When I set out to first write about the practice of attacking people online, I reached out to my ever present, always brilliant and responsive Twitter network for some help with definitions. I wanted to know if there was a name for this nasty practice, and instead, learned that there’s a whole range of issues based on who is involved and the severity of the attacks. Since I was so intrigued with what I found, I figured you might be curious too. Here are few of the more helpful and interesting definitions that emerged (and of course a shout out the Tweeple who helped with my search):
CyberBullying (from @ledgedancer)
“Cyberbullying” is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. CyberBullying is specific to situations where there’s a minor (under 18) on both sides.
Cyber-Harassment or Cyber Stalking
Once adults become involved, torments, harassments, humiliations and other actions that embarrass are considered plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyber stalking. Adult cyber-harassment or cyber stalking is NEVER called cyberbullying.
Flaming (from via @ericpratums)
A hostile or insulting interaction between Internet users that is usually not constructive, does not clarify a discussion, and does not persuade others. It is not a flame if the author seriously intends to advance the discussion.
(via @foodphilosophy and @chrisbrogen)
These are people who go online and stir up trouble. They are passive aggressive and hide behind usernames, never revealing their true identity, thus have no accountability for what they’re saying. Their goal is actually to upset and offend other members of the forum, and that’s why they’re so hated online.
Now that we’ve covered the basic bullies, hopefully you’ll start to recognize them more quickly when you see them, and either avoid them entirely or take their comments for what they’re worth…trash.