Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

(source: - this is a fairly basic defition, i feel we can do better but it’s a placeholder)

Cyber Vigilantism (or Internet Vigilantism, or digilantism): the phenomena of vigilante behaviour taken through the internet or using applications that require the internet. Proposed uses include scam baiting and public shaming.

Cyberviolence: Cyberviolence is online behaviour that constitutes or leads to harm against the physical, psychological and/or emotional state of an individual or group.

The types of behaviors that cyberviolence enables have existed offline for a long time. For example bullying, blackmail, expressions of racism, homophobia and misogyny have all existed offline; however the reach and longevity of technology have changed the  consequences of these activities. Furthermore, the relative anonymity which the internet provides enables harassers to act with relative impunity. Cyberviolence has been around since people have begun using the internet but we have become increasingly aware and concerned about the phenomenon because it has become pervasive as people spend more time online. Cyberviolence may or may not have an offline component. Similarly to offline or physical violence the harm caused by cyberviolence is often predominantly psychological and emotional. Although it can result in damage to one’s reputation and financial loss.

Cyberviolence is often viewed as less serious or ‘real’ than offline violence although this is being contested particularly as an increasing number of suicides are being attributed to cyberviolence. (taken from our working cyberviolence definition)

Denial of Service Attack (DoS):  is a malicious attempt to make a server or a network resource unavailable to users, usually by temporarily interrupting or suspending the services of a host connected to the Internet. In a DoS attack, one computer and one internet connection is used to flood a server with packets, with the aim of overloading the targeted server’s bandwidth and resources.

Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS): DDoS attack, uses many devices and multiple Internet connections, often distributed globally into what is referred to as a botnet. A DDoS attack is harder to deflect because there is no single attacker to defend from, as the targeted resource will be flooded with requests from many hundreds and thousands of multiple sources.

(adapted from source

Doxing (or doxxing): is an abbreviation of document tracing. It involves internet-based research on an individual, resulting in the publication of personal identifiable information. Search can range from public available databases such as social media websites to in-depth hacking and social engineering. It is tied to the practices of cyber-bullying, cyber-vigilantism, and hacktivism.

Gamergate: a vicious form of (predominantly gendered) violence that consists in aggressively harassing (mostly women in games) with violent death and rape threats, and with the intention of annihilating the targeted individual’s work, personal safety, and general well-being.


Hacktivism (a combination of the words, hack and activism): the act of using technology, computers or computer networks, to carry out a form of activism similar to those of traditional acts of protest, activism and civil disobedience for political ends or to effect social change. Other definitions exist and include acts of cyber-terrorism.

Microaggression: a social theory describing exchanges between a member or members of a dominant culture and those of a marginalized group. Actions or words, whether with or without malicious intent, from the dominate group result in the belittlement and/ or alienation of the marginalized group.

Social Engineering: Refers to an act of psychological manipulation. In the context of computer or information security, refers to the manipulation of people to perform actions or divulge confidential information for fraudulent purposes or system access. A method for gathering information.