With the widespread use of the internet in the last decade and
the creation of websites such as Facebook and YouTube, the
ability for people to connect with one another across the globe and with people they have lost touch with has been enthusiastically welcomed. But with the great benefits that new technology brings also comes the ability for people to use it to the detriment of others.
Bullying has existed “as long as schools have,” but today bullying is no longer confined to the school house gates or even prevented at one’s front door, as it can “follow students to their rooms . . . their cell phones[,] or online.” Through cyber-bullying, bullies can now “harass, threaten or intimidate others” by “email, instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms, pagers, cell phones, and gaming systems.” Specifically, bullies engage in cyberbullying by videotaping their peers with their cell phones and posting embarrassing videos online through YouTube, creating fake Facebook profiles to steal the identity of other students, and posting embarrassing comments on Facebook to humiliate other students. Reports of students who have been victims of cyberbullying have become nationwide news stories, such as the suicide of a freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey who “jumped to his death . . . after his dormitory roommate and another student posted a video of sexual encounters he had with another man online.”