Cyberbullying can include:
Harassing or threatening someone or sending mean messages through instant messages (IMs), phone calls, text messages or emails
Three of Johnny’s teammates send texts to him, blaming him for the team’s loss and telling him that he does not know how to play the game. Johnny is afraid to tell his coach and parents so tolerates the bullying for the entire hockey season. He does not return to hockey the next season.
Mike is a member of the hockey team and likes to turn other team members against Sarah, who is the only girl on the team. The entire team is friends on Facebook, but Mike talks most of the team into removing Sarah as a friend. This upsets Sarah and she decides she wants to quit hockey.
Posting private or embarrassing photos online or sending them to others
While traveling on the road with a junior team, one of the players takes an embarrassing photo of a girl that he met at the rink. He then posts the photo on Facebook and sends the photo to all of the other players on the team. The photo then gets distributed.
Starting a website that rates someone’s appearance or popularity
At the beginning of the season, a player who is upset that another player was named captain starts a new website about this person that is both degrading and insulting. At the same time, he invites visitors to the website to list all the things this person does wrong throughout the season. As time goes on, more and more negative and insulting posts accumulate on the site.
Verbally abusing other players in multiplayer online games, Internet-connected console games and virtual worlds
Terry constantly bullies a player on his team. One afternoon, as practice ends, Terry apologizes to the player and asks him to join an online game when he gets home. The bullied player is relieved as he thinks Terry is now his friend, but little does he know Terry is a “griefer,” which is a term given to those who make use of online games as a way to target others that are taking part in online gaming. Terry purposely sought out the other player as he played the game and targeted him. As well, not only did Terry attack the other player as part of the game, Terry also engaged in aggressive behaviour outside the parameters of the game, including sending threatening and harassing messages. This makes the player being bullied feel even worse and he no longer wants to be part of the hockey team.
Creating fake Facebook or Twitter accounts that ridicule someone
A junior hockey player is jealous of Jerry, who has been given extra ice time. He poses as a recruiter that is allegedly interested in Jerry, but is just trying to embarrass and disappoint the player.
Stealing someone’s password and impersonating them online
Two players access the coach’s email account and send a message to one of the other players on the team telling him he is released because he is a weak player.
Spreading gossip, secrets or rumors about another person that will damage that person’s reputation
A group of highly-motivated parents do not like the coach’s policy of equal ice times. They want to win at all costs. They create a plan to try and have the coach removed. They videotape the coach at practices and games and then digitally alter the video. They create a website in the coach’s name and post the materials. The coach is so upset, he quits.
Engaging someone in instant messaging and tricking them into revealing personal information and then forwarding that information to others
Linda has been a referee for two years; she is only 16 and is learning the skills to be an excellent referee. She has just finished refereeing a Novice game and the coach of one of the teams is not happy with the calls made. The kids on the team pick up on this and one of the kids who knows the referee, as she babysits for his family, tricks her into giving him her cell number. The player gives the number to all the players on the team and tells them to text her and tell her what a poor referee she is. The referee quits.
Breaking into an email account and sending hurtful materials to others under an assumed identity
Mike’s minor hockey team has a team Facebook page where the entire team can communicate throughout the hockey season. Before practice, Mike goes on the page and notices that one of the players, pretending to be an assistant coach, posted a rumor on the team page that Mike’s son, Gerry, made the team because his dad was the coach. Gerry has already seen the comment and decides he does not want to go to practice.
Creating blogs or websites that have stories, cartoons, pictures or jokes ridiculing others
Two parents get into a heated argument at the rink about the abilities of each other’s children. One of these parents writes a popular blog about being a hockey parent. That night, the blogger writes a pointed article about a “misguided parent” who cannot face the truth that his son doesn’t have what it takes to play at this level. The blog includes enough hints about the misguided parent’s identity that it is obvious to the whole community who was being attacked.
NOTE: In these examples, cyberbullying impacting bystanders is not addressed. Often, bystanders either tacitly participate by not stepping in, or they feel uncomfortable by the bullying they are observing but not sure what to do.
If you witness cyberbullying and want to help, but don’t know how, use the TELUS Wise impact tool to explore your options and get suggestions on how you can help.
The examples shown here are fictitious in nature and the names given are simply created for the examples.