Anti-Bullying Week 2020 is coming to an end, but our hard work never ends. We partnered with the amazing content team over at Screen Shot on their campaign #NotJustaComment, raising awareness for cyberbullying, and how often it can be a throw comment on social media that can impact us the most. 

In our Annual Bullying Survey we found that bullying increased by 25%, that 1 in 4 received abuse online as a result and that the pandemic lockdown increased cyberbullying exponentially. We don’t want this to happen for another year. Check out the awesome campaign below to put an end to hate in the comments section. 

Screen Shot Logo

#NotJustaComment 

Screen Shot asked six people in the public eye to talk about the comments they’ve received on social media. Sophia Hadjipaneteli, Zain Shah, Harnaam Kaur, Jennifer McKing, Suede Brooks and Josh Moore all took part, reading mean comments posted on their own channels to highlight how frequently and savagely they can often be insulted. 

Check out the video here

Gif of the campaign video featuring four personalities. Title reads Screen Shot by Ditch the Label.

Founder of Screen Shot, Shira Jeczmien, said:

“Screen Shot has always been vocal about the impact of bullying and online hate on young people’s well-being, and partnering with Ditch the Label as well as 6 inspiring advocates was a powerful opportunity to approach the discourse from an honest and direct point of view.

To raise awareness of the matter, we created a unique landing page for the campaign where people can find extra resources regarding Anti-Bullying Week 2020. As a campaign, Not Just A Comment is our way of keeping the dialogue surrounding online bullying open within our community in order to make sure everyone can engage with it, share their own struggles and fight this together.”

Check out the campaign page here! 

You’re cancelled. 

‘Cancel culture’ is something we are all familiar with, whether it’s happened to you, or someone you follow in the public eye. For those that don’t know what it is, ‘being cancelled’ refers to the way in which media personalities are called out for mistakes on social media, often made many years ago. But it’s not just one person, and usually results in a digital witch hunt until their career or lives are destroyed or worse. 

Even though cancelling someone might start with good intentions, perhaps to stand up for what is right, or to make people reconsider their mistakes, so often it can end in tragedy. We only need to remember the tragic events that resulted in the death of Caroline Flack, to realise that something has to change in the way we react to the mistakes of those in the public eye.

We want to lead the charge against ‘cancel culture’. That’s why Ditch the Label is thrilled to announce our new partnership with international makeup brand, P. Louise. To kick it off, this is the story of their new collection ‘Cancelled’ from the founder and CEO of P. Louise; Paige. 

Get your hands on the limited edition collection here.

The story of Cancelled – by Paige Louise 

First of all, many people have assumed the collection portrays my own personal mistakes and faults which have been highlighted to the media and the public. The truth is that Cancelled is not about my previous mistakes but cancel culture, cyberbullying and how social media can quickly turn toxic.

I want to make it clear that the release of this collection is not to undermine my past mistakes. In fact, I want to take this chance to apologise again.

I cannot rewind time but I can strive to know better, grow and be better. 

Life is a process of learning and unlearning. Being truly sorry means showing up, even when it makes you uncomfortable. It’s about turning the fear of criticism and disapproval into change – and I am committed to that process. 

Understanding where you go wrong in life and accepting your mistakes is important, but so is shifting your relationship with criticism. I’ve taught myself that it’s important to embrace it – criticism means there’s an opportunity to do more learning and allow for more understanding.

However, the Cancelled collection goes far beyond my personal mistakes and errors. It goes without saying that nobody is perfect, humans in general are a fundamentally flawed species. But ‘cancelling’ someone won’t help them grow and humiliating someone won’t help them become better. 

The detrimental effect that trolling has on people can lead to anxiety, self-doubt and sometimes sadly, even suicide. Comments that you may think are irrelevant, such as what dress a person is wearing or what lipstick shade they’re rocking, can be impactful to a person.

What may not affect you, may affect someone else immensely. 

With Cancelled, I want to highlight that no matter the circumstances you are in, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Together we will tackle cyberbullying and make social media a happy and positive environment, which is why I am thrilled to announce that a percentage of profits made by the Cancelled collection will be going to Ditch the Label, to support those who have been through cyberbullying. 

Love, Paige x

People are human. Media personalities, instagram influencers, celebrities, are human. And humans make mistakes sometimes. We should all have the opportunity to learn from them, grow from them, and educate others on those lessons, and most of us are lucky enough to be able to do that in relative privacy. Those in the public eye do not have that privilege. If we cancel everyone who makes a mistake, all we do is ruin careers and ruin lives. 

We need to cancel our ‘cancel culture’.

Click here to get your hands on the limited edition collection

Check out these articles for more:

The Dos and Dont’s:

In our research, we found that almost half of us have experienced bullying at one point or another. Given what a high number of people that is, it is still very common to be on the receiving end of advice that although means well, isn’t always very helpful.

We also know that an alarmingly high number of us never report it and suffer in silence instead. If a friend or loved one does decide to open up to you and share what they are going through, sometimes it is hard to know how to appropriately respond.

