The dictionary definition of bullying is: To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner. For example, when someone takes exception to another person’s personal opinion and shares with his or her followers on Twitter or Facebook that the person with whom they disagree is a terrorist, and then his or her followers on Twitter retweet the comment in agreement with the author of the tweet or status update, that is bullying.
As shared on a number of websites: “Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. Bullying ranges from simple one-on-one bullying to more complex bullying in which the bully may have one or more “lieutenants” who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse.”
Bill Belsey has been quoted as saying: “Cyberbullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm another.”
In other words, writing an article that includes a Call To Action is not bullying.
Posting that the author of such an article is a terrorist is bullying. Sharing that post indicating agreement with it is bullying. Making false allegations against the author of the article is bullying.
When the author defends herself against such behaviour, that is not bullying.
Ongoing abuse and intimidation against the author for defending herself is bullying.
UPDATE on 4 March 2013: Earlier today, someone on Twitter suggested renaming Category 17: Tweetest Couple. I would love to acknowledge the person who made this wonderful suggestion, however, that information is not available on the Twitter account, the blog site or the website. Nonetheless, thank you for suggesting a name that is in keeping with the spirit of the awards, and in line with the “Best” categories.