While the definitions of cyberbullying, sometimes called online bullying, vary from source to source, most definitions consist of:
Cyberbullying can be anonymous, which can sometimes make it even worse. It also has a wider audience and can spread quickly. Finally, targets of cyberbullying often feel like they can’t escape the bullying. If someone is bullying you at school, it’s over when you leave for the day. But cyberbullying can follow you home and continue all night.
Imagine a classmate posts a photo of themselves online. Someone else makes a mean, mocking comment about the photo. Soon, that photo has been shared, liked, reposted—even made into a meme. Thousands of people have seen it, even people the person being targeted doesn’t know. That’s why cyberbullying can be extra hurtful: it’s public, it spreads quickly, and it’s 24/7.
Cyberbullying is often defined as an aggressive, intentional, and repeated act against someone using technology, such as email, texting, social media, or instant messages.
Here are some tips to protect yourself from cyberbullying, and to prevent yourself from bullying others:
When it Happens, Take Action
Talk about it with someone, reach out for help.
An important part of addressing a cyberbullying situation is keeping a record of what has happened. You may want to delete what is being sent, so that you don’t have to see if again, but it’s important to NOT delete messages and other bullying content that you receive. Keep records as you may need to provide proof of the cyberbullying to a parent, school officials or law enforcement officials.
Save the evidence:
Block: Remove the opportunity for the person to contact you.
Report the activity to the social media site
Many social media sites have safety pages that provide guidelines for how to report and address cyberbullying on their site:
Want more information?
Visit the cyberbullying section at PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.
Age 13 is when teens are typically able to sign up for many social media accounts. But does cyberbullying only start at age 13 when teens start getting these accounts? In this video we ask kids about this question and about all things cyberbullying. Check out their amazing responses.
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In this video, are tips on how to address and prevent cyberbullying, and what to do if you see it happening online.