When Cyberbullying Becomes a Crime | Criminal Defense Attorney San Diego

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When Cyberbullying Becomes a Crime

Cyberbullying is among the most stress-causing issues that is snowballing. We know bullying is not old and has always been a part of schools and colleges. However, students now have access to the internet, social media apps, and mobile phone, making it easy for them to reach out to more people online. 

The victim may be traumatized for life, and the bully may have to face the court, pay a hefty fine, or even go to jail. In the case of cyberbullying and related cybercrimes, both the victim and the bully may suffer.

Moreover, cyberbullying is related to depression and increased anxiety, which may affect your child’s mental and emotional safety. As parents, it’s incredibly crucial to understand when cyberbullying becomes a crime so you can protect your children and their future. 

We’ll discuss different forms of cyberbullying and what you can do to ensure your kids are not suffering in any way. 

What Is Considered Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying includes the use of electronic devices and the internet to cause mental harm, harass, annoy, or scare an individual. This may be done by sharing embarrassing messages, images, videos, and links directly or in a group. 

This also includes hacking with the intention to cause fear and inconvenience. The bully may be anonymous, or the victim may know who’s behind the bullying.

Apart from parental guidance, there are anti-bullying rules and regulations according to the California Penal Code 653.2 PC. As per the penal code, any electronic media, including texts or emails, with an intention to harm, harass, threaten, and cause fear to an individual or their family is considered a crime. Also, a risk to the safety of physical and mental well-being via electronic means is regarded as a cybercrime. 

Publishing non-consensual images, videos, messages, screenshots, and personal information that puts an individual at risk and may be charged with a misdemeanor or guilty of cyberbullying. The bully may have to pay a one thousand dollar fine or be punished for up to one year in county jail if found guilty, or both. 

What are the Top 10 Forms of Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying may have more than one form. A victim may suffer from one or more of these at a time as the bullies try to harm them through any possible means. Knowing how a bully may attack is necessary to stay vigilant and plan your next action. Here are the top ten forms of cyberbullying one must always be on the lookout for.

  •  Fake social media profiles

Anyone online may find your child’s account and create a profile similar to theirs. They may even send messages to their friends.

  •  Mean comments

Someone may post mean comments under your child’s pictures and videos. Many bullies create fake accounts to do so. Keeping the profile private or limiting the comments may be one way to discourage such bullies. 

  •  Online harassment

This includes asking for pictures, intentionally saying mean things, and sending threatening messages. Anyone who is constantly malicious messaging and expecting replies may also create fear and stress. 

  •  Humiliation

A person may find a delicate piece of information about your child and use it to humiliate them. They may share this private information with others and embarrass the victim.

  •  Cyberstalking

A cyberstalker may not be someone who’s just keeping an eye on your child online. It may also lead to physical harm and endanger your child’s safety.

  •  Fraping

Fraping is impersonating someone by getting a hold of their social media account and sharing inappropriate content with others online. 

  •  Dissing

This includes someone sharing unkind information about your child, damaging their reputation, relationships, and friendships. It can lead to the victim feeling alienated. 

  •  Trickery

Using trickery, a stranger may gain your child’s trust and ask them to share secrets. Then the bully may use this information to embarrass the victim publicly. 

  •  Trolling

A bully or a group of bullies may troll an individual with deliberate insults, edit pictures, or use foul language on social media profiles. One new trend of trolling includes creating memes and circulating them online. 

  • Catfishing

This may include your child’s pictures getting stolen and someone using them to create profiles and talk to other people with this created identity. A catfish hides behind someone’s identity and may leak your child’s information to a stranger. As a result, it may put your child at risk while damaging their reputation. 

Is Cyberbullying Illegal in California?

Yes, cyberbullying is illegal in California. A bully may face jail time, a fine, or both depending upon the case. As per the law, every school in California must have policies and regulations in place to protect children from cyberbullying. An individual may have criminal charges imposed by the prosecutor for posting private information via electronic devices resulting in fear.

In California, it’s a misdemeanor offense to post private information about an individual that may cause stress or fear. Moreover, it’s unlawful to harass someone online and send obscene texts and images. All parents must make a point to discuss this information with their kids so that they know their rights and also do not participate in such activities. 

Are cyberbullying laws effective?

The cyberbullying laws in California are effective. The laws make it mandatory for the California Department of Education to include information, resources, and curricula in schools against bullying and cybercrimes. 

Moreover, the institutes must build strategies and resources to curb cyberbullying and encourage students to know their rights. They also have training modules for teachers and parents to address cyberbullying. The stern rules, fine, and jail time if found guilty also discourages pupils from bullying others.

Contact Sevens Legal for a Free Consultation

Now you know when cyberbullying becomes a crime and when you should contact for legal help. If you know someone who is getting bullied or is accused of bullying, contact Sevens Legal, APC, and get free expert consultation for the case. 

Sevens Legal, APC

Criminal Defense Attorneys

3555 4th Ave.

San Diego, CA 92103

Phone: (619) 430-2355

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