Cyberbullying and Criminal Law
AuthorBostancı Bozbayındır, Gülşah
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As a result of the rapid growth and availability of information and communication technology (ICT) traditional bullying and harassment activities have started to appear on the internet. Current forms of cyberbullying and cyberharassment are a cause of great concern with respect to children's safety and well-being. Cyberbullying lacks a universally accepted definition, namely there is no consensus on a single definition of cyberbullying - which is, after all, generally understood as bullying occurring on the internet - determined at an international or European level. However, in this study we have identified the distinctive features of cyberbullying, that is, the high degree of anonymity, power imbalance between the offencer and the victim, potentially public nature of cyberbullying and defencelessness of the victim, and the high probablity of repetition with anonymity being one of the unique features of cyberbullying. We shall analyse all these elements of cyberbullying, respectively. After this conceptual analysis, we shall assess the approaches and solutions that have been adopted towards cyberbullying in a comparative manner. Finally, we will address the question of whether acts of cyberbullying should be criminalized and we will discuss the employability of options other than criminal law.