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StopCyberbullying

Summer 2019

school year 2018/2019

IC "Mons. Mario Vassalluzzo" in Roccapiemonte

#special eition

What is cyberbullying?

Why is cyberbullying different?

What are common cyberbullying tactics?

What are the consequences of cyberbullying?

Why are people cyberbullies?

How can we prevent cyberbullying?

What can we do when cyberbullying happens?

What can parents do?

What can teachers do?

Social media apps and sites commonly used by children and teens

Cyberbullying and Online Gaming

7 Real Life Cyberbullying Horror Stories

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Videos

Here we are!

the big cyberbullying wall

Speaking avatars

Interactive games

Posters

Comics

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.

What is cyberbullying?

The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devicesInstant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)Email

Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

Intimidation or mean comments that focus on things like a person's gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, or physical differences count as discrimination, which is against the law in many states. That means the police could get involved, and bullies may face serious penalties.

Cyberbullying occurs “when someone repeatedly makes fun of another person online or repeatedly picks on another person through e-mail or text message or when someone posts something online about another person that they don’t like”.Cyberbullying occurs “when someone repeatedly makes fun of another person online or repeatedly picks on another person through e-mail or text message or when someone posts something online about another person that they don’t like”.

Cyberbullying is as an aggressive, intentional act distributed by an individual or group, using contact in an electronic medium, continuously and relentlessly against someone who cannot stand up for himself or herself easilyCyberbullying is as an aggressive, intentional act distributed by an individual or group, using contact in anelectronic medium, continuously and relentlessly against someone who cannot stand up for himself or herself easily

The content an individual shares online – both their personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content – creates a kind of permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. This public record can be thought of as an online reputation, which may be accessible to schools, employers, colleges, clubs, and others who may be researching an individual now or in the future.

Cyberbullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved – not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it. Cyberbullying has unique concerns in that it can be:

Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for children experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.

Persistent, Permanent, Hard to Notice

Kids who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.

Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source. Deleting inappropriate messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.

Why is cyberbullying different?

- Persistent

Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for children experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.

- Permanent

Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.

- Hard to Notice

Because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognize.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYINGBullyingCyberbullyingOnly students in the class and/or the school are involved;Children and adults from all over the world can be involved;Usually, only those who have a strong character, capable of imposing their own power, can become a bully;Anyone, even those who are victims in real life, can become cyberbullying;Bullies are students, classmates or Institute companions, known to the victim;Cyberbullies can be anonymous and solicit the participation of other anonymous so-called “friends” so that the person does not really know who they are interacting;Bullying actions are told to other students in the school where they took place, are limited to a specific environment;The material used for cyberbullying actions can be spread worldwide;Bullying takes place during school hours or on the journey from school to school, school to home;Aggressive communications can take place 24 hours a day;School or class group dynamics limit aggressive actions;Cyberbullies have ample freedom to do online what they couldn't do in real life;Need for the bully to dominate in interpersonal relationships through direct contact with the victim;Perception of invisibility on the part of cyberbullies through actions hidden behind technology;Visible reactions from the victim and visible in the act of bullying;The absence of visible reactions from the victim which do not allow cyberbullies to see the effects of his actions;The tendency to evade responsibility by taking violence on a playful level.Personality splitting: the consequences of your actions are attributed to the created "user profile".

While there are a number of different ways kids are bullying others online, the majority of online harassment falls into one of six categories. Here are six of the most common methods of cyberbullying.

Harassing Someone

Impersonating Someone

Using Photographs

Creating Websites, Blogs, Polls, and More

Participating in Video Shaming

Engaging in Subtweeting or Vaguebooking

What are common cyberbullying tactics?

Using text messaging, instant messaging and email to harass, threaten or embarrass the target.Posting rumors, threats or embarrassing information on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.Engaging in “warning wars.” (Many Internet Service Providers and social media sites offer a way to report a user who is saying something inappropriate. Kids use these report buttons as a way to get the victim in trouble or kicked offline.)Participating in text wars or text attacks, which occur when bullies gang up on the victim and send thousands of texts. These attacks not only cause emotional distress but create a large cell phone bill.

