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Bullying

What is cyberbullying?

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Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that takes place on technology. This can be through social media, text, online forums and games, pretty much any form of technology where people can communicate with each other. It often includes posting, sending or sharing hurtful and negative things about someone else, but it may also include someone posting private information to cause embarrassment or humiliation. 

How to spot cyberbullying:

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Cyberbullying can come in many forms online, whether it is via social media or private messaging. 

Though the online world can be great to connect us, it can also be an unsafe and negative place for young people. Cyberbullying can be seen as sending or posting: 

  • Mean or rude messages 

  • Hurtful photos or videos 

  • Leaving nasty comments on personal post 

  • Harassment, tormenting and teasing behaviour 

  • Excluding people from online groups 

  • Creating accounts to make fun of a person 

  • Forms of discrimination such as sexism, racism, homophobia and ableism

How to address it:

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It can be hard to know what to do if you, or someone else is being cyberbullied, so here are some ideas on how to address it: 

If you are the one being bullied try some of the following strategies: 

  • Don’t respond immediately, give yourself time to calm down and think before you respond. Keep in mind that the person doing the bullying wants to get a reaction out of you.

  • When re-joining the situation, speak calmly and use neutral language. If possible, have someone help you to write a calm and neutral response to address the issue.

  • Take screenshots of the bullying, as the person doing the bullying may delete or remove what they have said. By taking a screenshot, you always have a copy of what was said.

  • Take a step back and limit the time you spend online. It can be hard to pull away from the bullying when it feels like it’s demanding your attention, but by limiting your time in that situation, it can help clear your head.

  • If able to do so, report and block the content or conversation. You don’t have to put up with bullying and it’s okay to want to remove yourself from it all entirely.

If you are witnessing someone else being bullied, try the following: 

  • If comfortable doing so, report it or speak to someone you trust, especially someone who will be able to help the situation.

  • Leave the group or conversation, this shows that you don’t support what’s happening and it also removes you from the situation.

  • If safe to do so, speak up against those participating in the bullying and let them know that what they’re doing is NOT okay.

  • Talk privately to the person being bullied to see if they’re okay and if they need help.

Where to get support:

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There are many places to get support if you or someone you know has experienced cyberbullying. 

It’s important that you tell someone what is happening, so you don't feel alone. There are people who are ready to help. 

Helplines: 

  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 
  • Headspace: 1800 650 890
  • Qlife: 1800 184 527 

 

References: 

This information page was created by young people in the Maroondah Youth Wellbeing Advocates, 2019.