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Cyberbullying Written Answer, 17/04/12 [S]

Written Answer given in response to Kezia Dugdale's (Lab) question asking the Scottish Executive what its definition of cyberbullying is; and whether it has made representations to (a) Twitter and (b) Facebook regarding their cyberbullying policies.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell, replied that in partnership with the Scottish Anti-Bullying Steering Group, the Scottish Government published A National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People in November 2010. This approach indicates that bullying can be understood as behaviour which leaves people feeling helpless, frightened, anxious, depressed or humiliated.

The approach states that bullying behaviour may include:

  • name calling, teasing, putting down or threatening
  • ignoring, leaving out or spreading rumours
  • hitting, tripping, kicking
  • stealing and damaging belongings
  • sending abusive, text, email or instant messages
  • making people feel like they are being bullied or fearful of being bullied
  • targeting someone because of who they are or are perceived to be.
Where this behaviour occurs over the internet or by mobile phone, it is commonly referred to as ‘cyberbullying’.

The Scottish Government is represented on the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, where all aspects of internet safety are discussed, including cyberbullying. The Council brings together over 170 organisations and individuals from government, industry, law enforcement, academia and charities – including representing parents and children. Their aim is to work in partnership to keep children and young people safe online.

For the full answer to this and other questions see the Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 17 April 2012 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 17 April 2012