"It's a way to feel like they're taking control of a situation, acquiring power by demeaning others and by making others feel humiliated."
Experts believe there could be some underlying psychological problem as well.
"I have to wonder if there wasn't some pathology involved that they would need to express something so heinous online," said Dellasega. "They couldn't work their negative feelings out in some other way, like through counseling."
They stress that people need more lessons in civility so that incidents like this one and other well-publicized cyber-bullying cases don't become a nationwide epidemic.
"There are lots of ways to solve problems. We need to have a commitment to actually resolve the problem in different ways," said Sheras.
"We need classes on being a good citizen, on supporting each other and being aware of the culture we live in," said Dellasega.