sends that same message to you, suddenly you're going to start worrying about going to school tomorrow. This would be a form of bullying. The thing is, the only reason that it is bullying, is because it is directly influencing your offline life, meaning that you cannot escape it. That's what makes it bullying. There is nothing 'cyber' about it. Sure, the initial message was made online, but it was made online about a future offline altercation. I think it is insulting to call this sort of thing 'cyberbullying'. I think it demeans victims of actual bullying when you use this term. As far as punishments and the law goes, I think it's a very hard area to police. There's a very fine line between policing actual harassment online and policing free speech. I'm strongly of the opinion that so long as you do not use your words to threaten or encourage others to physically harm another person, then you should be able to say whatever you want with absolutely no legal repercussions. It doesn't matter if you are saying black people are scum, and it doesn't matter if you're calling someone and ugly whale. So long as you are not threatening or inciting violence against another person, you should be able to say anything. So sure, a bunch of people might be being horrible to you online. Maybe they're insulting you every day for years on end. In the end, I think you need to grow thicker skin. If you're too weak for that then block them. If you can't block them, stop using the same websites as them. If you can't do that, close your computer.