Stop Cyberbullying

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What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is being unkind, rude, or derogatory to someone else either online or through private messages. It is just like regular bullying except it is through technology and therefore harder to stop.

Examples of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can be things like posts, messages, emails, and pictures that are meant to embarrass, humiliate, hurt, or scare the victim.

Three Differences between Cyberbullying and Bullying.

Cyberbullying is different from regular physical bullying because is harder to escape, since it can continue at any time of the day. It is also easier to cyberbully because you can do it anonymously. Cyberbullying can also be seen by anyone because once it is online, there is no taking it back.

Effects of Cyberbullying

Teens who are bullied online are more likely to:

  • abuse alcohol and drugs through adolescence and even into adulthood
  • get into fights, vandalize other people's property, and drop out of school
  • engage in early sexual activity
  • have criminal and traffic convictions as adults
  • be abusive towards others as an adult

Prevention and Awareness

In order to prevent the injustice of cyberbullying, adults can do several things. Parents should know what sites their kids use and what they do while using them, understand what they say online and what they might be saying in texts, and ask for their passwords to log onto websites and even their phone. It also helps to "friend" or "follow" their kids. Most importantly, they need to ensure that their teen understands to tell them immediately after being cyberbullied or harassed online or even if they witness it. These things can really help prevent and stop cyberbullying.

Establishing Rules

There are three main things that can help everyone stay safe and happy while using the internet.

  1. Parents should be clear about what sites their kids may use and what they may or may not do while on those sites.
  2. Parents should ensure their children know what is appropriate to say online and what is not.
  3. Parents should encourage teens to think twice about who they let have access to their pictures and posts.

Reporting a Cyberbully

When you are cyberbullied, make sure you follow these three steps.

  1. Don't respond to or forward the cyberbullying messages.
  2. Keep the evidence of cyberbullying (save messages, screenshot posts, etc).
  3. Block the cyberbully.

Report to your Online Service Provider

Responding to criminal actions online needs to include reporting the cyberbullying to the online service provider. This should be done by:

  1. Visit social media safety centers to learn how to block users.
  2. Report cyberbullying to the social media site so that they may take action as well.

Report to your Local Law Enforcement

Some cyberbullying activities are considered crimes and must be reported to local law enforcers. This includes threats of violence, child pornography or sending sexually explicit messages or photos, and stalking and hate crimes.

Report to your School

Schools can be advocates for you as well if you are experiencing repetitive cyberbullying. They can use information to inform prevention and response strategies and can also address the bullying if they have anti-bullying policies.
To This Day

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