In additional to potential criminal charges for harassment, threats, identity fraud or mischief in relation to data, cyberbullies may also be sued in civil court for the injuries they cause to their victims.

On February 7, 2018, Jasmine Daya, will be co-presenting an Ontario Trial Lawyers Association webinar that explores developing areas of civil liability in Ontario, including cyberbullying.

What is cyberbullying?

Everyone has a mobile phone and internet access these days, even children. Cyberbullying is any harassment that uses social media, websites, instant messaging, or any other online means to bully someone. This includes any deliberate acts intended to hurt, demean, embarrass or slander another person, for example:

  • Threatening someone with physical harm online;
  • Sharing embarrassing or intimate photographs of someone online without consent;
  • Pretending to be another person, or otherwise tricking someone in to disclosing private information;
  • Sending mean or cruel text messages; or
  • Starting a blog for the purpose of insulting or making fun of someone.

Because they act online, cyberbullies may be anonymous to their victims, and difficult to identify. In many cases, these acts break Canada’s criminal laws and may result in charges by the police. Additionally, if the victims of cyberbullying suffer any injuries as a result, including psychological harm, bullies may be liable to pay them compensation.

Cyberbullying and civil liability

Cyberbullying can result in genuine harm to its victims, including psychological or mental illness and, tragically, self-harm or suicide. Victims may require therapy, miss time at work or school, or need other forms of care. Although this is a new area of law, and the courts have not yet determined the exact requirements to succeed in a civil claim against a cyberbully, the law of negligence supports the proposition that anyone who negligently causes harm to another person should be liable for the resulting damages.

Toronto lawyers working to protect cyberbullying victims

At Fireman Daya & Co., we advise victims that are considering a civil lawsuit against cyberbullies. To speak with one of our compassionate lawyers about your matter, schedule a free consultation online, or call 416-967-9100.

On February 7, 2018, Jasmine Daya, will be co-presenting an Ontario Trial Lawyers Association webinar that explores developing areas of civil liability in Ontario, including cyberbullying.


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