With this mind we have compiled a list of things to avoid saying to them, as well as a helpful alternative:

1. Don’t say: ‘Ignore it’

This old chestnut can be very damaging. Being told to ignore something that is causing you stress and anxiety is not helpful. Ignoring the bullying unsurprisingly doesn’t actually work and saying something like this might stop them from sharing anything else in the future. This could have a serious effect on their mental health and lead to things such as depression, and more extreme outcomes.

Do say: ‘Let’s talk about it’

This is a way more helpful and compassionate response. Feeling like your voice is being heard is extremely important as it makes us feel less alone. It also lets us know that someone cares and is interested in what’s going on in our life, without looking to fix or dismiss the problem.


2. Don’t say: ‘It’s just a part of growing up’

Whilst experiencing bullying growing up is all too common, it does not mean you have to accept it as a rite of passage. Saying this also offers no advice on how to deal with the problem at hand.

Do say: ‘What’s been going on?’

This question gives the person the opportunity to talk honestly and openly if they wish to get what’s bothering them off of their chest.


3. Don’t say: ‘Stop being so sensitive’

This piece of advice is particularly harmful. It implies it is their reaction to the bullying that is the problem, and that if they were less ‘sensitive’ the issue would magically disappear. This is not the case. You also might embarrass them by referring to their reaction to the situation as ‘sensitive’ as it implies they are overreacting. This might stop them speaking up and seeking help in the future.

Do say: ‘It ok to feel upset/angry’ etc

You need to reassure them that whatever they are feeling is perfectly normal and natural. Try and make them understand that there is no right or wrong when it comes to feelings – all we really need to do is acknowledge them.


4. Don’t say: ‘Just stand up for yourself’

As a piece of advice, this doesn’t work for a few reasons. It can make the person feel powerless as they might not feel able to stand up for themselves or know how to go about standing up themselves. They might also be fearful of the consequences.

Do say: “I’m here for you, what do you want to do about it?”

This lets the person know you care and that you want to help them through this tough situation and most importantly, it is not their fault.


5. Don’t say: ‘Fight back’

Bullying isn’t always something you can meet with force as it can very easily spiral out of control. Often reacting in an aggressive manner can make the situation worse and can put them at risk of physical harm. If they feel it is a safe and appropriate action to take, maybe encourage them to try talking to the person who is doing the bullying.

Remind them to challenge the behaviour, not the person – so instead of accusing the person of being a ‘bully’, explain why their actions or words are causing distress.

For example, instead of saying “you’re upsetting me”, they could say “what you said/did has upset me”. It might be appropriate to suggest that a teacher or responsible adult hosts a mediation between them. A mediation can feel scary for those involved but is often incredibly powerful; it is essentially a face-to-face conversation between the person who is being bullied and the person doing the bullying in a controlled, equal environment.

Do say: ‘How can we deal with this together?’

Understandably it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you are being attacked and therefore they might feel like they are facing the problem alone, with no one they can depend on for support.

Your friendship could make all the difference to them right now. Spend time with them, make sure they know they are not alone and try to do things that will boost their self-esteem and confidence. It’s important that they still look after their health and maintain a good diet, exercise and things like meditation and yoga. It is also important that you remember to look after yourself as well and don’t take too much on.

what to say to someone who is being bullied

6. Don’t say: ‘Just avoid them’

By saying this, you are minimising and undermining the problem. It is also not realistic to think that these situations can be easily avoided. It is better to acknowledge what is happening and try to think of ways to combat or resolve the bullying.

Do say: ‘You don’t deserve to be treated like this’

Remind them that they deserve to be treated with respect. Often people who are bullied can feel like a ‘victim’ but it’s important that they don’t disempower themselves and let the bullying dictate who they are. They need to find ways to regain control, confidence and self-esteem – we have a great guide on how you can rebuild your self-esteem here.

Remind them as often as you can that they are worthy, in control and that things will get better. Head to our blog to read stories of how people have overcome similar situations and gone on to do great things, it will help reassure them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


7. Don’t say: ‘Telling someone will just make it worse, so don’t bother’

Almost 1 in 2 young people who experience bullying never tell anybody for this very reason. A mixture of embarrassment, fear and a lack of faith in the current support systems stops people reaching out. Please don’t encourage someone to suffer in silence.

Do say: ‘Talk to someone you trust.’

It can feel exposing and uncomfortable talking about our experiences of being bullied, that’s why talking to someone we trust can make a difference.  

It is important they share with someone what they are going through – they shouldn’t go through something like this alone as it is extremely stressful, and can be emotionally draining to endure bullying.

This stress can have an impact on all areas of your life, including your mental well-being, ability to communicate with others, performance in school/work, self-esteem and confidence.

It is therefore incredibly important that they tell somebody they trust about what they are going through; it doesn’t even have to be an adult – it could be a friend or somebody at Ditch the Label. It is vital, during a traumatic time, that they have a support system and people who they can rely on when they are feeling low, or unable to cope.

Join the community to talk to digital mentors or other people who are going through bullying – you do not need to go through it alone anymore… 

What We Do

Every year at Ditch the Label, we carry out extensive research into bullying by asking students across the country about their experiences.

We delve into the reasons why people bully and are bullied, as well as asking important questions about things like relationships, gender, mental health and body image.

This groundbreaking research also takes a look at the nature of different types of bullying, the long terms effects that bullying has on people’s emotional well-being and how it’s changed over time. It’s pretty eye-opening stuff.

Bullying: The Facts…

So, here are our main findings from the last couple of years’ work in a nifty list of 21 things we bet you didn’t already know about bullying (pssst…if you did already know them, you probably heard it from us 😜).

Remember, if you are being bullied or you just have something you want to talk about, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

1. More than half of people under 25 have experienced bullying at some point.

facts about bullying, cyberbullying, stats, facts

2. 20% of people surveyed, said that they often experienced verbal bullying.

3. 24% of young people are worried about getting abuse online

4. People with a physical disability, are unfortunately more likely to experience bullying than a person without a physical disability. #NotCool

5. 5% of people surveyed, said that they constantly experienced physical bullying.

6. Social exclusion is a form of bullying. That means, when your mates leave you out on purpose to hurt your feelings, they are indirectly bullying you.

7. More than a third of people go on to develop Social Anxiety and Depression as a direct result of bullying.

8. Almost a quarter of those who have been bullied have had suicidal thoughts.

facts about bullying

9. Guys are more likely to bully someone than anyone else.

10.  Those who bully are far more likely to have experienced stressful and traumatic situations in recent times.

11. Of those who bullied daily, 58% had experienced the death of a relative.

12. Bullying is not an identity, it is a learnt behaviour – find out more about that here.

13. The #1 most common reason why people experience bullying is because of attitudes towards their appearance, with attitudes towards hobbies & interests and clothing coming in close at second and third place.

14. 69% of people have admitted to doing something abusive to another person online

15. 62% of people said they were bullied by a classmate

16. People who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to experience bullying.

Bullying is never, ever the fault of the person on the receiving end of it. Here’s why

What about Online?

17. 26% of people reported experiencing cyberbullying in the past 12-months. (2019)

18. More than a quarter of people have had suicidal thoughts as a result of cyberbullying.

facts about bullying

19. 35% of people have sent a screenshot of someone’s status to laugh at in a group chat. #ShadyOnlineBehaviour 

20. Almost two-thirds of people agreed that social networks don’t do enough to combat cyberbullying.

21. 44% of people under 25 said that ‘real-life’ means ‘only things that happen offline.’

And there you have it – 21 facts about bullying you probably never knew before.

All statistics are taken from Ditch the Label research.

If you are being bullied and need someone to talk to, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

Over the years, Ditch the Label have written many guides and support articles to help you face and deal with bullying. One of the core pieces of advice that we give is the importance of sharing what you are going through and being honest with someone you trust.

For so many of us, that in itself feels like the impossible thought and is a major stumbling block in getting the help and support we deserve.

So, why is it so damn hard to just open our mouths and talk about being bullied?

Shame.

Shame is as toxic and erosive as acid. It causes immeasurable damage to our wellbeing and is one of the biggest offenders for why we silence ourselves in the face of being bullied, coming out, or dealing with mental health issues.

The bottom line is when we feel shame, what we are thinking is ‘I AM BAD’ not ‘something bad happened to me’ or I did something bad, shame sends the message YOU are bad.

The difference is huge and guess what the antidote for shame is? To talk about it, to share it, to out it, and I promise you it will begin to lessen.

Don’t let shame silence you, you are too important.

Embarrassment.

Embarrassment is another biggie for why we don’t feel able to talk about the big stuff like being bullied – for this one, we have our egos to thank.

Our egos can’t stand being embarrassed and will do anything to stop this happening including keeping our mouths shut. But how unfair is that?

When something happens that is out of our control, our egos pipe up with ‘better keep that one quiet’ and not tell anyone. You have nothing to be embarrassed about so always share your problems!

Fear.

Fear has a lot to answer. It’s a fundamental reason for why we all keep quiet and don’t tell anyone what’s going on. It can be a suffocating emotion that quickly takes over if we let it. Fear, like embarrassment, doesn’t want to be discussed and distorts our thinking.

Living in fear and silence can be a living hell. So if there is something you are just too scared to talk about it with anyone, contact us here. There will be no judgement, just support.

girl, lady, hat, blue, hair, sunglasses, cold, coat, garage door

Denial.

Denial has most definitely earned itself a place on this list. When we deny something is going on in our lives either unconsciously or consciously we stop ourselves from getting much-needed help.

Every time we kid ourselves that the bullying isn’t that bad or try to handle it alone, it comes at a price. Really ask yourself, is staying quiet and denying it worth your future happiness?

All denial can ever offer is a pause button from facing reality and never a way to fully get through it.

Isolation.

Being bullied is a very lonely experience. It leaves you feeling exposed and singled out. This feeling of isolation is exactly what can stop us from talking about it.

The more alone we feel in what we are going through, the less we want to ask for help.

If you are reading this and there is something going on that you haven’t told anyone. Join our online community and post your questions anonymously in a safe space that’s just for you.

Blame.

One of the biggest reasons why we can struggle to talk about being bullied and share what’s going on is blame. We very easily begin to think that we are the problem and it is our fault. We blame ourselves and internalize all the negativity.

Being bullied is never your fault. Please don’t let that kind of thinking stop you from telling someone close to you.


If you are being bullied, you do not need to go through it alone.

If you ever need help, Ditch the Label is here for you. You can contact us here or for more help, join our community.

We’ve partnered with Simple who’ve teamed up with Little Mix to take a stand against online hate and bullying, wipe away unkind words and empower everyone to #ChooseKindness. We caught up with Little Mix about the campaign and their experiences with online hate.

DTL: Obviously, you guys get a lot of crap in the press about what you wear and your message, have you found the same online? 

Perrie – ‘It’s always online. The majority of the stick that we get comes from social media, from people behind their computer screens, their phone screens. In the comments section of articles and stuff, it’s just all the time.’

DTL: Who’s got the best clapbacks to that kind of stuff?

Leigh-Anne – ‘Jade definitely! She always knows what to say!’

DTL: A lot of young people deal with online abuse every day – what would you say to them? 

Perrie – ‘It’s really hard because when people are being cruel online, it’s hard to deal with. When you are not that kind of person and someone is acting that way, you just don’t know why someone would want to say something nasty or cruel. You just have to stay confident in yourself, and maybe try to talk to someone close who will listen to you.’ 

DTL: Did you ever used to look at negative comments online about yourselves? 

Jade – ‘Oh yeah. I think we’ve all been guilty of looking at the comments, and I think at one point we used to obsess over it, and that’s obviously a really unhealthy way to live your life. It’s how you start to get more insecure about yourself, and over the years we’ve really learnt how to not let that negativity in, and how bad that was for us. It’s now kind of out of sight, out of mind – we try not to read it any more. It’s great that Instagram lets you block words and things you don’t want to see. It helps us surround ourselves with much more positive stuff.’ 

DTL: The photoshoot you guys did for ‘Strip’ deals with a lot of this – what would you say is the worst thing anyone has ever said to you that you remember?

Leigh Anne – ‘I think for me if anyone has ever said ‘you are not good enough’ or has questioned my ability. Like if you do a bum note and people comment on that, or you miss a dance move. It happens! But it does really stick in my mind because it’s just questioning if you are good at what you do.’

DTL: Recently, you guys have started to talk about your struggles with mental health – what made you want to start talking about it? 

Perrie – ‘I think it’s because we’re in a good place right now, and when you are in a good headspace, you can talk about these things a little easier. Hopefully, it will just help someone else out there who has gone through the same thing.’

DTL: Why is talking about it so important? How can we all start talking about it more? 

Jade – ‘I think the more you talk about it, the more everyone does, it starts to normalise it. It becomes a less taboo subject to talk about and in doing so, helps a lot of people. I think for a lot of time, mental health wasn’t really spoken about enough, and could escalate because no one spoke about it. 

Jesy – ‘Yeah and I think the more you talk about it, it’s like a weight being lifted off your shoulders. I think especially with social media, we have this huge platform which we want to use to talk about this kind of stuff and be positive. I guess we hope it would help combat some of the negativity online as well.’ 

[full-width-figure image=”https://www.ditchthelabel.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/KV-shrunk.jpg”]

DTL: Do you think the stuff you’ve had to deal with online has contributed to this? 

Jade – ‘I think one of the main reasons I wanted to talk about it more is, you come out the other side of dealing with this stuff, and when you’re in a better place you want to. Also I think we are being listened to more, and people are starting to take notice and understand how much of an impact big artists can have, and we hope it can only help.’ 

DTL: What do you think can or should be done to deal with online abuse? How can we make the internet a more positive place? 

Perrie – ‘In real life, rather than online, if you see somebody in the street, you’d be more likely to compliment them than scream at them. We think a compliment goes a long way. We just believe in making people feel good about themselves. Instead of tearing somebody down and throwing negative stuff at them 24/7; pick them up and make them feel amazing! It’s the same online, reach out to people and let them know how great you think they are instead of being negative.’

Leigh Anne – ‘More needs to be done by other people to combat it too. Like there should be more moderation from platforms and stuff. And maybe bigger consequences for people that do it often, because the consequences for those that go through it can be huge, the biggest.’ 

Jade – ‘Yeah the effect that it has on people’s mental health can be massive, and there seems like there isn’t enough being done by everyone at the moment to stop it from happening. 

DTL: What would you say to someone who posts the negative stuff online? 

Jade – ‘The majority of the time, the people are spreading hate online have a lot of issues themselves in their personal lives. It takes a lot of energy to go out of your way to be awful to somebody else, so obviously the root of that is them feeling crap about themselves. So, they need to talk to someone, get some help, find a way of channelling all that energy into something positive. 

Jesy – ‘It’s so much easier to be kind’.

DTL: What do you think they can learn from the #choosekindness campaign?

Perrie – ‘I think, just be kind. That’s the vibe. I don’t think a troll really realises what impact they have on people when they say something nasty, even if it’s in passing for them. The impact of it really has to be understood, and the campaign will hopefully do that, and empower people to be kinder.’

DTL: In the spirit of #choosekindess, what’s the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you? 

Leigh-Anne – ‘The kindest thing, for me, would be the girls and how they are such a positive support system in my life. When I come to work, I know I have three friends to come to. That’s a really nice feeling.’

Watch how Little Mix wipe away unkind words and check out the video from the #ChooseKindness campaign below


We’ve teamed up with Simple who have teamed up with Little Mix to tackle online hate. For more information on #ChooseKindness, click here

are you being cyber bullied?

Cyberbullying comes in a whole range of different shapes and sizes and is something that is totally subjective to the person being cyberbullied.

From our research on cyberbullying, we found that up to 7 in 10 young people experience cyberbullying before the age of 18.

Ditch the Label defines cyberbullying as the following:

Cyberbullying is the use of digital technologies with an intent to offend, humiliate, threaten, harass or abuse somebody.

– Ditch the Label

We all spend a ridiculous amount of time online. With the internet in your pocket, in school, at work and at home, it is impossible to escape it. That’s why being bullied online can be absolutely rubbish, and can make it feel impossible to live your life. We have put together this so you can understand everything you need to know about cyberbullying and where you can get help if you need it. 

What are the different types of cyberbullying?

Examples of cyberbullying include:

  • Nasty messages online or on your mobile phone
  • Comments or replies on your social media posts or posts about you
  • Being excluded from online group chats on purpose
  • Embarrassing or harmful photos being put online without your permission
  • Sending offensive pictures through a messaging app
  • Rumours and lies about you on a website, messaging app or social media platform
  • Offensive chat or voice communication on an online game
  • Fake online profiles being created with an intent to defame you

If you are experiencing cyberbullying or you know someone who is, check out our Top 9 Tips For Dealing With Cyberbullying or visit our Community to talk to a trained digital mentor who can help you with what to do next.


Are you being Cyberbullied?

Asking yourself the following questions can help you determine whether you’re being cyberbullied:

  • Are you on the receiving end of hurtful comments online?
  • Is someone persistently bothering you on social media?
  • Have you ever been threatened by someone you know online?
  • Do people spread gossip or rumours about you on the internet?
  • Has a picture of you been shared without your consent?
  • Have you been hacked or impersonated online?
  • Are you being blackmailed online?

Are you looking to prevent cyberbullying?

Anybody can become a recipient of cyberbullying, regardless of how old they are or the kind of job that they do or what their hobbies might be. It is never anything to do with you.


Cyberbullying Statistics

From our research, we found that up to 7 in 10 young people experience cyberbullying before the age of 18.

Taken from The Annual Bullying Survey, Ditch the Label

  • 7 out of 10 young people have been victims of cyberbullying.
  • 37% of young people have experienced cyberbullying on a highly frequent basis
  • 20% of young people have experienced extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis
  • Young people are found to be twice as likely to be bullied on Instagram than on any other social network.
  • 54% of young people using Facebook reported that they have experienced bullying on the network.
  • 28% of young people using Twitter reported that they have experienced bullying on the network.
  • Cyberbullying is found to have catastrophic effects on the self-esteem and social lives of up to 69% of young people.
  • An estimated 5.43 million young people in the UK have experienced cyberbullying with 1.26 million subjected to extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis.
  • New research shows that young males and females are equally at risk.

Taken from The Wireless Report, Ditch the Label

  • 37% 13 – 25-year-olds have sent a naked photo of themselves (63% to a boyfriend/girlfriend and 32% to someone they are attracted to)
  • 30% of 15 yr olds have sent a naked photo of themselves at least once
  • 15% of 13 & 14 yr olds have sent a naked photo of themselves at least once
  • 5% of 13-year-olds send naked photos several times a week.
  • 24% have sent a naked photo to someone they know only online.
  • 24% have had a naked photo shared without their consent.
  • 49% believe is just harmless fun.
  • 16% said it’s the normal thing to do.
  • 13% felt pressurised into doing it.
  • Females are twice as likely to send a naked photo of themselves more than once a week than men.
  • 62% have been sent nasty private messages via smartphone apps
  • 52% have never reported the abuse they have received.
  • 47% have received nasty profile comments
  • 40% have received nasty photo comments.
  • 42% have received hate-based comments (racism, homophobia etc.)
  • 28% have had personal information shared without consent.
  • 52% have never reported abuse on smartphone apps
  • 26% felt like it wasn’t taken seriously when reported
  • 49% experienced a loss in confidence as a result of the bullying
  • 28% retaliated and sent something abusive back
  • 24% turned to self-harm as a coping mechanism
  • 22% tried to change their appearance to avoid further abuse
  • 13% stopped using the app

What Does The Law Say?

As cyberbullying is a relatively new phenomenon, the UK courts are still trying to catch up with it and sentence offenders effectively. Though no laws specifically apply to cyberbullying alone, there are several laws which can be applied in cyberbullying cases:

  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
  • Malicious Communications Act 1988
  • Communications Act 2003
  • Breach of the Peace (Scotland)
  • Defamation Act 2013

In 2012 The Crown Prosecution Service published guidelines on how cyberbullying cases would be assessed against current laws, which you can find here.

On January 1st 2014, the Defamation Act 2013 came into order and can be read here.

Cyber Bullying Prosecutions

Cyberbullying cases can often go unreported by victims for fear of what people may say, and indeed this was an issue faced by Nicola Brookes, who was remorselessly cyberbullied after posting a message of support on Frankie Cocozza’s Facebook page. After taking evidence to the Police with no success, she took her case to the High Court and won a battle with Facebook to have her bullies’ names revealed. You can read more about the story here. The case was a landmark battle, as for the first time it meant a website had to release members’ details, opening them up for prosecution.

Trolls are increasingly being taken to court and if found guilty, given fines and facing jail terms. Two people who sent abusive messages towards Caroline Criado-Perez were jailed for 8 weeks and 12 weeks and were ordered to pay £800 in fines.

A website owner will generally be responsible for content posted on the website, meaning that if a defamatory comment (or series of comments) exists on a website, the site’s owner can be taken to court – this is how Nicola Brookes was able to get information about her trolls from Facebook. Alternatively, it may be possible to take the troll themselves to court, as has been seen in the case of Caroline Criado-Perez. As with any court case, the evidence is essential and it’s important to catalogue any abuse you may receive. KnowtheNet has produced a helpful infographic on how to interact on the internet, and you can see it here.

On a different note, after boxer Curtis Woodhouse had been trolled by the same account on Twitter for months, he put a bounty on the address of his assailant and visited the troll’s house to solicit an apology from him. Though this isn’t advised, it’s a good example of how cowardly bullies are when the tables are turned.

Reporting Cyberbullying

Reporting Cyberbullying on Facebook

 How to report and remove a post
–  On the post that you want to report/remove, click on the arrow icon in the top right hand side and select I don’t like this post.
–  When the window pops open just click the appropriate reason for removing the post.
–  Then you are given the options on how to proceed. You are given plenty of options to choose from.
–  Once you have gone through this short process, you will have several options on how to proceed including blocking the person who made the original post and making a complaint to Facebook.

Blocking a User
–  You can still block users by going to their Facebook page. Once on their profile page go to the top right corner and click on the button to the right of the messages button.
–  You now have the option to report or block them.

Dealing with Abusive Messages
–  If you are using the chatbox then click on the options logo in the right corner followed by Report as Spam or Abuse…
–  If you are in your inbox, select the message that you want to get rid of or report from the left-hand column by clicking on it.
–  Click on Actions at the top of your screen and select Report as Spam or Abuse…
–  Three options will appear so just click on the one that is appropriate.

Reporting Cyberbullying on Twitter

Blocking a user through a Tweet
–  On the tweet that you want to block, click on the more (…) icon at the bottom of the Tweet and click Block.

Blocking a user through a profile
–  Go to the profile page of the user you want to block.
–  Click on the options icon next to the follow button and select block.
–  You can also report users by completing these same steps.

Reporting Cyberbullying on Instagram

Reporting Content or a User
–  Click on the options arrow either on a post or the users profile and click report.

Getting Further Support

Whether you’re being cyberbullied yourself or know somebody that is, help is at hand. Visit our help section for more information or join the Ditch the Label community today.

Research papers

If you want to learn more about bullying-related trends, behaviours and attitudes across the past six years. We’ve got loads of research for you to read!

What Is Conflict Resolution 101?

Most of us will do absolutely anything to avoid having awkward conversations and to stay as far away from confrontation as humanly possible. Unfortunately, conflict is just a part of daily living, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. It’s impossible for us all to agree on absolutely everything and it’s also impossible to breeze through life without falling out with your best mate, hitting rock bottom with your bub or having a complete and utter breakdown of communication with your family.

There’s also a growing amount of evidence to show that some of the skills we’re going to share in this piece can be great ways at tackling bullying. We’ve put together the ultimate guide on conflict resolution to help you tackle bullying head-on and to patch up that fall out that’s playing on your mind. The techniques will also help you become better at negotiating and help you avoid further conflict.

Get a notepad and take notes. Here are the 16 things you need to know about conflict resolution:


1. Know what it is first

Conflict resolution is all about finding a peaceful solution to a problem between 2 or more people. Conflict resolution can be used to resolve a massive range of issues – from war and corruption to divorce, bullying and breakdowns in communication.

2. Assess risk

Sometimes it isn’t appropriate to do the conflict resolution yourself. If the person causing you distress has a history of violence or aggressive behaviour and confrontation could put you at risk, then explore other options. If you feel like you could safely speak to the person directly, read on…

3. Address your fears

Know that the idea of conflict resolution at first can feel absolutely terrifying and intimidating, but please don’t let it deter you. Know that most of us find confrontation uncomfortable and do remember that there is a strong chance that this will help you solve the issue.

