Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying" Page: 97
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power imbalance. An example of this type of definition can be seen in the definition by
Twymann et al. (2011):
The use of e-mail, cell phones, instant messaging, and=or Web sites by individuals or
groups with intent to harm others.
And with the definition by the National Crime Prevention (n.d.)
when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or
images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.
Finally, 6 of 16.67% met none of the three aforementioned criteria set forth. An example
can be found in the defining of cyberbullying by Li (2008):
Bullying via electronic communication tools such as e-mail, cell phone, personal
digital assistant (PDA), instant messaging, or the World Wide Web.
What is interesting about this definition and four of the five like it that meet zero of the
criteria is the use of the word "bullying" in an attempt to define "cyberbullying". (for a more
complete explanation of this issue, refer to section 184.108.40.206). While their definitions may
very well meet all criteria, the fact that the reader or participant does not know how the
author defines the word "bully" within the term "cyberbully" disqualifies it from meeting
any of the criteria by Vanderbosh and Van Cleemput (2008).
The previously discussed criteria by Vanderbosh and Van Cleemput (2008) is
missing a key element. A new list of criteria would include:
1. They should be intended to hurt (by the perpetrator) and perceived hurtful (by
2. Be part of a repetitive pattern of negative offline or online actions
3. Be performed in a relationship characterized by a power imbalance (based on
"real-life" power criteria, such as physical strength or age, and/or on ICT-related
criteria such as technological know-how and anonymity) (p. 449)
4. and by means of electronic or digital communication technology.
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Winn, Matthew R. Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying", dissertation, August 2013; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283860/m1/98/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .