Bullying is specific form of aggression, as stated in the first criterion below. However, there are two important additional criteria

  1. The acts are intentional (as with all aggression)
  2. It happens persistently. That means it is done again and again by the same perpetrators against the same exposed person. Another form of persistence is when something is around over a prolonged period of time, like rumors, exclusion from real or virtual social groups, or hurtful content on the net or other electronic media
  3. The power ballance is uneven. Those who do it are somehow in a stronger position, making it difficult or impossible for the exposed part to defend or protect himself or herself

When all three of these criteria are found for a situation, we shall call it bullying. The third criterion has important implications for classifying bullying as abuse or conflict.