Developing a screen name that is similar to the victim’s screen name and then posting rude or hurtful remarks while pretending to be the victim.Stealing the victim’s password and chatting with other people while pretending to be the victim. The bully will say mean things that offend and anger the victim’s friends or acquaintances.Changing the target’s online profile to include sexual, racist or other inappropriate things.Setting up an account on a social networking site and posting as the victim while saying mean, hurtful or offensive things online. Actual photos of the victim may be used to make the account look authentic.Posing as the victim and posting in chat rooms of known child molesters, hate groups or dating sites. The bully may even provide the victim’s personal information encouraging those in the groups to contact the victim.Pretending to be someone else in order to lure an unsuspecting person into a fake relationship. This type of activity is often called catfishing.

Taking nude or degrading pictures of the victim in a locker room, a bathroom or dressing room without his or her permission.Threatening to share embarrassing photos as a way of controlling or blackmailing the victim.Sending mass emails or text messages that include nude or degrading photos of the victim. This behavior is often called “sexting,” and once the photos are sent, there is no way to control it. The photos can be distributed to hundreds of people within just a few hours.Posting nude pictures on photo sharing sites for anyone on the Internet to view and download.Using photographs to shame someone online. One common tactic teens use is to engage in slut shaming. This behavior involves shaming someone, usually a girl, for the way she dresses, acts or the number of people she has dated.

Developing a website with information that is humiliating, embarrassing or insulting for the victim.Spreading rumors, lies or gossip about the victim online through websites or blogs.Posting the victim’s personal information and pictures on a website, which puts the victim in danger of being contacted by predators.Creating a blog about the victim that is embarrassing, insulting or humiliating.Using the information that was shared in confidence and making it public.Conducting an Internet poll about the victim. Questions in the poll may vary including everything from who is ugly and who smells to who is dumb and who is fat.Posting rude, mean or insulting comments about the victim via the chat option of online gaming sites.Sending viruses, spyware or hacking programs to the victim in order to spy on the victim or control his or her computer remotely.

Using a camera phone to video and later share a bullying incident, which may include one or more kids slapping, hitting, kicking or punching the victim.Downloading a video of something humiliating and posting it to YouTube in order to allow a larger audience to view the incident.Sharing a video via mass e-mail or text messaging to humiliate and embarrass the victim.Creating an incident that causes another person to become upset or emotional and then record the incident. This type of activity is often referred to as cyberbaiting. Teachers are a common target for cyberbaiting incidents.

Posting tweets or Facebook posts that never mention the victim's name. Yet the victim, the bully and often a larger audience know who the posts are referencing.Using subtle posts and tweets to fuel the rumor mill while avoiding detection by teachers, administrators, and parents.

5 Types of Internet Abuse Used to CyberbullySocial ExclusionSocial exclusionmight be one of the mildest forms of cyberbullying, but it can cause serious distress: it's the online equivalent of leaving someone out of a group to which they should expect automatic membership. This could include an entire class not accepting a friend request from a particular classmate.Tip:Focus ondeveloping real-life relationshipsrather than depending on virtual relationships for social connection. If you or your child is being excluded online, this is probably an indication of a more serious social problem in real life. Talk to your parents, teachers, or a counselor if you're being socially excluded at school. Joining online or real-life groups based on your interests, hobbies, or activities is also helpful.Tagging Without PermissionTagging is a way of attaching a person's name to an online image so that their name appears on the image, or so that images of a particular person can be identified by searching for tagged images using their name. Tagging someone's name against an embarrassing, defaming, or manipulated image—particularly without her permission—is a form of internet abuse, especially when the intention is to cause that person distress or ridicule.Tip: Limit and censor images that you post of yourself, and that others post of you. Adjust the privacy settings of Facebook or the website you are using and so that tagged images of you cannot be seen by others. Block people from accessing any information about you. If your image has been posted on a website, contact the website administrator and request that it be taken down. If the image is pornographic, you may be able to report the abuse to the police, although some teens have found themselves in trouble for others' posting sext images of them online.FlamingFlaming is the practice of posting derogatory comments about another person. It can include outing another person by revealing that he is gay when he hasn't come out himself; character assassination by berating someone's character through exaggerating her perceived faults in an unbalanced way; or posting up untrue information about someone in order to damage her image or reputation.Tip: Although abuse is never the fault of the victim, you can reduce the likelihood that it will happen to you by conducting yourself appropriately online, avoiding provoking negative reactions in others by comments you make, and treating yourself and others with respect. At the very least, any flaming that does happen will be unsubstantiated and unconvincing. And if it does happen, report abuse to the owner of the website; webmasters are increasingly aware of internet abuse and have moderators who can remove offensive material.Sext Re-PostingSextingis a risky activity, but when you are in a relationship, you can be drawn into sexting a picture of yourself to your loved one without thinking about the potential future risk of its being used against you.Younger internet users, especially teenage girls, can also be flattered into sexting images of themselves, or flashing on a webcam, by predators, pedophiles, and pornographers who can use these images forcybersex. This is known as coercionand is a form of internet abuse. While you may feel embarrassed by such images of you being made public, it is not your fault. Ask them to take the image down, and if they do not, report it to the website as being posted without your consent. If they continue to leave it online, and especially if they are harassing you in any other way, report it to the police.Impersonation and Identity TheftImpersonation is pretending to be someone elseand can range from obvious mockery to actually borrowing or stealing someone's identity—such as their name, image, or identifying information—to carry out actions which are attributed to the victim.Tip:For superficial impersonations, such as someone posting up a silly comment online using your name, add a comment below stating that it was not made by you. For more serious impersonations, like comments expressing controversial views you do not agree with, contact the webmaster and ask to have it removed. If your personal information is used to commit theft or another crime, you either confront the culprit to correct the matter or report it to the police.

