Written By: Bethany Strunk
Anyone can be affected by cyberbullying, especially children under the age of 18. Cyberbullying is a form of digital abuse that involves being threatened, humiliated, or harassed. The bullying can occur using several different forms of technology: e-mail, cell phones, instant messaging, Web sites and online gaming and several more.
Instant Messaging/Text Messaging Harassment
Kids gang up on a person in text wars or text attacks. They send hundreds or thousands of text-messages to the victim’s cell phone or other mobile device:
Be sure to copy all of these texts and the number they are coming from. Then block them! If the texts were threatening in any way, tell your parents so they can report it to your phone provider and if necessary to law enforcement.
By using web sites kids post other kids’ photos, videos and their personal information to humiliate them.
Find out who the web host is for the Web site and contact them. Have your parents contact the Web host and if they don’t take the site down, have your parents contact the Internet Crimes Department of your local law enforcement agency.
When playing interactive games you’re able to chat and talk live on the Internet with anyone you find yourself matched with in an online game. This is not an area where anyone should be verbally abusing anyone, using threats or lewd language. It’s also not appropriate to lock others out of games, pass false rumors about them or hacking into their accounts.
What To Do If You are Being Cyberbullied
Never respond to harassing, negative and threatening responses about you
- Print out the posts and delete them.
- Block the person who is harassing you
- If you are being threatened online, bring the printed posts to your parents. They should contact the computer crimes unit at your local police precinct. If your town is small and your police department does not have a computer crimes unit, they should bring the posts to a supervising law enforcement officer at your nearest precinct.
- If you are being harassed on Facebook, report it to Facebook.
- If you are being harassed by texting, delete the texts and block the number.
- If you are being threatened by texting, write down all of the text messages and the number they are coming from and block the person texting you. Bring this to your cell phone provider who can take action against the texter. You should also bring these messages and phone numbers to the police.
- NEVER respond or forward nude photos. No matter how much your boyfriend tells you he loves you … the nude photos WILL go viral! And it’s against the law to send nude photos online.
- If someone has sent a nude photo of you to others and it’s gone viral, tell your parents immediately. Never keep this information from them.
Do you know there are forms of Cyberbullying that can become a crime?
- Harassing someone especially if the harassment is based on gender or race
- Making violent threats or death threats
- Making obscene and harassing phone calls and texts
- Stalking someone
- Committing hate crimes
- Sending nude photos of an under-aged child
Even if you don’t like someone, or you think they’re different, there is still NEVER any reason to bully another person online or in any other way.
The best choices you can make are to:
- Don’t be friends with that person
- Treat everyone you know with kindness and compassion