SENIOR BYTE: First appeared in Anglican Cyber Tuesdays 02/02/2020.

Cyberbullying is just the same as bullying, it just occurs online.  Gossiping, telling lies and spreading rumours online is cyberbullying. Creating catfishing accounts is not pranking its cyberbullying. Once you post something online others may look at it very differently. You need to rethink that joke or that post. Deleting or posting the comment a just kidding comment doesn’t cut it. It is still bullying and you have made your position clear. Bullying someone online says more about your character than the person you targeted.

It is important that you know cyberbullying includes:

  • Sending abusive or nasty messages
  • Creating fake accounts (catfishing) to fool people
  • Humiliating someone online
  • Sharing and posting images to hurt and humiliate someone
  • Excluding someone from an online group to hurt them

Things YOU can do right now to make a difference:

BIRDS:

  • Block – block them you don’t have to have them as a contact
  • Ignore (or mute) – mute them in your group or just ignore them
  • Report – to social media, to the eSafety Commissioner follow their steps
  • Don’t Respond – don’t feed the trolls they want to upset you.
  • Share it! – with a trusted adult offline like your parents, carer or teacher.

You can be an upstander (helpful bystander) by:

  • DM the person who is targeted with messages of support
  • Report the bully – to social media or esafety commissioner
  • Ask for help offline from you parents or carers, teacher or school counsellor
  • Say its not on and call it out. Make sure you are safe but you can outline that its wrong behaviour. The eSafety Commissioner recommends using a thumbs down emoji or even just saying *NOT COOL*. You don’t have to get involved just make your position known that you don’t tolerate cyberbullying.
  • Help you friend report cyberbullying and get offline support.

Remember after you have reported it to the social media service:

  • If you are under 18 and
  • the content is determined to be serious matter (regardless how the poster/bully feels) and
  • 48 hours has passed
  • you can report it to the eSafety Commissioner for assisting in removing it.

If you have done something wrong here is a pro tip: delete it and apologise sincerely, it may not undo what has been done but it’s the first step.

You can find out more about:

NOTE: if you are only going to look at one choose the eSafety Commissioner. They are Australia’s leading authority for online safety and can link to you directly support (including multilingual assistance).

You are not alone, it doesn’t matter what has happened there is someone who you can talk to and help you. You only need to ask! Taking that first step can be daunting so check out the eSafety Commissioner’s – Young People’s section for additional hints >>>>here<<<<!