What are the consequences of cyberbullying?

Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar. Kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to: • Use alcohol and drugs • Skip school • Receive poor grades • Have lower self-esteem • Have more health problemsSometimes, online bullying, like other kinds of bullying, can lead to serious long-lasting problems.

The stress of being in a constant state of upset or fear can lead to problems with mood, energy level, sleep, and appetite. It also can make someone feel jumpy, anxious, or sad. If someone is already depressed or anxious, cyberbullying can make things much worse. It's not just the person being bullied who gets hurt. The punishment for cyberbullies can be serious. More and more schools and after-school programs are creating systems to respond to cyberbullying. Schools may dismiss bullies from sports teams or suspend them from school. Some types of cyberbullying may violate school codes or even break anti-discrimination or sexual harassment laws. So, a bully may face serious legal trouble.

Here are some common feelings cyberbullied teens and tweens often experience.

Feel Overwhelmed: Being targeted by cyberbullies is crushing especially if a lot of kids are participating in the bullying. It can feel at times like the entire world knows what it is going on.Sometimes the stress of dealing with cyberbullying can cause kids to feel like the situation is more than they can handle.Feel Vulnerable and Powerless: Victims of cyberbullying often find it difficult to feel safe. Typically, this is because the bullying can invade their home through a computer or cell phone at any time of day. They no longer have a place where they can escape. To a victim, it feels like bullying is everywhere.Additionally, because the bullies can remain anonymous, this can escalate feelings of fear. Kids who are targeted have no idea who is inflicting the pain—although some cyberbullieschoose people they know.Feel Exposed and Humiliated: Because cyberbullying occurs in cyberspace, online bullying feels permanent. Kids know that once something is out there, it will always be out there.When cyberbullying occurs, the nasty posts, messages or texts can be shared with multitudes of people. The sheer volume of people that know about the bullying can lead to intense feelings of humiliation.Feel Dissatisfied With Who They Are: Cyberbullying often attacks victims where they are most vulnerable. As a result, targets of cyberbullying often begin to doubt their worth and value. They may respond to these feelings by harming themselves in some way.For instance, if a girl is called fat, she may begin a crash diet with the belief that if she alters how she looks then the bullying will stop. Other times victims will try to change something about their appearance or attitude in order to avoid additional cyberbullying.Feel Angry and Vengeful: Sometimes victims of cyberbullying will get angry about what is happening to them. As a result, they plot revenge and engage in retaliation. This approach is dangerous because it keeps them locked in the bully-victim cycle. It is always better to forgive a bully than it is to get even.Feel Disinterested in Life. When cyberbullying is ongoing, victims often relate to the world around them differently than others. For many, life can feel hopeless and meaningless. They lose interest in things they once enjoyed and spend less time interacting with family and friends. And, in some cases, depression and thoughts of suicide can set in.If you notice a change in your child's mood, get him evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.Feel Alone and Isolated: Cyberbullying sometimes causes teens to be excluded and ostracized at school. This experience is particularly painful because friends are crucial at this age. When kids don’t have friends, this can lead to more bullying.What's more, when cyberbullying occurs, most people recommend shutting off the computer or turning off the cell phone. But, for teens, this often means cutting off communication with their world. Their phones and their computers are one of the most important ways they communicate with others. If that option for communication is removed, they can feel secluded and cut off from their world.Feel Disinterested in School: Cyberbullying victims often have much higher rates of absenteeism at school than non-bullied kids. They skip school to avoid facing the kids bullying them or because they are embarrassed and humiliated by the messages that were shared. Their grades suffer too because they find it difficult to concentrate or study because of the anxiety and stress the bullying causes. And in some cases, kids will either drop out of school or lose interest in continuing their education after high school.Feel Anxious and Depressed: Victims of cyberbullying often succumb to anxiety, depression and other stress-related conditions. This occurs primarily because cyberbullying erodes their self-confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, the added stress of coping with cyberbullying on a regular basis erodes their feelings of happiness and contentment.Feel Ill: When kids are cyberbullied, they often experience headaches, stomachaches or other physical ailments. The stress of bullying also can cause stress-related conditions like stomach ulcers and skin conditions.Additionally, kids who are cyberbullied may experience changes in eating habits like skipping meals or binge eating. And their sleep patterns may be impacted. They may suffer from insomnia, sleep more than usual or experience nightmares.Feel Suicidal: Cyberbullying increases the risk of suicide. Kids that are constantly tormented by peers through text messages, instant messaging, social media, and other outlets, often begin to feel hopeless. They may even begin to feel like the only way to escape the pain is through suicide. As a result, they may fantasize about ending their life in order to escape their tormentors.If your child is being cyberbullied, do not dismiss their feelings. Be sure you communicate daily, take steps to help end the torment and keep close tabs on changes in mood and behavior. Get your child evaluated by a health care professional if notice any personality changes at all.

