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.’ 

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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.

Find Out More

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:

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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. 

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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.

Cyberbullying was experienced in the previous 12-months by 26% of the students we spoke to in 2019 and comes in many forms.

Although, like all forms of bullying it is subjective to the recipient, we define cyberbullying as the following

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

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. In fact, it is well documented that a lot of our favourite celebrities and role models also experience cyberbullying, often to an unrelenting extreme.

The most important thing is knowing how to deal with it. Here are the top 9 ways to deal with cyberbullying if you’re being targeted:

1. Never respond

Do not reply to anything that has been said or retaliate by doing the same thing back. Saying something nasty back or posting something humiliating in revenge may make matters worse or even get you into trouble.

2. Screenshot

If you can, take a screenshot of anything that you think could be cyberbullying and keep a record of it on your computer or phone.

3. Block and report

Most online platforms have this function, make sure you block and report the offending users to the appropriate social media platform. Or talk to us about removing it!

4. Talk about it

You may not feel it at the time, but cyberbullying can affect you in many different ways. You are not alone. Talking to somebody about bullying not only helps you seek support but it documents evidence and will take a huge weight from your shoulders.

5. How serious is it?

Assess how serious the cyberbullying is. If it is light name-calling from somebody that you don’t know, it may just be easier to just report and block that user.

If it is more serious, then talk to us or a trusted adult. Whether that be your parents/guardians, an older family member or a teacher at school.

6. Report it

If you are experiencing cyberbullying from somebody you go to school or college with, report it to a teacher. If somebody is threatening you, giving out your personal information or making you fear for your safety, contact the Police or an adult as soon as you can.

7. Be private

We recommend that you keep your social media privacy settings high and do not connect with anybody who you do not know offline. You wouldn’t talk to random people on the street, so why do it online?

People may not always be who they say they are and you could be putting you and those that you care about the most at risk. Learn about catfishing here.

8. Talk to them

Sometimes it may be appropriate to request that a teacher or responsible adult hosts a mediation between you and the person who is bullying you online if they go to the same school or college as you. A mediation can be scary but is often incredibly powerful. It is essentially a face-to-face conversation between you and the person bullying you in a controlled, equal environment. This is a proactive and effective way to deal with online bullying.

9. Sympathise.

Always remember that happy and secure people do not bully others. People who bully are going through a difficult time themselves and will often need a lot of help and support. That doesn’t make it right what they are doing but it does give some insight and understanding and help to reassure you that it is never your fault.

Check out our cyberbullying support hub here, report cyberbullying to us or join our community to start a conversation about cyberbullying.

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The internet is pretty sweet right? We can all agree on that. But for people who are dealing with online hate, it can be a really rubbish place to spend time. The comments section on most articles, photos and celebrity IG’s is pretty much a minefield of tough to read insults or outright lies, and when that is directed at you, it can feel overwhelming and pretty damn lonely. The most important thing to remember if you are going through online abuse is that you are not alone. We’ve got your back and that’s why we have joined up with Simple and Little Mix to bring you a toolkit of how to deal with online hate.

1) Breathe 

Getting angry after receiving some nasty comments is pretty unsurprising, especially when a lot of them are written just to upset you. Using breathing techniques will help get your emotions under control and give you a minute to think about what you want to do next. Try following the GIF below – breathe in as the circle expands and breathe out as it gets smaller, and repeat. It might not have you feeling completely chill, but it should help to take the edge off and clear your mind a little. 


2) Think 

Being a keyboard warrior can be a good thing when it comes to saving the planet, or fighting injustice, but not so much when it comes to dealing with online hate. It’s natural to want to jump on your phone and start tapping away a reply that is both hilarious and devastating, but you might find yourself quickly stuck in a feud that even a drama channel would probably stay out of. So, instead of insulting them back, think about what you really want to happen as a result of this – the chances are, a long drawn out argument in your DM’s is probably not the one. 

3) Report it 

Everyone should have a pretty basic understanding of when and where to report stuff online and on different platforms. You can find a super quick guide to where you can do it on the big 3 (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in our Ultimate Guide to Cyberbullying here. If it’s in a game you can find more information here. You can also report it to us here if you have already tried reporting to social media sites with no luck and we will get it taken down for you. Basically, we’ve done all the work for you so you can just get it sorted! You can thank us later. 

4) Take a Break

If it’s on social media, take a break from it. We know it’s often easier said than done, when friends are organising their boss weekend plans in IG DM’s, but it will be pretty crucial to you feeling better. It can feel really overwhelming when you are dealing with online hate, but taking a break from where it is happening will help you realise that your world is much bigger than your inbox. 

Try leaving your phone at home when you hang out with your pals or put it somewhere safe and out of sight when you are chilling with the family, an turn off your social media notifications. Trust us, a little bit of distance from it will make the world of difference. If you have a big following who expect to see some new snaps uploaded every day, try using a scheduling service so you can still take your much-needed break without your audience getting rowdy for their avo toast pic.

4) Take Care of You 

Dealing with online hate can be really stressful. Try some stress management techniques to make sure you are looking after yourself through it all. This epic list of 101 Ways to Chill Out and Reduce Stress will give you some super speedy suggestions for getting on top of it, and you can also read our Ultimate Guide to Stress to understand a bit more about it. 

A bit of self-care goes a long way when you are dealing with online hate. Make sure you take a bit of time for yourself to do something you love or that you find relaxing that doesn’t involve being glued to your phone. Why not try taking a long walk, practicing a new makeup look or hairstyle, invite a friend out for a kick about or watch your fave movie complete with a gigantic bowl of popcorn. Doing what you love will help you focus on yourself rather than the situation and remind you that you are so much more than the hate you’re getting. 

6) Talk to Someone 

Getting online abuse can make you really angry but it can also make you feel pretty lonely. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone in this, and we’re certainly here if you wanna get it off your chest. Click here to join our community and get advice from real people like you and our trained mentors. 

Otherwise, talking to a trusted friend, parent, teacher, or colleague will help you have an outlet for what is going on and ensures you will have someone to support you through it.

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

When shade can be thrown in any comments section, and subtweeting someone seems to be the only way to get stuff off your chest, it can seem like being negative online is a pretty common thing. The thing is, a lot of people don’t realise that the kind of negativity that they take part in online can actually be called cyberbullying, and can get serious.

1 in 3 people have been cyberbullied at some point in their lifetimes, and we are not into that. We do know though that sometimes it can feel easy to do it, like it’s the only way to express yourself, or like it won’t matter. That’s why we have come up with a little checklist of things to think about before you post something negative online, so that hopefully next time you think about doing it, you will make a cup of tea instead. 

1) Why are you posting it? 

Have a think about why you are posting it. Is it to take part in healthy debate and conversation or is it just to hurt someone’s feelings? A good idea is to write a list of as many reasons as you can think of why you feel the need to do it, and a list of reasons why you shouldn’t. Seeing it all written down might give you a bit of perspective on the situation. Plus, the chances are, you won’t be able to come up with that many reasons why you should. 

2) How are you saying it? 

We can all say stuff from time to time that comes across badly when we didn’t mean it to. Especially because we can’t really convey tone on the internet, and a lot of sarcasm, irony or even humour may get lost and taken the wrong way. Before tapping that send button it’s always a good shout to give your comment or message a read through and make sure you aren’t accidentally saying something you don’t mean. 

3) Can the person you are posting it to/about do anything about it? 

Is it a conversation that they can be a part of, offer their side of the story or defend themselves against any allegations that might get made? Imagine if you heard that all this stuff was being said against you behind your back, and you had no way of trying to solve the situation and make things right. It would totally suck, and would probably feel pretty unfair. 

4) Would you say it to their face? 

A big reason why we all find it easy to say negative stuff online is because we can do it from behind a screen, and it is way easier to type insults or rumours than it is to actually say them out loud. Always think if you would feel comfortable saying something to someone’s face before typing it out on your phone and hitting send. 

