Cyberbullying

Garrett Fischer

What is cyber bullying?

The use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

Facts about cyber bullying

  1. Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once.70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online. Filling up your friends' Facebook feeds with positive posts instead of negative ones can boost school-wide morale. Start a Facebook page for students to submit positive acts they see in school to promote a culture of positivity on and offline.Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying.68% of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem.81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.

Preventing cyber bullying

  • Know the sites your kids visit and their online activities. Ask where they’re going, what they’re doing, and who they’re doing it with.Tell your kids that as a responsible parent you may review their online communications if you think there is reason for concern. Installing parental control filtering software or monitoring programs are one option for monitoring your child’s online behavior, but do not rely solely on these tools.Have a sense of what they do online and in texts. Learn about the sites they like. Try out the devices they use.Ask for their passwords, but tell them you’ll only use them in case of emergency.Ask to “friend” or “follow” your kids on social media sites or ask another trusted adult to do so.Encourage your kids to tell you immediately if they, or someone they know, is being cyberbullied. Explain that you will not take away their computers or cell phones if they confide in you about a problem they are having.

Reporting cyber bullying

Steps to Take Immediately:

  • Don’t respond to and don’t forward cyberbullying messages.
  • Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone service providers.
  • Block the person who is cyberbullying.



Report Cyberbullying to Online Service Providers:

Cyberbullying often violates the terms of service established by social media sites and internet service providers.

  • Review their terms and conditions or rights and responsibilities sections. These describe content that is or is not appropriate.
  • Visit social media safety centers to learn how to block users and change settings to control who can contact you.
  • Report cyberbullying to the social media site so they can take action against users abusing the terms of service.



Report Cyberbullying to Law Enforcement:

When cyberbullying involves these activities it is considered a crime and should be reported to law enforcement:

  • Threats of violence
  • Child pornography or sending sexually explicit messages or photos
  • Taking a photo or video of someone in a place where he or she would expect privacy
  • Stalking and hate crimes

Some states consider other forms of cyberbullying criminal. Consult your state’s laws and law enforcement for additional guidance.



Report Cyberbullying to Schools:

  • Cyberbullying can create a disruptive environment at school and is often related to in-person bullying. The school can use the information to help inform prevention and response strategies.
  • In many states, schools are required to address cyberbullying in their anti-bullying policy. Some state laws also cover off-campus behavior that creates a hostile school environment.

Sources

stopbullying.gov

stopcyberbullying.org