Why are people cyberbullies?

8 Reasons Why Kids Cyberbully Others - Understanding the motives behind cyberbullying

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Cyberbullies Are Motivated by RevengeWhen kids have been bullied, they often seek revenge instead of coping with the situation in healthier ways. The motivation for these victims of bullying is to retaliate for the pain they have experienced. When this happens, these kids are often referred to as bully-victims.Bully victims feel justified in their actions because they, too, have been harassed and tormented.They want others to feel what they have felt and feel justified in doing so. By cyberbullying others, they also may feel a sense of relief and vindication for what they experienced. These kids will sometimes even go after the bully directly. Other times, they will target someone whom they perceive to be weaker or more vulnerable than them.

Cyberbullies Believe the Victim Deserves ItBullying often revolves around a person’s social status at school. And some kids will cyberbully others based on the school’s perceived social ladder. For instance, a mean girl might get cyberbullied by an anonymous group of girls who are hoping to bring her down a notch or two.Or, by contrast, a mean girl might cyberbully a girl who excels academically because she is jealous about her success. Other times, one girl might cyberbully another girl because she believes she stole her boyfriend. Whatever the reason, kids sometimes feel their cyberbullying behaviors are warranted and deserved. Consequently, they usually do not feel remorse or guilt for cyberbullying.

Cyberbullies Are BoredKids who are bored and looking for entertainment will sometimes resort to cyberbullying to add some excitement and drama to their lives. They also might choose to cyberbully because they lack attention and supervision from parents. As a result, the Internet becomes their only source of entertainment and an outlet for getting attention.Instead of finding a positive way to spend their time, cyberbullies entertain themselves by creating digital drama.

Cyberbullies Cave Under Peer PressureSometimes kids will cyberbully to fit in with a group of friends or a clique. As a result, these kids succumb to peer pressure in order to be accepted at school, even if it means going against their better judgment. They are more concerned with fitting in than they are worried about the consequences of cyberbullying. Other times, groups of friends will cyberbully because there is a false sense of security in numbers.

Cyberbullies Think Everyone Is Doing ItWhen teens believe lots of people are bullying online, they are more likely to engage in the behavior themselves. In their minds, it doesn’t seem like a significant problem because their peer group accepts the behavior. What’s more, kids will cyberbully others to fit in with a group that regularly harasses people online.

