What is cyberbullying and what can I do about it?
Online bullying can make people feel alone, isolated and like there is no escape from it, but there are things that can be done to help you and places to go for help. In this blog we give some useful advice about the things you can do if someone is bullying you (or one of your friends) online. We’ve also published some helpful information for parents so that they can help support you if they need to!
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is when an individual or group of people use technology to deliberately and repeatedly upset someone else. Cyberbullying can take a range of forms, from public statuses, posts, or images to private messages or group chats. Cyberbullying can also take the form of excluding someone, whether this is stopping them from joining a game or chat, or hiding them from being able to see stories or posts.
The online world can be a great place for discussion and sharing different opinions which can sometimes lead to disagreements, however cyberbullying is different as it is a behaviour that specifically aims to hurt.
Although bullying is not a specific crime in the UK, there are laws that do relate to harassing or threatening behaviour.
I’m being cyberbullied, what should I do?
If you or someone you know is being cyberbullied then there are some key things you can do:
- Don’t retaliate or reply.
- Screenshot and keep the evidence: This means that if the posts get deleted, disappears, or is within a private chat then you can still report it.
- Report the behaviour: This can be to the social media site it is on, or by talking to someone about it (such as a parent or carer).
- Speak to someone: This could be your parents or carers, a teacher, a friend or a helpline such as ChildLine or The Mix.
- Block the person doing the bullying: To stop them making contact you can block the person who is being a cyberbully, this will stop them being able to send friend, follow or message requests and mean that you see no further posts from them.
- Look out for your friends online: If you see you friends online having negative experiences online why not speak to them and help them to get the support they need?
Further places you can go for help and advice
- ChildLine cyberbullying advice
- The Mix advice about cyberbullying
- The Mix also have guidance on when banter turns into bullying