STOP CYBER BULLYING

What is it?

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Cyberbullying is a type of emotional or verbal abuse carried out over technological platforms.

Cyberbullying comes in many forms. If you have a device that can get online, you can encounter it.

Hurtful text messages: Texts are private so the only the people in the conversation know about them which can make it hard for outside parties to intervene.

Harassing social media posts: Everyone can see public posts and repost them and continue to circulate them – there’s a wider audience viewing the ridicule.

Threatening emails: Cyber bullies can send impersonal emails and feel detached from the outcome without the face to face interaction.

Anonymous apps: A wide audience and anonymity is recipe for cyberbullying disaster.

Compromising pictures: Ever had a picture taken of you that you didn’t like? Imagine what happens when that picture is posted and circulated around social media – not fun.
These are just a few ways cyber bullies can hurt their victims.

Just because cyberbullying isn’t face to face doesn’t mean it’s not serious. In fact, the anonynimty often amplifies the effect.

Cyberbullies may not feel as guilty or responsible for their actions because they don’t have to see the direct impact on the other person. Writing insults to a screen is easier than saying it to someone’s face.

Cyberbully attacks can be more embarrassing for the victim too – it’s hard to delete public online attacks and everyone can read and reread as much as they like.

Anonymity also affects the impacts of cyberbullying. It’s harder to punish the perpetrator when you don’t know who it is. It’s also hurtful that an unknown source is sending insults and causing you pain.

Spot it

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It can be hard to tell if someone is being
cyberbullied. Here are some things to look for.

If you’ve ever received an electronic message that’s made you feel uncomfortable or sad, don’t be nervous to let someone know. If you think your child or someone you care about is being cyberbullied, there are a couple things you can do to find out.

Friend” or “follow” their various social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc – to monitor activity.

Ask them if they’ve ever felt upset by something

they’ve seen or received online.

Know what sites they’re using.

Encourage an open dialogue about their electronic activity and let them know it’s ok to tell you if something is wrong.

Talk to their friends to see if they know anything.

Cyberbullying can’t be dealt with until you know about it so try to maintain communication.


If you see something, say something. You can help.

Report it

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Know someone being cyberbullied? Follow
these steps to help end the abuse.

1 Step one

Tell someone you trust. Whether it’s a teacher, a parent, a friend or someone else important to you, let them know you’re being cyberbullied. When you tell someone, you’re not alone with it anymore. You can then work together to reach a solution.

2 Step two

Don’t retaliate. Engaging with a cyberbully and responding to their hurtful posts will escalate the situation and fuel their fire. Everything you say back is as permanent as what they say. Don’t let them use your own words against you—avoid responding.

3 Step three

Record the cyberbully attacks. Take screen shots and save and print out messages, posts, pictures and emails. Document anything that makes you uncomfortable. Include dates and times of each instance. Try to include aliases and real names if possible.

4 Step four

Report it. While all cyberbullying is bad, some forms of it are actually illegal. Report the behavior to law enforcement officials, and continue to avoid online response to the bullies.

Prevent it

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What can you do to prevent cyberbullying?

It’s not just teens, anyone can be cyberbullied. Follow these rules to avoid seeing it in your online life.

DO

DO keep in mind that life outside of your computer is more important than on it.

DO spend more time out with your friends or family.

DO make your accounts private so you can permit or revoke access to your information.

DON'T

DON’T “friend” or “follow” people who you don’t feel comfortable around.

DON’T spend all of your free time online or on social media platforms.

DON’T put all of your personal information on a public social media platform.

What to do if your child is being cyberbullied

Limit time online
Set rules for how long they can be on the computer or checking their accounts.

Keep track of devices
Put web-enabled devices in a public part of the house – keep track of what they’re doing and how they’re using them.

Check in frequently
Ask about their online activity and how they feel about it – create an open dialogue.

Know what sites they use
Visit the sites yourself so you know what’s on them, and limit access to potentially harmful sites.

Encourage offline activities
Create opportunites to get off the computer and get invested in other activities.

Set social media rules
Regulate electronic use to limit the potential for cyberbullying attacks.

Test your cyberbullying preparedness.

Do you know what to do if you or someone you know is being cyberbullied?

1. Which of the following is a form of cyberbullying?

  1. Threatening emails
  2. Mean-spirited Facebook posts
  3. Hurtful tweets
  4. All of the above

2. How does the anonymity of cyberbullying make it worse?

  1. It doesn’t, anonymity isn’t a factor in cyberbullying
  2. Cyberbullies don’t feel as guilty and it’s harder to punish them
  3. With anonymous posts, you know who made the comments
  4. If you don’t know who did it, it doesn’t hurt as much

3. True or False: Any message you receive over an electronic platform that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or hurt is a form of cyberbullying.

True     False

4. How can you check if someone you care about is being cyberbullied?

  1. Ask them
  2. Ignore it, it doesn’t matter
  3. “Follow” their social media accounts
  4. Both A and C

5. Which of the following is something you can do to prevent cyberbullying?

  1. Spend more time online.
  2. “Friend” or “follow” people you don’t feel comfortable around
  3. Limit the amount of time and energy you spend online
  4. Not tell anyone about hurtful messages

6. What should you NOT do when you encounter cyberbullying?

  1. Report it
  2. Respond to it
  3. Tell an adult
  4. Block the cyberbully (if the platform allows it)

7. What’s the percentage of teens and adolescents affected by cyberbullying?

  1. About 10% of all teens and adolescents
  2. About 15% of all teens and adolescents
  3. About 20% of all teens and adolescents
  4. About 25% of all teens and adolescents

8. True or False: Some forms of cyber bullying are illegal and should be reported to the proper authorities

True     False

1. D 2. B 3. True 4. D 5. C 6. B 7. D 8. True

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Sources:
http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/how-to-report/index.html
http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html
http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/index.html#whycyberbullying
http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/prevention/index.html#Establish Rules about Technology Use
http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/prevention/index.html
http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/how-to-report/index.html
http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/how-to-report/index.html#Report Cyberbullying to Law Enforcement
http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/talk/cyberbullying.html