4. Structure your conversation

Before you have your conversation, make sure you are familiar with how you’d like to structure it. An example is below:

  • Request the conversation. Example: “Hey Tom, I wondered if we could chat for a minute about something I have on my mind?”
  • Establish an outcome: “It would be great if we could figure out a better way of talking with each other”
  • Say your piece: “You keep calling me stupid. I’m not stupid and it makes me feel embarrassed. I’ve been worried about it. Did I do something to upset you?”
  • Allow them to talk. Remain calm and receptive.
  • Negotiate and agree on a solution.
  • Thank them for talking to you about it.

5. Get neutral

Conflict resolution works best when it is done in a neutral setting, like a public park, coffee shop or empty classroom. Sometimes it may be beneficial to have strangers around to prevent it turning into a huge argument, but that’s up to you.

6. It ain’t a group activity

In order to be effective, the conversation needs to either be facilitated by a trained mediator or should be just between you and the person you have issues with. This is not a point scoring exercise or a way to prove who is right and who is wrong, so don’t allow a group dynamic to influence the process.

7. DON’T SHOUT

Nothing ever got resolved by shouting. Seriously, can you think of anything that shouting ever resolved? Not really. If the other person starts to shout, no matter how angry or tempted you are, don’t do it. Stop talking and wait until they’ve stopped. Tell them you don’t want to argue and talk to them as you normally would. If they keep on shouting, suggest a break or consider ending the session.

8. Take bullet points

At first, it’s likely that you will feel nervous and stressed. These feelings will pass, but can temporarily cloud your mind. This is why it’s a good idea to write down a few bullet points of things you’d like to tell the other person before you meet with them. If you feel more comfortable, you could even write a few paragraphs of things you’d like to say and read it out to them. Be honest and tell them that the conversation makes you nervous because it’s important to you. Unless they have deeply rooted issues, it is likely that sharing something vulnerable with them will encourage them to drop their guard and be more receptive to you.

9. Don’t be personal

You’ve lost the moment you say something to purposely insult the other person. Conflict resolution isn’t a fancy way to argue, the whole point of the process is to resolve conflict.

10. Be objective

A good structure of conversation is to first talk about the observation, then the impact and then what needs to change/ask why. Example: ’You called me fat in front of the class, it made me feel embarrassed and upset and I’d like it if you didn’t do that again’.

11. Focus on an outcome

Mutually agree on an outcome at the start of the session and do refer to it should the conversation start to detract… for example, if you’ve fallen out with your best mate and they’ve been talking about you behind your back, a good outcome would be something that isn’t blaming, something like ‘We’d like to figure out what went wrong and rebuild our friendship.’

12. Repeat language back

It is likely that the other person will feel defensive at first. A great and subtle way of encouraging them to lower their barriers is to start using some of the same language. They likely won’t consciously realise it, but subconsciously they will interpret it as you both have similar ways of communicating.

13. Talk and listen

Listen as much as you are talking. A good conflict resolution session is balanced and a safe space for people to talk openly and honestly about how they feel. If you are using conflict resolution to resolve a bullying-related issue, keep in mind that often, people bully others because they have deeper issues that they aren’t coping with properly.

14. Negotiate

Be prepared to negotiate, but never allow anybody to make you feel as if your emotions aren’t valid. If you’re feeling it, it’s real and you are entitled to feel upset or angry for example. If you’re being bullied, never take ownership of your own abuse. Do be receptive to what the person has to say though and try to be respectful, even if deep down you feel as though you hate the person and how they have treated you.

15. Know when to end

If the other person is unresponsive, know when to end the conversation and to try a different resolution tactic.

16. Remember

Regardless of the outcome, learning conflict resolution skills is an invaluable process. This situation is temporary and not everybody is mature enough to have an open and honest conversation. Good luck!

Related content

So today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is a pretty big deal for trans people and allies all over the world. But why do we need this day? It can seem like there is a day for everything, but trust us, this is one of the most important ones out there. That’s why we put together this list of all the reasons why this is a day we all need, not just trans people, but all of us. 

1) Transphobia is still everywhere, especially online 

So we recently put our heads together with our friends over at Brandwatch and we put out a report about transphobia online. They analysed social media posts over three years and found some pretty nasty stuff going down. There were over 1.5 million of transphobic comments across all kinds of social media. That’s ridiculous. You can read our full report here

2) In fact, some are even inciting the murder and genocide of trans people online 

The same report found that there was a scale of online hate directed towards transgender people. It went from ‘acts of trans bias’ all the way up to inciting trans genocide. That’s horrendous. Plus, there was a whole bunch of anti-trans slurs used online. The most common slur we found was the term ‘tranny’ or ‘trannies’, which was cited 1.2 million times, and accounted for 80% of the abuse that we found. Other terms were ‘Shemale’ at 156,000 times, ‘Gender-bender’ at 56,000 times, ‘transtrender’ at 32,000 times, ‘chicks with dicks’ at 26,000 times, ‘Heshe’ at 18,000 times, ‘Ladyboy’ at 6,000, ‘Shehe’ at 3,000 times and ‘trap’ at 450 times. 

