Cyberbulling

 What is CyberBulling?

 
The Australian Government [1] states cyberbulling as:
using technology to deliberately and repeatedly bully someone else. It can happen to anyone, anytime, and can leave you feeling unsafe and alone.
 
Cyberbullying can include:
  • abusive texts and emails
  • posting unkind messages or images
  • imitating others online
  • excluding others online 
  • inappropriate image tagging
Remember, treat others as you would like to be treated when communicating online.

Cyberbullying Vs. face-to-face bullying?

Cyberbulling is different to face-to-face bulling as:
  • cyberbulling can happen any time,  24/7
  • it can occur anywhere, including school or at home
  • it may involve many people having access to what is being said or shown
  • the cyberbully can feel a sense of being anonymous
  • it can be permanent

What to Do?

  • Don’t retaliate or respond. 1 Peter 3:8-9: Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (NIV)
  • Block the person doing the bullying. (see "Block Communications" Below)
  • Collect  evidence - keep emails, text messages and social network conversations where the cyberbulling has taken place. 
  • Talk to someone you trust, like a family member or someone from the list below (see "Who to Talk to" below)
 

Who to talk to?

If you want to talk to someone about cyberbullying, you can:
 
 

 BLOCK COMMUNICATIONS

Cyber-bullying is never OK.  Follow the most up-to-date advice from the https://esafety.gov.au/esafety-information/games-apps-and-social-networking on how to block communications on some of the popular social networks and applications you may use.  Each of these applications should have a "Safety" or "Help" section which outlines how to stay in control of your online experience.

 Facebook

  • Go to the "Privacy" page and enter the person's name in the "Block" search field at the bottom of the page;
  • Remove the person from your friend list;
  • Save a copy and then delete any comments they have made on your profile;
  • Save a copy and then delete any emails they have sent you through your Facebook inbox without opening them;
  • If someone has posted an image of you without your permission and named you in the photo, you can remove your name from the photo by selecting the "Remove Tag" option.  Ask the person who posted the image to take it down, Facebook cannot force people to remove photos unless they violate the Terms of Use.  If someone is constantly tagging you in embarrassing or inappropriate photos, remove them from your friend list so that they will no longer be able to tag you in photos;
  • If someone has posted an offensive post, you can report this to Facebook using the "Report this Post" link under each post.

MSN Messenger

  • Right-click on the person's name in your contact list and select the "Block" option.  You can also block someone in the conversation window when you are talking to them by selecting the "Block" button;
  • Remove the person from your contact list by right-clicking on their names and selecting the "Delete" option;
  • If someone is harassing or threatening you, click on the "Help" menu and select the "Report Abuse" option.  Action will be taken if the person is violating the Terms of Use.

 MySpace Australia

  • Access the person's profile and select the "Block User" function;
  • Remove the person from your friend list;
  • Save a copy and then delete any comments they have made on your profile;
  • Save a copy and then delete any emails they have sent through your MySpace inbox without opening them;
  • If they have created a fake profile of you or a friend, copy the URL of the profile and forward it to MySpace Customer Service;
  • You can report cyber-bullying to MySpace by clicking on the "Contact MySpace" link, selecting the "Report Abuse" topic and then the "Cyber bullying" sub-topic.

 Formspring

  • Access the person's profile and select the "Block this person" link at the bottom of the page.
  • You can block someone who has asked you a question by selected the "Block" option on that question.
  • A list of all those people you have blocked can be found in the Privacy Settings.

Bebo

  • Access the person's profile and select the "Block" option;
  • Remove the person from your friend list;
  • Save a copy and then delete any comments they have made on your profile;
  • Save a copy and then delete any emails they have sent you through your Bebo inbox without opening them;
  • If someone is harassing you, contact the Bebo administration and they will be able to take action if the person is violating their Terms of Service.

 Twitter

  • Access the person's blog page and select the "unfollow" option on the right-hand side;
  • If you are being harassed or threatened, contact the Twitter administration and they will be able to take action if the person is violating their Terms of Service.

 YouTube

  • If you have an account, you can report videos by selecting the "Flag" button under each video.  Select the most appropriate reason for reporting the video and a report will be sent to the YouTube administration.

 Other Websites (Blogs, Gaming, Discussion Boards, etc.)

  • Contact the administration of the website by clicking on the "Contact", "Help" or Safety" options available on most websites.  They will take action if the person is violating their Terms of Use.

 Mobile Phones

  • Talk to your mobile phone provider and find out if they are able to stop certain numbers calling, or texting, your phone.

 

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References

[1] Australian Government. (Cybersmart, http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Teens/How%20do%20I%20deal%20with/Cyberbullying.aspx (Accessed 11/11/2011))

[2] ThinkUKnow Australia a partnership between the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Microsoft Australia and ninemsn.http://www.thinkuknow.org.au/site/stop.asp (Accessed 15/11/2011)