Cyberbullying is when someone deliberately attacks another person using text or video messages or over the Internet using emails and social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. The person being bullied often feels scared and not even safe at home while the bullies can spread lies and post nasty pictures about the victim. Often children think it’s ok to tell lies online which they wouldn’t do in the real world. It’s important to treat people the same online as you would do ‘offline’.
Did you know?
- 23% of children who use mobile phones have reported receiving threatening and abusive text and 14% of children admitted sending one.
- 20% of teenagers in a survey said they’d been the victim of cyberbullying with girls being most affected.
- 10% of kids in years 4 – 9 have experienced cyberbullying.
- Remember cyberbullying is never ok so if you receive a nasty or threatening message here’s what to do:
- Block the person sending the message – this will help to stop them posting or uploading offensive messages.
- Report the person by clicking on the ‘report abuse’ button on the website or if the messages are threatening tell the police. You can also tell a teacher at school.
- Tell your Mum or Dad or an adult you trust. Or you can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, visit their website or contact the Cybersmart Online Helpline service.
- Ignore the bully – sometimes they get bored and go away.
- Keep the evidence – this can be helpful to find the bully. Save a copy of the messages or photos as proof then delete them so that others can’t see. Don’t forward them on to anyone else as they might forward them on too.
- If you think a friend is being bullied don’t keep quiet about it. You might see a friend being upset after reading a message or receiving lots of messages and not joining in as much at school. Stand up and speak out. Support your friend and report the bullying as you’d want them to do for you.
E Safety commissioner
Raising Children Network