Cyberbullying Laws by State

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What Is Cyberbullying?

"Cyberbullying" refers to using technology or the Internet to threaten, harm, or harass others. The effects of cyberbullying on those who are being bullied can be very serious, and some have even sadly taken their lives. In response, many states have enacted cyberbullying laws.

Cyberbullying can occur in two ways:

  1. Cyberstalking – Using electronic communications to threaten someone else. Electronic communications include anything from email to text messages to cellular phones. In order to qualify as “cyberstalking,” the threat of harm must be credible. 
  2. Cyberharassment – Using of instant messages, blog comments, emails, social media or other online communications to harass someone else. This may sound similar to cyberstalking, but it does not require any threat. Instead, lying, spreading rumors, intentionally embarrassing someone by sharing pictures of them without their consent may qualify.

Do All States Have Cyberbullying Laws?

Currently, 49 states have some form of anti-bullying law, almost all of which can apply in some way to cyberbullying. Below is a quick chart of cyberbullying laws by state

State

Anti-Bullying Law?

Cyberbullying Specific Law?

Cyber Harassment?

Cyber Stalking?

Criminal?

Alabama

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

Alaska

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Arizona

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Arkansas

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

California

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Colorado

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Connecticut

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Delaware

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Florida

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Potential

Georgia

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hawaii

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Potential

Idaho

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Illinois

Yes

Yes

Repealed

Yes

Yes

Indiana

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Iowa

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Potential

Kansas

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Kentucky

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Louisiana

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Maine

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Maryland

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Massachusetts

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Michigan

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Potential

Minnesota

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Potential

Mississippi

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Missouri

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Montana

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Nebraska

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Potential

New Hampshire

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

New Jersey

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

New Mexico

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

New York

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

North Carolina

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

North Dakota

Yes

Yes

Yes

Potential

Yes

Ohio

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Potential

Oklahoma

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Oregon

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Potential

Pennsylvania

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rhode Island

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

South Carolina

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

South Dakota

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Texas

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Utah

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Vermont

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virginia

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Washington

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

West Virginia

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Potential

Wisconsin

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

Wyoming

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Seeking Legal Advice


Bullying is an increasingly serious social problem. With the increase of social media and people using the Internet, cyberbullying has become more and more criminalized. If you may have engaged in cyberbullying, you should consider seeking the advice of a local attorney in your state to be counseled on what your next step should be. Likewise, if you have been the victim of cyberbullying, an attorney familiar with the laws of you state can help ensure your bullying stops and help you get compensation for your harm.

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Last Modified: 10-26-2016 09:37 AM PDT

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