Cyberbullying: What is it and how to stop it - Deepstash

Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behaviour, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Examples include:

  • spreading lies about or posting embarrassing photos of someone on social media
  • sending hurtful messages or threats via messaging platforms
  • impersonating someone and sending mean messages to others on their behalf. 

Face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying can often happen alongside each other. But cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint – a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop the abuse.

If you are worried about your safety or something that has happened to you online, urgently speak to an adult you trust. Or visit Child Helpline International to find help in your country.

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What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behaviour, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Examples include:

  • spreading lies about or posting embarrassing photos of someone on social media
  • sending hurtful messages or threats via messaging platforms
  • impersonating someone and sending mean messages to others on their behalf. 

Particular about Cyberbullying is that it leaves traces online.

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When bullying happens online it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your home. It can seem like there’s no escape. The effects can last a long time and affect in many ways:

  • Mentally — feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even angry 
  • Emotionally — feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things you love
  • Physically — tired (loss of sleep), or experiencing symptoms like stomach aches and headaches 

The feeling of being laughed at or harassed by others, can prevent people from speaking up or trying to deal with the problem. In extreme cases it leads to suicide.

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If you think you’re being bullied, the first step is to seek help from someone you trust such as your parents, a close family member or another trusted adult. These can also found in your school, for instance your favourite teacher.

And if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know, search for a helpline in your country to talk to a professional counsellor.

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If the bullying is happening on a social platform, consider blocking the bully and formally reporting their behaviour on the platform itself. Social media companies are obligated to keep their users safe.

It can be helpful to collect evidence – text messages and screen shots of social media posts – to show what’s been going on.

If you are in immediate danger, then you should contact the police or emergency services in your country.

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