Cyberbullies Are Power HungryCyberbullying can be a manifestation of social status. Kids who are popular often make fun of kids who are less popular. Likewise, kids who are attractive might single out others they feel are unattractive.They use the Internet to perpetuaterelational aggressionand mean girl behavior. They also willspread rumors and gossipand may evenostracize othersthrough cyberbullying. Meanwhile, kids who are trying to climb the social ladder at school or gain some social power will resort to cyberbullying to get attention. They also might cyberbully to diminish the social status of another person.Cyberbullies have a range of different motivations, but the general goal is to increase their own power by reducing the power of someone else.

Cyberbullies Believe They Won't Get CaughtThe anonymity of the Internet gives kids a false sense of security. They believe if they post things anonymously that they won’t get caught. What’s more, kids who cyberbully do not necessarily see the reaction of the victim, which makes it extremely easy to say and do things they would not otherwise do. In fact, a significant number of kids who do not bully face-to-face will still engage in cyberbullying.

Cyberbullies Lack EmpathyMost kids who cyberbully believe it isn’t a big deal. Because they do not see the pain that they cause, they feel little to no remorse for their actions. In fact, several studies have found that a large number of students who engaged in online bullying reported not feeling anything for the victims after bullying online. Instead, many kids reported that online bullying made them feel funny, popular, and powerful.

Many of the warning signs that cyberbullying is occurring happen around a child’s use of their device. Some of the warning signs that a child may be involved in cyberbullying are: • Noticeable increases or decreases in device use, including texting. • A child exhibits emotional responses (laughter, anger, upset) to what is happening on their device. • A child hides their screen or device when others are near, and avoids discussion about what they are doing on their device. • Social media accounts are shut down or new ones appear.

A child may be involved in cyberbullying in several ways. A child can be bullied, bully others, or witness bullying. Parents, teachers, and other adults may not be aware of all the digital media and apps that a child is using. The more digital platforms that a child uses, the more opportunities there are for being exposed to potential cyberbullying.

Be Aware of What Your Kids are Doing Online

Warning Signs a Child is Being Cyberbullied or is Cyberbullying Others

How can we prevent cyberbullying?

• A child starts to avoid social situations, even those that were enjoyed in the past.• A child becomes withdrawn or depressed, or loses interest in people and activities.

Stop - Block - Tell

What can we do when cyberbullying happens?

Kids should be encouraged to tell their parents immediately if they, or someone they know, is being cyberbullied. When cyberbullying happens, it is important to document and report the behavior so it can be addressed. If you notice warning signs that a child may be involved in cyberbullying, take steps to investigate that child’s digital behavior.

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying, and adults should take the same approach to address it: support the child being bullied, address the bullying behavior of a participant, and show children that cyberbullying is taken seriously. Because cyberbullying happens online, responding to it requires different approaches.

+ If you think that a child is involved in cyberbullying, there are several things you can do

Notice – Recognize if there has been a change in mood or behavior and explore what the cause might be. Try to determine if these changes happen around a child’s use of their digital devices.Talk –Ask questions to learn what is happening, how it started, and who is involved.Document –Keep a record of what is happening and where. Take screenshots of harmful posts or content if possible. Most laws and policies note that bullying is a repeated behavior, so records help to document it.Report –Most social media platforms and schools have clear policies and reporting processes. If a classmate is cyberbullying, report it the school. You can also contact app or social media platforms to report offensive content and have it removed. If a child has received physical threats, or if a potential crime or illegal behavior is occurring, report it to the police.Support –Peers, mentors, and trusted adults can sometimes intervene publicly to positively influence a situation where negative or hurtful content posts about a child. Public Intervention can include posting positive comments about the person targeted with bullying to try to shift the conversation in a positive direction. It can also help to reach out to the child who is bullying and the target of the bullying to express your concern. If possible, try to determine if more professional support is needed for those involved, such as speaking with a guidance counselor or mental health professional.When cyberbullying happens, it is important to document and report the behavior so it can be addressed.

