It is not about status. It is about recipient's capacity to raise a complaint about the bully, i.e. the chance of bullying having repercussions on the bully. Bullies pick on people with low self esteem, who are ostracized in the community, and/or who for one reason or another have restricted access to means of defense or support in the community.
Do you mean to say because they do not fight back or complain or see themselves of higher social status, they actually desire or deserve the bullying?
Edit: That would be akin to saying the woman deserved or desired the rape because she did not scratch the rapists face or scream during the act.
Edit 2: If you mean to say the victim did some previous act to trigger/incite the bully to retaliate that is something entirely different.
I don't know where you are getting any of the highlighted from what I wrote. I was speaking, in this school example, of kids who are socially excluded (not popular, don't follow fashions, trends, etc.) but perhaps academically or artistically accomplished, well-supported at home, know their future is secure, etc. Barring physical violence, bullying is a daily nuisance that makes school miserable, but is inconsequential in the bigger picture. They fight back by ignoring, or by the occasional pointed comment to back off. They complain if things get physical or escalate beyond a certain point and are more likely to be heard because of their own credibility. In no way to they think they deserve bullying, and they may even look down on the bully for stooping to such behavior.
If a bully is reacting because of something the victim started, that is not true bullying but just a poor response to conflict. I am assuming a victim who is minding his own business and just wants to be left in peace.
Attacking one's self esteem and worth with the deliberate intent to do so is another form of bullying (verbal/emotional bullying). However it does not justify physical retaliation (which is different than physical bullying) in any case. For something to be considered bullying, it has be done repetitively (like picking someone as a specific target for his/her weak risk of retaliation) and with the specific desire to get off on seeing the victim hurt physically or emotionally/mentally. If one is subjected to repeated verbal bullying (like condescension, social ostracizing etc) they are supposed to produce evidence by making a record or witness of the bullying act and then presenting it to authorities for action. Otherwise, if one responds back with violence, they would look like the assailant and the other party the victim.
This sometimes happen between men and women, where the woman says something provactive with the specific intent to hurt the man's self esteem (like you suck in bed, or I cheated on you or similar) and the man gets triggered and beats the woman. It is easy to prove the wounds of physical beating but not the mental/emotional beating so the first attack gets unpunished whereas the second attack does get punished and rightfully so.
Physical retaliation often happens when complaints about non-physical bullying or abuse are ignored for too long. Authorities and organizations who want to prevent escalation to physical responses need to pay more attention to complaints of non-physical bullying.
Yes but IRL power imbalance is how they explain the resulting lack of consequences. For one reason or other, one person has limited access to internal or external resources of support and protection and therefore cannot avoid bullying.
Interactions online can easily be avoided by ignoring the bully or not reacting to him/her.
Likelihood of consequences is a good way to view it. Even if a victim has access, say, to external support that gives them the fortitude to endure bullying, that does not excuse the bullies or what they do. To echo your earlier definition, getting enjoyment by repeatedly hurting someone else is reprehensible conduct, regardless of how, if at all, the victim is able to respond.
Online an individual can easily avoid a bully, though often that comes at the cost of whatever resources are available in the space where they interact. Even on this site, we have seen how a single bully can drive members from a thread, denying them of interaction that had been mutually enjoyable, and depriving the membership of whatever content would not be posted as a result. In this sense, an online bully often has the effect of peeing in the pool or littering in the park, preventing others from enjoying a common resource.