3) Trans people of colour are a specific target

Race was a huge motivator in the abuse, and trans women of colour were a huge target especially. There have also been some pretty high profile cases in the US of trans women of colour being the victims of violence. Literally because they are living as their selves. We know, it seems wild right? 

4) Trans people are still having their rights attacked in public spaces

Global politics are also a big motivator for anti-trans speech. Like when Trump was elected and inaugurated, there was a big spike in transphobic stuff going down online and in public. Things like the military ban on trans people in the US and Ricky Gervais’ new transphobic material are all quietly attacking the rights of trans people to live a normal life. 

5) There is no safe space 

Pride was always a place where anyone in the LGBT+ space can protest, celebrate and remember those that lost their lives fighting for the rights and freedoms that LGBT+ people can enjoy today. But, London Pride in 2018 was hijacked by transphobic radical feminists, suggesting that trans issues made women’s issues less important. Pride was supposed to be a safe space for anyone who needed one, and even that was taken away. 

6) And it doesn’t look like any of this is going to change anytime soon

Our report found that not only is transphobia a huge issue online, but it also found that it is steadily growing. Transphobic violence is up as well. Unless we all join forces as allies against this kind of abuse, it isn’t going to change. 

7) We need to stop this from happening…

Transgender Day of Rememberance is all about remembering those that were victims of transphobic violence and murder, or those who took their own lives. We need to stop this from happening to more trans people across the globe. 

8) …Because EVERYONE has the basic human right to be who they are…

Every single person on the planet has the right to live their truth, no matter what gender they were assigned at birth and what name they choose when they are ready for a new one. They deserve to go through life unharassed, unattacked, and free from hate. 

9) … And we are ALL better than this.

If an alien came to the planet, what would they think about the way we treat this vulnerable portion of our population? They’d probably find it crazy that we would even dream of harming other human beings like this. We are all better than this, and we can always do more to be an ally. For some top tips on being a trans ally, read our article here

Been affected by transphobic hate? You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here for confidential support and advice. 

We want to believe that we live in a society where the colour of someone’s skin does not mean they are treated differently. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and within our Annual Bullying Survey 2019 we learnt that one in ten people believed that they were bullied because of attitudes towards their race. 

We know that people of colour are disproportionately disadvantaged in society with oppression in the workplace and institutions such as schools and with authorities. This may be out of our hands, but what we can control is the language that we use and create a more inclusive space around us for everyone. 

Obviously, some racism is intentional and in your face. But there is another thing that people of colour are just plain fed up with: microaggressions. Microaggressions are subtle, regular, subconscious discriminations made towards marginalised groups that may not seem like a big deal on their own but together they are a recipe for causing offence. They can be pretty rubbish to hear all the time because it basically means that, despite it being 2019, a lot of stereotypes are still alive and kicking. 

Here are some of the top culprits for microaggressions you may not even realise you are saying:

1) “Your hair is so cool, can I touch it?”

Just because someone’s hair is different from your own, you should never pet them. Appreciate from afar like a work of art. 

2) “So when did you move here?”

Assuming someone wasn’t born in the country just because of the colour of their skin is not a good look. In the UK we are a cultural melting pot and you can still be British and be lots of different races.


3) “Where are you actually from?”

Same as above duh!?

4) “Wow! Your English is just so good”

This person could be a native speaker, they could speak 4 languages, you never know. 


5) “It’s weird, I’ve never really seen you as black.”

THIS. Is something a lot of black people are fed up of hearing. There is no right or wrong way to be black and you saying that you don’t see someone’s race makes them feel erased. 

6) “What kind of food do your people eat?”

…..We all love pizza bro.


7) “Hey, can you tell us what the Indian perspective is on this issue?”

It is not the responsibility of people of colour to speak for their entire race and educate you. We are all separate people with unique thoughts and feelings. 

8) “Wow, you really sound…different….than on the phone”

What were you expecting? The common rhetoric that people of colour all sound a certain way or use ebonics is so reductive. The way you talk is usually influenced by your family or your social group/ where you grew up.

9) “So is your Dad black and your Mum white?” 

So many people jump to thinking that mixed-race people all follow this formula in their genetic make-up. There are so many different variations of mixed race out there and assuming there is only one makes us all feel a bit crappy.

10) “That’s a weird name, its hard to pronounce is it okay if I call you Jim?”

A name is only weird to you because it’s not what you are used to. Learn someones name, learn how to say it, it will mean a lot to them and never just rename them to something you can pronounce! 


And finally…

11) Any variation of “Damn girl you are so sassy/fierce/strong/ *finger snap* you tell em sista!”

No…just no. 


Recognise any of these? 

Don’t worry if you were guilty of making one of these mistakes. A lot of us are. Remember lots of different micro-aggressions built up over time can become mega-aggressions. So have a look at our tips to help de-programme your unconscious bias and try to communicate with empathy. Finally just remember the number 1 rule – don’t be a dick! 

Not sure if you have unconscious bias, take our quiz to find out! 

Have you been affected by bullying? You can speak to one of pour trained Digital Mentors here for one-to-one support and advice.