Sometimes, people are afraid or not sure if they're being bullied or not. So they don't do anything about it. If you're being bullied, harassed, or teased in a hurtful way — or know someone who is — you don't have to suffer in silence. In fact, you absolutely should report any upsetting texts, messages, posts, or emails.Tell someone. Most experts agree: The first thing to do is tell an adult you trust. This is often easier said than done. People who are cyberbullied may feel embarrassed or reluctant to report a bully. Some may hesitate because they're not 100% sure who is doing the bullying. But bullying can get worse, so speak up until you find someone to help. Sometimes the police can track down an anonymous online bully, so it's often worthwhile to report it.Most parents are so concerned about protecting their kids that sometimes they focus on taking major steps to stop the bullying. If you're being bullied and worry about losing your phone or computer privileges, explain your fears to your parents. Let them know how important it is to stay connected, and work with them to figure out a solution that doesn't leave you feeling punished as well as picked on. You may have to do some negotiating on safe phone or computer use — the most important thing is to first get the bullying under control.You also can talk to your school counselor or atrusted teacher or family member. If the bullying feels like it's really getting you down (like if it's affecting your sleep or concentration), therapy can help. If you're not ready for that, you can still benefit from the support of a trusted adult.Walk away. What you've heard about walking away from a real-life bully works in the virtual world too. Ignoring bullies is the best way to take away their power, but it isn't always easy to do — in the real world or online.If you see something upsetting, try to step away from the computer or turn off your phone for a while. Don't respond, and never forward the message to someone else. Find something to distract yourself from what's going on. Do something you love that doesn't give you time to think about what's happening, like playing the guitar, going for a run, or losing yourself in a book or movie. You can also just chat with a parent or sibling or play with a pet.Taking a break like this allows you to keep things in perspective and focus on the good things in your life. It also gives you time to figure out how you want to handle things.Resist the urge to retaliate or respond. Walking away or taking a break when you're faced with online bullying gives you some space so you won't be tempted to fire back a response or engage with the bully or bullies. Responding when we're upset can make things worse. (Standing up to a bully can be effective sometimes, but it's more likely to provoke the person and escalate the situation.) Taking a break gives the power back to you!Although it's not a good idea to respond to a bully, it is a good idea to save evidence of the bullying if you can. It can help you prove your case, if needed. You don't have to keep mean emails, texts, or other communications where you see them all the time — you can ask a parent to make a copy or save them to a flash drive.Report bullying. Social media sites take it seriously when people post cruel or mean stuff or set up fake accounts. If users report abuse, the site administrator may block the bully from using the site in the future. If someone sends you mean texts or emails, report it to phone service or email providers (such as Comcast, Google, and Verizon).Block the bully. Most devices have settings that let you electronically block the bully or bullies from sending notes. If you don't know how to do this, ask a friend or adult who does.Be safe online. Password protect your smartphone and your online sites, and change your passwords often. Be sure to share your passwords only with your parent or guardian. It's also wise to think twice before sharing personal information or photos/videos that you don't want the world to see. Once you've posted a photo or message, it can be difficult or impossible to delete. So remind yourself to be cautious when posting photos or responding to someone's upsetting message.

What can parents do?

Parents and kids can prevent cyberbullying. Together, they can explore safe ways to use technology. They can: • talk about the sites which are visited and the online activities which are carried out. • be “friends” or “followers” on social media sites. • keep their passwords safe and not share them with friends. • establish rules about appropriate use of computers, cell phones, and other technology.

Parents who want to protect their children from cyberbullying can use parental control and monitoring software to help them set up systems that are less invasive to their children. There are free software options and apps available to help parents restrict content, block domains, or view their children’s online activities, including social media, without looking at their child’s device every day.

Tips for Parents: Talk to Your Child about Appropriate Digital Behavior and Content

Parents create trust with children by initiating open, honest discussions. These dialogues are an opportunity to communicate values and expectations about your family’sappropriate digital behavior, including viewing or sharing content, and apps they can and cannot use.Check in frequently with your children about their digital experiences to address any potential risk ofcyberbullyingand harm. Be clear that your intention is to look out for their wellbeing, and that you want to have an open dialogue. Listen to their concerns and express your perspective.To minimize the risk of cyberbullying or harm from digital behavior, parents can:Set clear expectations about digital behavior and online reputation.Educate about the harmfuleffects of cyberbullying, posting hateful speech or comments, sexting, and sharing naked photos of themselves or others (including potential legal issues).Be clear about what content can be viewed or shared.Identify which apps are appropriate for your child’s use and which are not.Establish rules about the amount of time that a child can spend online or on their devices.Model positive, respectful digital behavior on your own devices and accounts.Talk to Your Child about Being a Bystander to CyberbullyingHaving conversations with children about cyberbullying and digital behavior is not a one-time event – it is an ongoing dialogue. Begin talking about these issues before children delve into the world of texting,social media, online gaming,and chat rooms. Help them reflect on real and potential cyberbullying situations, and provide ongoing opportunities to practice ways to respond. Doing so can support the transition from being passive bystanders to being allies who serve as powerful role models for others. SAMHSA’s freeKnowbullying appfor parents, teachers, and educators provides conversation starters, tips and other tools you can use to help prevent bullying.If you think your child is witnessing cyberbullying, there are things that you can encourage them to do - and not do. Such as:Do not participate.Encourage children not to “like,” share, or comment on information that has been posted about someone, and do not forward a hurtful text to others. Not participating may limit the potential damage of the messages – to others and to themselves.Do not retaliate or respond negatively. If a child feels that they must respond, encourage a calm, clear, and constructive response. Angry and aggressive reactions can make a bad situation worse. Encourage children (and adults!) to step away from the device so they do not resort to blaming, shaming, or retaliation. This provides time to get calm and centered so they can create a response that makes it clear that others’ digital behaviors are hurtful and unacceptable.Respond privately to the person who created the hurtful message. If they feel safe doing so, it may be helpful to follow up with the person who created or shared the hurtful message privately, either online, in a phone call, or in person. Doing so can make it clear they do not support the negative actions. It also provides an opportunity to authentically share concerns about the behavior and what might be behind it.Follow up with the person who was targeted. By reaching out, a child can send a powerful message that they care about the person and they do not support the negative behaviors. If needed, this connection can also provide an opportunity to assist the person in finding help related to the cyberbullying situation.

What can teachers do?

Teachers, school administrators, camp, community, and faith-based staff are in unique positions to use their skills and roles to create safe environments with positive social norms. They are also in positions where they may notice children’s behavior changes in group settings, like when a group or cluster of children focuses on another child, or other signs that cyberbullying may be occurring.

There are things that you can do in the classroom or other group settings to address or prevent cyberbullying.

Speak to the child

If you think a child is being cyberbullied, speak to them privately to ask about it. They may also have proof on their digital devices.

Speak to a parent

If you believe a child is being cyberbullied, speak to a parent about it. Serve as a facilitator between the child, parent, and the school if necessary.

Increase digital awareness

To understand children’ digital behavior and how it relates to cyberbullying, increase your digital awareness.

Encourage self-reflection

Develop activities that encourage self-reflection, asking children to identify and express what they think and feel, and to consider the thoughts and feelings of others. Help children develop emotional intelligence so that they can learn self-awareness and self-regulation skills and learn how to have empathy for others.

Reward positive behavior

Role model, reinforce, and reward positive behavior towards others.

Encourage peer involvement

Encourage peer involvement in prevention strategies.

Digital media and apps allow children to communicate and express their creativity, connect with peers, and share their feelings. However, they can be an avenue through which cyberbullying occurs. There are many types of apps and sites available for free that give users the ability to search for people and share or post information about them anonymously.

Social media apps and sites commonly used by children and teens

Parents may not be aware of the apps that their children use regularly or may not be aware of the risks involved in using them. There are many ways that cyberbullying can be hidden in apps and sites, such as texts, videos, and web calls that disappear or do not appear on the device’s call or text message logs. Many apps also make it easy for users to access, view or participate in adult or harmful content. Privacy and location settings may make them more vulnerable to stalking, cyberbullying, exposure to adult content, or other dangers.

