Why Do People Cyberbully? What Is Cyberbullying

Written by: Ankita Kathad MA – (Clinical Psychology)
Last updated date : February 15, 2023

People are using the internet and digital space now more than ever. While digital space has its pros, it has its cons too. Many people harass other people in this digital space. This is known as cyberbullying. It can occur on mobile phones, computers, or even tablets. Have you thought about why bullying happens in the first place? In this article, we understand why people cyberbully. This article explores why cyberbullying happens.

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Chapter 1:

What Is Cyberbullying?

Troubling someone on digital platforms is cyberbullying. Here one person says mean things to the other or even threatens them. This form of torture occurs over digital media. This mostly includes social networking sites. It can take place publicly or on personal messages. It can happen on text messages too. These messages contain mean talks, threats, or vulgar messages.

Chapter 2:

Difference between Bullying and Cyberbullying

As compared to traditional bullying, cyberbullying is more harmful. This is because the mean messages reach many people. These messages stay on the internet and are difficult to delete. Moreover, the damage done to a person’s image is very fast. In the digital space, it is difficult to find the bully. Usually, people use fake names and identities. This makes it hard to find the bully. Moreover, even if the bully deletes the message, there are chances that someone has a copy of it. This type of bullying can even take place on gaming sites

Chapter 3:

Types of Cyberbullying

These days, the use of the internet for communication has become number one. Children and teenagers often find it easier to talk over the internet or text. They use the digital space not just for school work but to socialize too. It is very difficult to stay without the internet. Children use their phones, computers, or tablets every day. Here are some widely known forms of internet bullying:
Video sharing
This is one of the most common means of causing someone pain. Videos are made of an innocent person in an embarrassing situation. Bullies use these videos to threaten and shame the other person. Moreover, sometimes, bullies create an incident and record it to shame the person. Bullies also blackmail the person using the video. They ask for favors or money in return.
Photo sharing
Many times, pictures of the victims are taken in certain situations such as in the locker room or a bathroom. These photos are sent privately or shared publicly to shame the person. Often these pictures are used to torture the victim. Moreover, sometimes some funny or embarrassing pictures of the person are used to make fun of them.
Name-calling or cornering
Many times, bullies call out a victim online in comment sections or via public polls. They will make fun of the person by saying mean things to them. Moreover, they can even corner the person on some kind of debate. While doing so they will say mean or vulgar things to the person. Bullies often spread fake news about the person online and try to target them in any kind of debate.
Creating fake profiles
A very common way of harassing someone online is by creating a fake profile. Here a person makes a duplicate profile of another person. They upload dirty images and videos on the same. This is done to spoil the image of the person. In other cases, one person hacks the profile of another one and steals their password. This way they have access to the contacts of another person. They use this identity to send vulgar messages to others.

Sometimes, a person creates a duplicate profile to lure someone into a friendship or relationship In this case, a person makes a fake profile to gain the trust of another person. They chat under a different identity and steal pictures from someone else’s profile.

Chapter 4:

Why Do People Cyberbully?

There are many reasons why people cyberbully. It can be with an intention or without one. There can be many causes why cyberbullying happens. Here are some reasons why do people cyberbully
Power imbalance
One of the most common reasons for bullying is that the bullies feel that they are more powerful than their victims. On digital platforms, the bullies feel that they have more power. This is because it is difficult to catch someone on these platforms.
On the internet, it is easy to hide. Cyberbullies can hide behind the screens. It is easier to torture the other person because they cannot see the bully. In this case, even if the bully is physically less powerful, they can still harass the victim.
Intent to hurt
One of the common causes of why people cyberbully is intention. Often bullies have a strong desire to hurt the person. This is due to many reasons. The person may have rejected the bully’s request. It can be so that the bully is jealous of the person. This gives them a clear desire and motive to hurt the other person. There can be many reasons to hurt the other person. Digital space creates a lot of damage. Therefore, the bully feels that it is a better way to hurt the victim. Moreover, on the internet, the material stays for a long and spreads quickly.
The bully may desire fame. By cornering someone, they may want to get popular. Some people feel it’s cool to hurt and defame others. This is why they make mean or vulgar comments online. This not only brings them into the spotlight but also makes others fear them.
Low self-esteem
The question of why d people cyberbully has been well studied. It is seen that often people with low self-esteem bully others online. This is because it gives them some sense of power. The wall of anonymity in the digital space also protects their ego. By having control over someone online, they will be powerful and it gives some boost to their low self-esteem.
Low education and imitation
Some people with low education tend to copy other bullies. They think its a cool thing to do. They simply imitate the actions of a real bully. Moreover, they do this without thinking of any consequences. They consider hating comments as a norm. Just because everyone does it, they think it’s right to do it.
Behavior traits
Some people have an aggressive nature. Often they end up targeting people to vent out their anger. Our society often does not teach healthy ways to vent out emotions. Boys are told not to show their emotions. Girls are asked to hide and control their emotions too. In this case, many people end up harming others online to cope with their own emotions. There are some personality traits such as anti-social personality which tend to bully others.

Chapter 5:

Why Does Cyberbullying Happen?

There are many reasons why cyberbullying happens. Some of the common reasons are below:
  1. Lack of cybersecurity: In many countries, laws to protect people in the digital space are not strict. For example, some websites have no option to report the bully. In many cases, these bullies are not even caught because of the vague laws. Moreover, as discussed earlier, anonymity gives the bully a lot of space to trouble others. Relaxed rules is why cyberbullying happens.

  2. Fear: The majority of cyberbullying happens is because people don’t report bullies. Bullies take advantage of this fear and continue their evil acts. This fear gives them the confidence to go on. Moreover, when bullies feel more powerful because of this fear.

  3. Lack of action: Authorities fail to take the right action at the right time. This is why cyberbullying happens so frequently. Most often the victim is simply asked to close the account or block the numbers of the culprit. This makes it easier for the culprit to escape. Moreover, the victims also prefer staying quiet. They do not wish to engage in legal battles. This makes the bully feel that they can get away with the crime.

Chapter 6:


Bullying affects many aspects of a person’s life. It affects the victim psychologically. In some cases, people take extreme steps to overcome the shame they face online. Moreover, as discussed, online shaming often goes unnoticed. Additionally, it affects a victim’s self-esteem too. If you are suffering from bullying, it is important to report it. Moreover, you can also talk to people you trust. If you are suffering from low self-esteem, you can visit Epsychonline for courses on Self Esteem. Several articles address the issue of bullying. These courses and articles are created by experts. Moreover, they are self-help. You can check them out.

"Structured and engaging course" Joan

69 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount