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 shit, and can make it feel impossible to live your life. We have put together this Ultimate Guide – so you can understand everything you need to know about cyberbullying and where you can get help if you need it.
What Is Cyberbullying?
In our research, we found that 7 in 10 young people experience cyberbullying in some form before they hit the age of 18. This is obviously a huge number of you. So first, let’s take a look at what cyberbullying actually is.
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 suffer the effects of cyberbullying, regardless of age, gender, income or occupation. For example, the kind of harassment experienced by many celebrities and public figures on social media every day counts as cyberbullying, as well as nasty messages that work their way into your Whatsapp or the mean photos that no one will take down from Instagram. It all counts.
If you have lived through or are living through cyberbullying, you know how crap it can make your life. That’s why the most important thing is to know how to deal with it effectively and what the law says about it.
What Does The Law Say?
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.
Cyberbullying on Social Media
What Does it Look Like?
Cyberbullying on social media come in all shapes and sizes. Some examples include sending or posting threatening or abusive messages both publicly and in direct messages, hate speech and discrimination and offensive photo or video content.
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 chat box 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.
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 Content or a User
- Click on the options arrow either on a post or the users profile and click report.
What does it look like?
Our research found that 50% of you have experienced cyberbullying at least once when gaming online with other people. But, it is not always clear how to report it, or if there is even anything you can do about it.
Bullying in an online game can include harassing someone or repeatedly targeting them, sending threatening or abusive messages in chat, or even having an offensive player name.
Reporting in an online game
Every game and every publisher will have its own reporting method and this will vary. Usually, you can find the reporting method with a quick Google search, on the website of the game or publisher and in online forums. You can find out guide to bullying in Fortnite here.
Report It To Us
Did you know you can report cyberbullying to us and we’ll get it sorted?
Cyberbullying can be really tough to deal with. If you feel at any time you need support or advice on cyberbullying, or anything else that might be bothering you, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.