Plus, even though it might seem like it can be easy to be anonymous on social media, everything that you put out there is staying there until you take it down for the most part, and there is absolutely no guarantee it will stay anonymous forever. There is always going to be the possibility that you get in trouble for it somewhere down the line, or affect your career, relationships, school records and in the most serious of cases, could land you in trouble with the law. Not chill, huh? 

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5) How do you feel right now?

If you are thinking about saying something mean or negative online to or about someone, it might be a good idea to check in with yourself first. It might be that there is something going on with you that you didn’t even realise was making you want to behave this way. If there is, try talking to a trusted family member or friend about it first.

Usually, when we feel like posting something negative it is because we are already feeling a bit rubbish ourselves. If you don’t feel like you have someone to talk to about what’s going on with you right now, you can always talk to us. Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here, and we will listen to you no matter what.

6) How do you think it will make you feel afterwards?

So, it’s actually a proven thing that the more we think negatively about other people, the more we beat ourselves up too. The chances are, you won’t actually be feeling that great about yourself after you’ve commented or slid into someone’s DMs with something mean. Reprogramming your thoughts into nice ones is a great way to stop your brain in its tracks, and will actually help you to think more positively about yourself. 

Grab a pen and paper and write whatever the negative thing is that you want to send. Then underneath it, write a reason why you shouldn’t, how it might make the other person feel, or something nice instead. Seeing this written out in front of you in your own handwriting might help you to see why it isn’t the best idea. By writing something nice instead, you might be able to see how being kinder is easier and how it even makes you feel better. 

7) Is it because they are famous/an influencer etc? 

Just because someone is famous or has loads of followers, doesn’t mean they won’t care what is said about them. They are humans too with feelings and emotions, and families and lives that might be affected by what you say. It can be super easy to forget that when they seem to only exist on Instagram or in tabloids, but they aren’t immune to feeling bad. Check out this piece with influencer @foodfitnessflora about how negativity has changed her life.

8) How will it affect their lives? 

There’s a good chance that whatever you say will have an actual impact on someone’s life. We know it might not seem like it when there is a screen and probably hundreds or maybe even thousands of miles between you, but whatever gets put out into the universe has the power to make waves and to damage someone’s life, career or relationship beyond repair. 

9) How would it affect you if you were on the receiving end? 

Ok so we know this is the kind of thing your teacher or your Mum used to say when they wanted to prove a point, but actually feeling empathy for other people is super important before you decide to say or send something negative online. If those notifications came popping up on your screen, the chances are you would feel a bit crap about the whole thing. 

If you want to talk to someone about online bullying or harassment, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

We caught up with social media influencer and all round warrior princess @foodfitnessflora about social media anxiety, online abuse and negativity and her top 4 things to think about before you write something negative online.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a food and fitness blogger and social media consultant working in the area of health and wellness. My background is in science communications, so I always try to add a little bit of science into everything I do.

I started my Instagram account about 7 years ago whilst recovering from an eating disorder, as a way to track my meals and show them to my doctor. I then started putting up other bits from my fitness training and my life, such as talking more about mental health. My blog started in 2016 and is my baby – I love writing!

What is your experience of cyberbullying?

My first experience of cyberbullying was talking to blogger friends who had received it. It brought back a lot of memories – thankfully I was never cyberbullied at school, but I received my fair share of nasty comments to my face, and watching other people being attacked or made the subject of online and playground gossip was really upsetting for me to see. 

You have mentioned you have received more abuse recently, would you mind telling us about it?

I think once you get to a certain number of followers on Instagram, negative comments are bound to happen. Whether they’re in your DMs or online they find their way to you somehow and, unfortunately, I think I’ve reached that point! 

Recently, I also discovered some messages online following running the Tokyo marathon that were pretty nasty. Most were along the lines of telling me that I’m not good enough and then spreading other rumours about my relationship and friends. 

