But in cyberspace, bullies descend like virtual shadow boxers, their victims left to fend off the blows of an attacker cloaked by his computer.
Online, the mob mentality frequently takes over, an Internet analyst says.
“It’s often started by an individual (but) cyberbullying is almost comparable (to) a virtual lynch mob; it’s easy for people to pile on," Jesse Hirsh said in an interview from Toronto.
“You no longer think of the victim as a human, it’s just an Internet game. That makes it easier for others to join in, even when they’re not part of the school or the community.
“That’s also what makes it . . . so difficult to stop, so difficult to police and so difficult for the victim to have any recourse."