Reasons that people cyberbully include revenge, social peer pressure and the feeling of safety provided by the Internet's anonymity. Cyberbullying is an increasingly common practice among kids and teens, and understanding its causes is essential to alleviating the problem.
Many people who cyberbully are victims of bullying or cyberbullying themselves. Kids who have been harassed by bullies may find it easier to justify bullying others. Cyberbullying may give these individuals feelings of power or vindication.
Kids may also cyberbully as part of a desire to fit into the social hierarchy. They may perceive that everyone else is cyberbullying, and see the practice as the only way to win the respect of their peers. Cyberbullying can be perpetrated by kids from all rungs of the social ladder. A popular girl may bully a more academically successful student due to jealousy. Conversely, less-popular students may join together to cyberbully a popular girl and diminish her social status.
Kids may also cyberbully because of the false sense of anonymity and security that online interactions provide. With little fear of retribution, kids can harass other students freely and more aggressively. Cyberbullies may often behave in more extreme ways than real-life bullies due to the detachment granted by the Internet. Without having to see the victim's reaction, cyberbullies often act differently online than in real life.