Cyberbullying, largely thought of as targeted insults, taunting and harassment from one internet user to another, has grown in the age of chat rooms, private messages and Twitter mentions, as people have felt empowered by the ability to reach large groups online or even just one person with a single click.
First lady Melania Trump has made the prevention of cyberbullying one of her White House initiatives, in the aftermath of a presidential campaign fraught with social media rancor, and with some anti-cyberbullying advocates seeing President Trump’s use of Twitter as providing a model for others to lash out online.
But what is cyberbullying, exactly? Who does it, and why? Is it a crime, deserving of punishment, or is it a gray area of free speech? Can we stop it without curtailing free speech rights? To help answer those questions and more, the NewsHour hosted a Twitter chat with online privacy and protection lawyer Zachary Heck (@heckprivacy) and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and professor of criminology and criminal justice Sameer Hinduja (@hinduja) Thursday, July 13th at 1 p.m. ET.
See the full conversation below —