Advice for young people
Learn about what is cyberbullying, how to recognise it and what to do about it if it happens to you or a friend.
Cyberbullying is bullying using any technology. Cyberbullying is bullying that happens online through social, gaming or instant messaging platforms.
These are all signs of cyberbullying:
- Being called names and it is not fun or friendly.
- Being made to feel frightened.
- Being forced to do something you did not want to do.
- If you are getting insults to do with special needs, disability, race, religion or sexual orientation.
- If someone is spreading rumours about you to people you know.
- If someone is sharing photos of you without your consent.
- If someone is bullying you about how you look.
- If someone is trying to pressure you into doing something just so that you can stay friends with them.
- Pretending to be you by hacking your social media account.
- Starting ﬁghts on purpose because some people like to watch or film them.
- Stalking or keeping track of someone and controlling them.
- Someone who is not who they say they are.
What should I do?
- Avoid sharing the cruel messages on social media, bullies want an audience and if you do not share it, fewer people will see it.
- Say a few kind words or send a supportive message on social media to the person being cyberbullied.
- Tell a trusted adult. If it is happening among people at school, tell a teacher, parent/carer or someone who supports you.
What should I do?
- It is easy to say hurtful things in the middle of an argument or when we feel angry. When things calm down you might want to put things right.
- You can send a message or talk to the person saying sorry and explain how you were feeling at the time.
- If you are close friends, a joke or an emoji can help –thinking about the other person and their feelings.
- You can ask your school if they could help – such as a meeting between yourselves and a teacher who asks you certain questions. These questions can help you see how the other felt and what harm the hurtful behaviour has caused.
- Tell an adult you trust
- Block the sender
- Try not to reply back – it can make things worse
- Keep the evidence or ask someone to help you do this and be sure to say how often this has been happening
- If it is someone at school, please tell a teacher or another adult at school
- If it is a message with sexual content that upsets you, talk to a trusted adult and together you may report it
- You might prefer to call a helpline like Childline on 0808 1111 or visit https://www.childline.org.uk