Initially I read negative comments to see where I might be able to improve my account and make it more useful to my followers, but at the point that the comments became nasty or simply just lies, I decided to block the sites. I still get the occasional message through but I don’t mind that – at least it’s usually not anonymous, which is the main cause of particularly horrible comments. 

What about friends in the blogging/social media influencer sphere – have they experienced the same?

Absolutely, I’m yet to find a blogger who hasn’t received hate online. Of course, there’s a line between hate and negative comments (it’s obviously impossible for everyone to like you), but I think everyone I know who has the same job has received their fair share of both. 

What do you think needs to be done about it? Or what CAN be done about it?

This is a really good question. 

I would like to see more education around the issue. Currently people can have easy access to sites and accounts where people are spreading hate, slander and defamation, without any repercussions. It would be nice if there was increased education around general behaviour on the internet, similar to how we are all taught that cyberbullying and teasing for ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation etc at school is not allowed, and where to go if we feel we are experiencing it. 

I also with that reporting stuff to the police was wasier, and that social media sites worked faster to deal with online nastiness, bullying and abuse. Currently the response to ‘I’m being abused online’ is ‘don’t go online’, and that’s unacceptable. It shouldn’t be the job of those being affected by this to simply avoid the spaces where this happens. Also, a large number of the people who are receiving these messages earn their living through being present online. As a social media consultant and blogger I am incapable of not using social media, and my popularity is, in part, due to my vulnerability and openness online. 

I absolutely don’t have all the answers and this is what we have charities such as Ditch the Label for, but primarily I wish there was more of a discussion around the issue. As far as I can tell, even the large number of celebrities and influencers who have talked about it have not prompted any real lasting change. Sadly, online hate is still happening, it’s still contributing to the poor mental health of a lot of people and in its worst cases has contributed to people’s deaths. 

Obviously, your job relies on social media so you can’t get a break from it – what affect does being around abuse frequently have on you?

It’s not just comments about me that affect me. As much as anything, I hate to see bullying of anyone online, and sadly I have seen my fair share. At the height of the horrible comments directed at me, I was experiencing extreme anxiety where I was unable to eat or sleep properly. Having suffered from quite bad depression in the past I found that week extremely tough, and became worried that I might be slipping back into much darker days. 

Perhaps I am over sensitive and shouldn’t ever have chosen to start up an Instagram, but I’m here now and I truly believe my account really helps people, so don’t exactly feel like I can leave. And how could I have foreseen, 7 years ago, with the start-up of my private Instagram, that 7 years later people would be commenting on my parents’ jobs and spreading rumours about my sex life? 

I try to have low-Instagram days where I don’t spend more than 30 minutes on any form of social media that day. This happens every one to two weeks and is a godsend for my mental health! I actually think everyone should do that, regardless of whether they’re an influencer or consumer and suffering from abuse or not, and I’ve been practising it for about a year, since my career on Instagram started becoming more serious. 

What advice would you give to a young person who is getting abuse online right now?

First of all, talk to people. Our brains are naturally wired to pick up negative comments and blow them hugely out of proportion. Talking to people brings you back to reality – NOT everyone hates you, no matter how it may feel, and surrounding yourself with people who support and love you can really help balance things out. 

Spending more time off social media as a coping mechanism can be helpful, but of course isn’t possible for everyone. If possible, speak up about the abuse you’re receiving. Suffering in silence can make you feel like you’re unable to do anything about it. For me at least, talking about it makes me feel less helpless. 

What does the future look like for you?

Contrary to what people might think, my ideal social media world would not be one where people are not allowed to comment negatively on what other people do. That’s not only unrealistic, but it stops any debate or healthy discussion. But I would like the future would be a more balanced one, one where negativity is constructive and not simply to hurt feelings. 

Ideally, influencers would take more responsibility for what they put online and would be held more accountable for sharing potentially harmful information. We have to be responsible in what we put out there to the public. And if the public have an issue with what we say/promote, there should be somewhere where it can be discussed so it is not simply a barrage of abuse online. 

