The PLEA: Cyberbullying

The PLEA: Cyberbullying

What are the consequences of Cyberbullying?

Emotional and Social Consequences

Cyberbullying is bad for our mental and physical health. It hurts the people who bully, the people who are bullied, and the witnesses of bullying. Some consequences of cyberbullying can include:

  • loneliness, isolation, lack of friends
  • school absenteeism and dropping out
  • general aggressive behaviour
  • substance abuse
  • low self-esteem and depression
  • thoughts of self-harm or suicide

It’s important that we all think about the impacts of our words and actions.

Remember: Positive feelings escalate. The nicer we are to others, the better everyone will feel, including ourselves.

Legal Consequences

Everyone 12 and older has reached the age of criminal responsibility. This means that criminal laws will apply to your actions, including bullying behaviour. Criminal offences that may apply to cyberbullying include uttering threats, criminal harassment, sharing intimate images without consent, extortion, and child pornography offenses.

If a young person’s bullying or cyberbullying is criminal, the consequences could be serious. In extreme cases, possible consequences could include:

  • criminal charges
  • seizure of electronic devices
  • criminal conviction/record
  • completing programming and treatment
  • reporting to a probation officer
  • jail

The Youth Criminal Justice Act deals with people aged 12-17 who are involved with the criminal justice system.


What does anyone have to gain from hurting people or harming their reputations? When should such actions have legal consequences?

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