With the rise of mobile phones and hand-held devices, social media has become part of everyone’s life and the use of social media has seen the growth of online bullying. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat allow people to share photos and video instantly around the world. We communicate with our friends and family through social media and it has become a vital part of the business.
Unfortunately, these advancements in technology have also seen advancements in cyberbullying. We have seen an increase in bullying, harassment or victimisation online. Social media gives bully’s a safe environment to say what they want and target whom they please. Forms of cyberbullying via social media can include the following:
We are focusing on this very serious issue and we are working closely with The Police, Facebook and other social media service providers, to work towards eliminating this unacceptable behaviour. If you are a parent, take positive steps to protect your child when he or she uses a mobile phone or a computer. There is a great deal you can do to safeguard your child.
If someone is bullying you via social media, the first thing you should do is block the person that's bullying you and report them to the social media site. Try to document the bullying with a screenshot of the message or photo as you may need this as proof. If your son or daughter is being cyberbullied on social media you should also talk to the school. The chances are that the bullying is not isolated to just social media The school has a duty of care to look after and protect your child and they must be made aware of any concerns you have. Below we have detailed the steps to block or report a bully via some of the more popular social platforms.
If you are receiving abusive or upsetting messages through Snapchat you should try and take a screenshot of the offending message. Snaps automatically disappear after the message has been viewed but you can still take screen shots and save them to you phone or computer. Snapchat will send a notification to the person that’s sent the messages and in serious cases they could shut down the account of the bully. To report a message that’s deemed as bullying or contains nudity go to:
I need help
Select - Report a safety concern
Pick - a snap or chat I’ve received - followed by - it contains nudity - or - it bullied me
Underneath the advice there is a box that says - still need help - Select this option and you will be directed to a form where you can explain more about what’s happened.
If you are being bullied on Snapchat, blocking the bully will prevent them from sending any more abusive messages to you. Snapchat have instructions on removing and blocking friends.
You can block someone on Facebook via your blocking settings which you can find from the settings menu. To block some on Facebook:
Click the menu icon in the top right corner and choose Settings
Go to the left side of Facebook and click Blocking
Click Blocking in the left side menu
Enter the name of the person you want to block and click Block.
Select the person you want to block from the list and click Block - Block name
People will not be notified when you block them. If you can’t find someone using this method, try going to the person’s profile and selecting Block from the menu on their cover photo. Facebook also have a Bullying Help page with useful information on:
What should I do if I see something I don’t like
How can I help a friend being bullied
What happens when I report something
How do I report something
Instagram is automatically set to public when you open an account so anyone can see your photos. You can manually set your profile to private which means you would get a request before anyone can see your images and if you don’t know them you can deny the access. If Instagram is setup with the intent to bully or harass another person or if a photo or comment is intended to bully or harass someone, you can report it via the link below and following the instructions. You can also find out what to do if you think someone is impersonating you or someone else on Instagram. To block someone on instagram go to:
Click on their user name and go to their profile page
Click the menu icon Tap - usually top right
Twitter want to provide a platform where people are free to express themselves but if that freedom of expression is abusive, Twitter have guidelines on how to report a tweet. Multiple Tweets can be included in the same report, which helps them better understand the situation. Twitter wont block an individual but they will provide recommendations and suggest actions you can take to protect yourself. The Twitter support page includes:
How to report a Tweet
How to report a message or conversation
What you should do if you receive a violent threat
What happen after you have reported something
Why Twitter can't block accounts