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@FoodFitnessFlora’s Top 4 Things to Consider Before You Write Something Negative Online

1) Would you say what you’re saying if it wasn’t anonymous?

 If not, it’s probably best not to say it 

2) Can the person you’re writing to/about do anything about what you’re going to say?

So, for example, are you hating on them because they did an advert you didn’t like? If so, that may be a great thing to discuss and debate (e.g. I didn’t like that ad you did because it targets young girls’ insecurities and I think that’s irresponsible). But if it is because you think they looked fat or had cellulite or stretch marks or spots, it’s unnecessary. Absolutely no one is 100% perfect all the time, and there is nothing we can do about that. 

3) It’s also about the way you say something. 

‘I believe/in my opinion’ is very different to stating your opinion/gossip as fact, which could be seen as defamation e.g. X totally cheated on their partner of 5 years with X’. That could cause serious issues down the line. Just because some of someone’s life is online, that doesn’t mean the rest of their existence is available for comment. 

4) Why are you commenting what you are commenting? 

If you think someone has done something wrong, by all means message them. I can’t speak for everyone, but I would always rather receive constructive criticism to my face/in my DMs to discuss rather than read about it in a forum where it is impossible to discuss and come to a solution. It is also usually much better worded/thought out! 

But so much of what I have received is not like this at all, and is instead just mean and hurtful. Abuse is an outlet for frustrations that feels good in the moment. But it really doesn’t solve anything, for you or for the person you writing to. 

If you have been affected by negative comments or abuse online, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

So, you would have had to be living in a sea cave for the past week to have not noticed the ‘James Charles is Cancelled’ drama that has unfolded across the internet. Twitter went into full meltdown when several Kardashians hit the unfollow button in the wake of Tati Westbrook’s exposé, and YouTube has blown up with multiple videos dissecting the drama. Cancel culture is a huge part of internet life these days, with someone seemingly getting thrown under the bus every few months by former friends, colleagues and total strangers. It might not seem like it, but there are things we can all learn about life online from the James Charles saga, which is why we threw together this quick list. 

1) People are allowed to make mistakes 

Not all mistakes are equal. And the reaction to some of the stuff James has done seems to be more aggressive and personal than the internet reaction to major issues going on in the world today. Logan Paul wasn’t even cancelled this hard, and what he did was arguably a lot worse. Holding influencers to account for what they do and say is important, because we all listen to them at some point right? But having millions of people pointing out your mistakes must be pretty tough.

It is not the mistakes that we all make that should make us who we end up being, but how we handle them. So, if you fall out with a buddy, even if you are super stubborn and convinced you are in the right (#guilty), try reaching out to sort out the situation. It will give you a good idea of where you stand, and can be the first stepping stone to fixing your mistake. 

2) We get to make mistakes in private 

We all make mistakes. We have all fallen out with friends, said stuff we didn’t mean, done things we regret. The thing is, we all get to do this in private. With this playing out in the public arena, mostly on YouTube, every little mistake made in the history of his social media career is up for grabs by the entire world. We are pretty lucky that we can make similar mistakes in our own lives and only have to answer to a handful of people we might have hurt, not 16 million. This is true of pretty much every famous person, so have a think about the mistakes you have made and resolved in your own life before writing a negative comment to them online – we are all as likely to make mistakes as each other, famous or not. 

3) You cannot change someone’s sexuality

So, one of the things Tati mentioned was that James would always go after straight guys, even try and ‘change’ their sexuality. Whether someone is gay, straight, bisexual or anything else, their sexuality is their business and it isn’t for you to change. It is completely possible for your sexuality to be fluid throughout your life, but you can’t change someone else’s. After all, it’s theirs.  

4) It is ok to experiment with your sexuality

Although, she also called him out for ‘playing with other people’s sexuality, before they knew who they were yet’. This might make it seem like it is not ok to experiment with and explore your own sexuality. Of course, manipulating other people is not good, but the other guys involved in this might have simply been experimenting with their own sexuality without fully knowing who they were, and that’s ok. Your sexuality is yours to explore however you choose to, and you don’t have to be 100% certain what it is before you start to explore it. 

