Mobile Technology and Cyberbullying

Mobile Technology and Cyberbullying

Qing Li (Towson University, USA), Zhuo Wang (Towson University, USA) and Arkhadi Pustaka (Towson University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch058


Cyberbullying refers to intentional hostile behaviors using digital technologies. With the increased availability of and access to mobile technologies, such as smart phones, tablets and Portable Digital Assistants (PDA), more and more cyberbullying perpetrators have picked up these tools to aggressively and repeatedly inflict harm on their victims who often unavoidably use mobile technology for legitimate reasons. This has posed new challenges to schools and parents who have been trying to prevent and resolve such issues. The present article is an overview of past and present research on mobile-based cyberbullying, including the roles mobile technology plays in cyberbullying, the numerous ways it is employed, the groups it affects, and possible approaches to address the issues. In spite of the raised public concerns, little research has been done to research cyberbullying through mobile devices and our study is the first attempt to systematically review the existing literature in this field.
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In this paper, we focus on cyberbullying in relation to mobile technology, or mobile-based cyberbullying (MBC). In addition, we limit our discussion to youth cyberbullying, excluding the issue of adult workplace cyberbullying.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cyberstalking: Cyberstalking is one type of cyberbullying, where cyberbullies menace victims via threatening communications using digital tools. It “consists of threats of harm, intimidation, and/or offensive comments sent through personal communication channels”. Frequently, cyberstalking “entails a threat, or at least a belief, that the virtual stalking could become real stalking” ( Bamford, 2004 , as cited in Sabella, 2009 , p. 5).

Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying describes the behaviors that are intended to harm others in the digital world. It is often used interchangeably with Cybervictimization. Specifically, “it involves the use of information and communication technologies such as email, cell phone and paper text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal websites, and defamatory online personal polling websites, to support deliberate repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or a group that is intended to harm others (Besley, 2004 AU72: The in-text citation "Besley, 2004" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , as cited in Li et al., 2012 AU73: The citation "Li et al., 2012" matches multiple references. Please add letters (e.g. "Smith 2000a"), or additional authors to the citation, to uniquely match references and citations. , p. 6).

Sexting: Sexting refers to behaviors that involve sharing vulnerable images of a sexual nature using digital media. It can be applied to mobile-based cyberbullying or other types of cyberbullying. It refers to “sending or forwarding nude, sexually suggestive, or explicit pictures on a cell phone or online” ( Stephey, 2009 , p. 15).

Mobile Technology: Mobile technology refers to the digital tools used for cellular communication; it includes, but does not limit to, mobile phones, PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), GPS, handheld game consoles, tablets (

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