The 4 types of cyberbullies

Published On: Apr 29 2013 02:20:01 PM EDT

About a year ago, a young family member opened-up to me about her experience being cyberbullied.

The details of the situation escape me, but I remember racking my brain over what could have led to this. I mean, this is a young person who is smart, sweet, and an all-around great kid. Why someone would want to bring harm was a total mystery.

Then I came across an article by Parry Aftab about cyberbullies that shed a bit of light on the situation. It described the different types of cyberbullies (who knew that there were different types?) based on the instigator’s motive for cyberbullying. So here is what I learned.

There are four types of cyberbullies, including:

Reading these categories made me realize that my family member probably didn’t do anything to trigger online attacks. It’s just that the one doing the cyberbullying has some personal issues to work through.

This said, this list might help provide insight on your kid’s situation if he or she is getting cyberbullied. But it’s also something to think about if your kid is the one engaged in cyberbully activities.

Check-out Aftab’s full piece to learn more about the four different types of cyberbullies and for tips on how to deal with them.


Cynthia Overton is Senior Research Analyst in the Education Program at American Institutes for Research.  She has written and spoken internationally on the role of technology in advancing learning outcomes for students with disabilities.