5) It is not ok to make someone feel uncomfortable 

But, it’s also pretty important to remember that some people have said that he made them feel pretty awkward and uncomfortable. Whilst it is absolutely fine, and normal, to experiment with and explore your sexuality, it is not ok to make someone else feel uncomfortable when you are doing so. If you feel like you might be making someone feel like this, maybe try and take a step back and have a think about the situation. It might be worth giving them some space and spending time with a few other people. 

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6) Cancel culture can ruin lives 

Social media is awesome – there is no denying it. It’s fun, free, totally addictive and has actually been really helpful for people all over the world to deal with their issues, be accountable, even fight injustice. The thing is though, when someone does something wrong, it can be really easy to cancel them. We’re not saying that some people didn’t need to be cancelled (Harvey Weinstein comes to mind), but when it happens over small spats, feuds and mistakes that can easily be sorted out off screen, it’s important to remember it can really ruin someone else’s life, even end it. Plus – it can literally happen to any of us, famous or not. 

7) Put yourself in someone else’s shoes 

Remember when you were a kid and you fell out with someone and before you knew it, everyone in the playground was on their side? It’s pretty much happened to every single one of us at some point – and it felt rubbish right? Especially because most of those people barely knew you, your friend, or anything about the situation. Well imagine that, multiplied a million times. 

We’ve all been in the position at least once in our lives when it has felt like the world is against us, and it’s really important to try to remember that before jumping into the comments section with negativity. We all know how the person on the receiving end feels.  

8) Some things are better discussed in private 

There’s a time and a place for airing out your drama or disagreements with friends, and the internet is not often the place to do it. By dragging people publicly who have upset you, it can put you and them and everyone else who knows both of you in a really difficult position – one where battle lines are going to get drawn. With James and Tati, what started as a small disagreement about product promotion now has the potential to ruin a career, a life. 

This drama with James and Tati is a pretty extreme example, as the audience is so massive. But making a private issue public when there are much easier ways to solve it can cause much more trouble in the long run. If you have fallen out with a friend over something, why not try private messaging them first? Or possibly popping around their house for a cup of tea and a chat. Even if the outcome is that you need time apart or that you can no longer be friends, doing it like this will be much more likely to give you the closure you both deserve, instead of making it bitter and resentful. 

9) 1 Tweet can ruin a life 

If there is one thing we can all learn from vitamingate (copyright us), it’s that we all need to be pretty careful how we behave on the internet. Whether that is thinking before we start subtweeting about someone who has upset us, comments we leave on videos and posts, or almost anything else – it’s important to remember that what you put out there is not going to go anywhere unless YOU take it down. Even if you take steps to make yourself anonymous in order to write some of it – there is absolutely no guarantee it is going to stay anonymous. 

If you feel the need to write something mean to someone online, have a think about why you feel that way. Why not try writing down all the logical reasons you can think of why you want to do it, and alongside it write all the possible consequences of your actions. Taking a step away from the keyboard can be tough when we feel fired up, but writing out how our actions could affect us and others makes it way more real than how hammering on our keyboards feels. 

10) Just because someone is famous, it does not make online abuse ok 

Famous people may be famous, but they are also people with human emotions. Fame and money does not buy them out of feeling bad when they see nasty comments or rude messages or even death threats. 

A really common thing to say in response to this is to say that ‘they know what they are getting themselves into when they pursue fame, so it’s fine’. Well, a lot of social media stars don’t actually start out their channels to become famous, and just do it for fun! When it becomes something that can make money, they carry on with it because let’s face it – who wouldn’t want to do something you enjoy for money?! But just because they have achieved fame doesn’t mean everything in their lives is fair game for nasty comments, and it definitely doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the negativity. 

If you have been affected by any of these issues and need someone to talk to, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here