- Physical assault
- Calling names
- Making threats
- Cyber bullying
Bullying can cause stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, fatigue, fear, anger, pain, poor concentration and memory, panic attacks, shame, guilt, isolation and shattered confidence. Bullying can happen anywhere: at university, at school, in a sports team or at work.
70% of all young people have experienced some form of bullying.
Cyber bullying is when people use the internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to threaten, tease or abuse someone. It is against the law to bully someone in this way and you must tell someone if it is happening to you.
- 1 million young people are bullied every week.
- Bullying is one of the biggest concerns for young people as they grow up.
- Out of 2,500 young people questioned by Beatbullying, 50% said they'd been cyber bullied.
- 29% did not tell anyone about the cyber bullying.
- 73% said they knew who was sending them bullying messages.
- 11% admitted to being a cyber bully.
A lot of young people cyber bully deliberately - they set out to target another user online. Some cyber bullying is done for a laugh, but it doesn't mean it hurts any less and often people do not think about the consequences of their actions.
There are lots of ways cyber bullies can target someone, such as:
- Posting abusive messages online - on a social networking site, in a chat room, or using instant messenger.
- Posting humiliating videos or pictures online, or sending them on to other people.
- Taking on someone else's identity online in order to upset them.
- Bad mouthing and spreading rumours.
- Setting up a hate site or a hate group on a social networking site.
- Prank calling, prank texts and messages.
- Sending nasty or abusive messages.
It can sometimes feel really difficult to escape cyber bullying as bullies can use technology to target you at home or on your mobile. Although cyber bullying can't physically hurt you, it can still make you feel bad and is a form of emotional abuse.
What you can do about it
|Website / method||What to do|
|Mobile phones / texts
||Contact the service provider and
report the problem. Most mobile phone companies will change a mobile
number once for free if this is necessary.
|Social media in general
||Most social networking sites have a report feature for users. If cyber bullying is reported, the content will usually be investigated and removed if found to be illegal or breaking their terms and conditions. Accounts of those who break the rules can be deleted.|
|There is a 'report' link on each user's profile page and you can find specific details about how to report people directly in Facebook's help section.|
|There is an option on each tweet to report it to Twitter, and you can also report Twitter users by going to their profile and selecting the option to report them. You can find all the information about this in Twitter's help section.|
|YouTube or other video sites
||To have content removed from a
video-hosting site, it must be
illegal or break the site's terms of service. To report inappropriate
content to YouTube you must create an account (for free) and log in. You
then have an option to 'flag content as inappropriate'.
|MySpace||There is a 'contact MySpace' link at bottom of each page, and from there you can select 'report abuse'. To report inappropriate images, click on the image and select 'report this image' option. You can find all the information about this in MySpace's help section.|
Help and support
For the victim, cyber bullying can be really scary and make them feel lonely, stressed and as though there is no way out. It is important to remember that there are always people who can help.
- Call or email Childline 24x7 for confidential advice and support.
- Check out a great cyber bullying video on YouTube called 'Let's fight it together'
Make it stop
Don't suffer in silence. Tell a trusted adult, speak to a lecturer or report the incident to the website/service provider.
- Block email addresses and/or complain to host website.
- Keep your passwords to yourself and only give email addresses and mobile numbers to trusted friends.
- Change your online nicknames or user ID.
- Don't retaliate or reply - you could end up in trouble too!
- Keep a copy of the abusive emails, texts or messages that you receive and when they were sent to you.
- Think before you send. Whatever you send or post up on a website can be made public very quickly and could be there forever.
Report it, flag it and talk to someone about it.