From the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, RSPB, website :
From the book "Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 2005, page 21":
"In the sixties, the eminent Austrian ethologist Konrad Lorenz used the English term mobbing to describe the behaviour that animals use to scare away a stronger, preying enemy. A number of weaker individuals crowd together and display attacking behavior, such as geese scaring away a fox."
Though the English word mob denotes a crowd, often in a destructive or hostile mood, German, Polish and several other European languages have adopted mobbing as a loanword to describe all forms of bullying including that by single persons. The resultant German verb mobben can also be used for physical attacks, calumny against teachers on the internet and intimidation by superiors, with an emphasis on the victims' continuous fear rather than the perpetrators' will to exclude them. The word may thus be a false friend in translation back into English, where mobbing in its primary sense denotes a disorderly gathering by a crowd and in workplace psychology narrowly refers to "ganging up" by others to harass and intimidate an individual.
After 5 years of abuse, harassment and bullying during her time as the first Anti-Discrimination Commissioner in Tasmania, Jocelynne Scutt wrote: “...my experience in Tasmania has meant that my place in the pantheon of experts on mobbing is assured. Invitations nationally and internationally for me to speak on this subject, combined with the conduct taking place in Tasmania, has led to my developing a theory and perspective on this subject, a form of bully which has its own dynamic and features. This theory and perspective, supported as it is not only by expertise I have developed through my work over the past 30 years, but also by my own experience over the past five years, is leading edge”.
In Scotland Mobbing and rioting is the formation of a mob engaged in disorderly and criminal behaviour. The crime occurs when a group combines to the alarm of the public "for an illegal purpose, or in order to carry out a legal purpose by illegal means, e.g. violence or intimidation". This common purpose distinguishes it from a breach of the peace.