Violence is a human activity and has always been present in mutual human relations. Or in other words, it is present in communication between humans. And as communication has always facilitated human civilization development, at the same time it gave people an opportunity to be aggressive and violent to one another and thus impeded the above mentioned human development. Violence, identified by many with aggression, is an imperfect form of communication, because it is not realized on the level of subjects that are equal to one another. And besides this, violence aims to cause harm (mental or physical), a loss, grief, physical pain or moral suffering, to cause the loss of socially appreciated values or to gain advantage over others[1].

The means (mediums) used by the sender and the recipient in the communication process are important. It also applies to violence in human relations. In the span human history the means have changed, staring with verbal, non verbal through physical to the latest information and communication technologies. Due to the mass character of these technologies, it can be referred to as virtual mass violence (online), described as cyberbulling, e-bullying, sms bullying, mobile bullying, online bullying (bullying - terrorizing, threatening, oppression, a bully – a brutal, a tyrant). This violence, cyber mobbing or cyber exploitation (exploitation – abuse) influences the Internet users and mobile phone with the Internet access users. This presentation does not touch upon the subject of violence brought about the traditional media (press, radio and television), but concentrates upon the new media, that is the Internet and mobile telephones.

The risk is the greater the younger an on-line user is. In the European Union 75% of children age 6 to 17 are the Internet users (63% use mobile phones), and in Poland 89% of the children (75% mobile phone users), in Germany 75% (and 63% of mobile phone users)[2].

Thus mass violence poses a risk for a large number of children and young people, and what is more, various forms of virtual violence aiming to harm another person can be spoken about. These are phishing (obtaining confidential personal data), harassment, spam (unwanted electronic mail), pharming (falsifying Internet banking interfaces), flaming (internet quarrel, war, insults), propagation of criminal type or racist content, stalking and also threats connected with sexual violence on the Internet: grooming (seducing children on the Internet), sexting (sending photographs of naked people via telephones), presentation of pornographic materials and also sex related chats, which includes cyber-rape scenarios. Virtual violence touches upon the youngest Internet users, although it does not mean that the violence does not touch upon the whole families. Weak interpersonal relations in the family make children look for other relations in virtual reality, and these relations bring about various dangers, including violence and aggression[3].

The most important group of threats comprises grooming, cyberbullying, and sexting, which has been on the increase recently.


[1] Z. Formella, Cyberbullying: risks, prevention, educational challenges. in: Media w wychowaniu chrześcijańskim, D. Bis, A. Rynio (ed.), Media w wychowaniu chrześcijańskim, Lublin 2010, p. 477.

[2] Towards a safer use of the internet for children in the EU – a parents’ perspective. Conducted by The Gallup Organization, Hungary upon the request of Directorate General Information Society and Media, Flash EB Series #248. 2008. Eurobarometer research at the request of The European Commission since 1973. Methodology is the same every edition: in every member state of EU individual interviews are carried out (face-to-face) on a representative group of 1000 adults chosen at random. Report published on the website :

[3] According to Eurobarometr’s (EB) results on „Safer Internet” 75% children of 6 do 17 already use the Internet, and in Poland even more, because as many as 89%. Young internet users are a bigger group than their parents (82%).Similarly with mobile phones: 63% of 10 year olds in UE have (in Poland75%), and 11% have a mobile phone with internet access (in Poland 18%).

Autor: Jarosław Jęczeń
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 08.04.2014, godz. 23:04 - Jarosław Jęczeń