What you need to know about cyber bullying

You may have heard of the term ‘cyber bullying’ this is the term used for people who use platforms like social media to bully others online. The person who is cyber bullying uses technology to harm another person by sending, posting, or publishing content that is hurtful.

Cyber bullies often use social media to target their victims, as hiding behind a computer screen can conceal the person’s identity, giving them more motivation target people.

There are different forms of cyber bulling and these include:

  • Spreading rumours or lies.
  • The use of fake accounts to spread false information or target a person.
  • Consistent harassment by sending unwanted and repeated messages to a person.
  • Publishing embarrassing content such as photos and videos of someone without their permission.
  • Creating the victim, a fake online profile.
  • Using hurtful language and name calling.

What you can do if you are being bullied:

Try your best not to engage with the cyber bully, generally the person want’s a reaction and if you do not give them one then this will hopefully lessen their desire to continue targeting you. The best things you can do are:

  • Don’t engage. You may be tempted to reply to the person but that generally doesn’t do much good, it’s best to ignore their message especially if it’s from a number or person you don’t personally know.
  • Don’t stoop to their level. You may feel as if you should react by attacking the person back, don’t give them the satisfaction of a reaction.
  • Try talk it out. If you know the person and you think it’s safe to do so have a conversation and discuss if you can sort things out and address what they’ve done.
  • Ask for help. Talk to friends and family and get support, don’t try cover it up because you’re embarrassed this is happening to you. It’s always better to ask for advice as it will relieve the pressure and help you process your emotions.

Other resources you can use to get help are –

 

  • Save any content they send. Take screenshot of messages or photos you receive from the bully and keep records so that you can use it as evidence when asking for help.
  • Block the person or account bullying you. This means they can no longer contact you via that account.
  • Report it. If you’re being targeted over social media then you can always report it via Netsafe here.
  • There’s laws in place that can help. Heard of the Harmful Digital Communications Act? Well it’s in place as a means of protecting you, learn your rights by reading about it further here.

Always remember you’re not alone, speak up about what’s happening to you and always ask for support or help, it’s important to do so, so that you don’t become a target again. 

 

 

 

 

 

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