Cyberbullying

If you realize you took part in cyberbullying someone – delete the content, apologize to the person and set a good example by telling others not to engage in these activities themselves. It is never too late to do the right thing!

What is Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying is when someone threats, harasses, shames, writes or posts hurtful things about another person online.

This includes:

  • Harassing a person to send pictures or videos of themselves or to do things they don’t want to online.
  • Sending intimate or embarrassing images of a person without their consent
  • Exposing a person to pornographic material against their will
  • Sending threats about activities done online
  • Writing offensive or hurtful words against or about a person online

What can you do if someone is bullying you online?

By reacting to something posted online you are actually increasing the visibility of the post and making it more public. Even if your intentions are to show disapproval of the content, you are actually allowing more people to be exposed to the offensive content. Reporting, or in cases where the content is not abusive – ignoring, are better options. 

  • Ignoring – Some cases of cyberbullying involve a few hurtful words and end there. Your first reaction may be to send something hurtful back, but this can just make things worse and actually encourage the cyberbully to continue. Sometimes the person who is harassing you is only checking your reactions and is interested in making you feel upset. If you ignore and show that it does not affect you, they may likely stop.
  • Reporting – Any case that of cyberbullying that does not stop, or if the cyberbully actions involve sending offensive or illegal content such as CSAM, it must be reported. Reporting can help stop the person who is harassing you, and can also help prevent other people from getting hurt. Reporting can be done either by telling a trusted adult or by reporting here. Most apps and websites have options for reporting any content of abusive nature as well.

Take notice of your own actions – Make sure YOU are not cyberbullying anyone

  • Maybe you saw a naked picture of someone you know and forwarded it just because you thought it looked good, or thought that your friends would like it. But think about the person in the photo and how it would affect them. Don’t do something that might hurt someone else and that you wouldn’t want done to yourself!
  • Sometimes it is easy to forget how much a person can get hurt online because you cannot see their reactions in person. But saying offensive things online is just as bad as saying them to their face.
  • Shaming a person online can reach a large amount of people and can create long term social implications for that person. It can also lead to serious psychological and emotional problems that may lead to the person’s self-harm. Never engage in activities that may put someone in such distress.
  • Anything you post online can easily be lost of your control and can be almost impossible to remove. If you take part of activities online that lead to someone else’s harm, you are not only ruining someone else’s life. You are also leaving a negative impression of yourself that will always be seen and can impact your own future as well.