Some current popular social media venues and apps

Askfm:A social networking site that allows users to ask other people questions, often anonymously.Chatroulette:There are over 20 different chat roulette sites that allow users to instantly connect via webcam and video chat.Sites typically pair the users randomly and instantly.Discord: A voice-over-IP (VOIP) app that allows users to video chat with others, private message, and join, create, or participate in public and private chat rooms. This app is often used by players to chat with each other while playing videogames.Facebook and Facebook Live:The most commonly used social media site that is accessible on many different media platforms.Instagram: A photo and video sharing and networking site that connects users through other social networking sites (e.g., Facebook).Kik:Messaging app that allows users of all ages to contact others anonymously.Line: A messaging app that allows users to make free phone calls, leave voice messages, and text. Users can delete texts or chats from recipient’s phone using a timer.Musical.ly:Users can post their own videos and view videos posted by others.Reddit:A site that stores social news, rates and evaluates web content, and discussion threads.Sarahah:An anonymous messaging app that allows users to send anonymous messages to people they may know.Snapchat: A photo messaging app that allows for sharing pictures and short videos that are intended to be erased shortly after delivery.Telegram:Messaging app that allows users to share photos, videos, and files; make calls, and delete texts or chats from recipient’s phone using a timer.Tumblr: A social networking site that allows posting of short blogs and media.Twitter: A microblogging site that allows users to send, read, and reply to “tweets” or short messages.Vine: An app that allows the posting of short 6-second looping videos.WeChat: An app that allows user to chat with friends, and to search for people nearby and around the globe.WhatsApp: A private messaging app that allows users to text, send photos, videos, and location information to their contacts.YouTube:A video sharing platform that allows users to post and share videos.

Cyberbullying and Online Gaming

Playing videogames is a popular activity, with 72 percent of teens gaming online. Many video games – whether they are console, web, or computer-based – allow users to play with friends they know in person and others they have met only online. While gaming can have positive benefits like making new friends, socializing, and learning how to strategize and problem solve, it is also another place where cyberbullying occurs.

Anonymity of players and the use of avatars allow users to create alter-egos or fictional versions of themselves, which is part of the fun of gaming. But it also allows users to harass, bully, and sometimes gang up on other players, sending or posting negative or hurtful messages and using the game as a tool of harassment. If someone is not performing well, other children may curse or make negative remarks that turn into bullying, or they might exclude the person from playing together.

Some things adults can do to prevent cyberbullying of children who are gaming

Play the game or observe when the gaming happens to understand how it works and what a child is exposed to in the game.Check in periodically with your child about who is online, playing the game with them.Teach your children about safe online behavior, including not clicking on links from strangers, not sharing personal information, not participating in bullying behavior of other players, and what to do if they observe or experience bullying.Establish rules about how much time a child can spend playing video games.

Ashlynn Conner

Ten-year-old Ashlynn Conner was bullied so much that she begged her mom to homeschool her. She wanted an escape from the horrible children at school but her mom refused. The bullying continued at home through social media.Ashlynn was called “fat” and “ugly” at first and then it turned into people calling her a “slut” long before she even understood the meaning of the word. When she had her hair cut because she wanted to feel good about herself, the name calling changed to “pretty boy.”This isn’t just a story of cyberbullying but the ending. Ashlynn’s sister was the one to find her hanging in her closet by a scarf. The horror and devastation that would have left her sister is immense.

With social media and technology, cyberbullying has become the go-to method of bullying and making teen lives a misery. Just how bad can cyberbullying get? How does it happen? What can teens feel? To get a full understanding of this type of bullying, you need to read the horror stories. Here are seven real life cyberbullying horror stories to be aware of to protect children

Megan Meier

This horror story is a case of child depression made worse because of cyberbullying. Megan had suffered from severe depression from the age of eight and was already taking antipsychotics and antidepressants. While they helped slightly, she still suffered from her mental illnesses.A female neighbor set up a MySpace account and pretended to be a male to tease Megan. At first, Megan found herself attached to this “Josh Evans,” but “he” later turned on her and started discussing some rumors “he’d” heard. At first it all started private but then he started sharing their private messages and went public with a declaration that the world would be better without her.Megan, already susceptible to depression, believed that comment. After telling him that “you’re the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over,” she took her own life in her bedroom. She was just 13 years old.

Hailee Lamberth

Another 13-year-old took her life due to cyberbullying. She’s suffered from epilepsy and her classmates taunted her for that. This in-school bullying continued through online platforms and forums. They’d often tell herself to kill herself because of her condition.At one point, a classmate left her a voicemail saying “I hope you died.” Hailee couldn’t take the bullying anymore and killed herself.

Kenneth Weishuhn

It’s not only girls that suffer from cyberbullying. While most horror stories involve girls, there are many young boys who have to deal with the torment and horrible words. Kenneth Weishuhn was one of those boys, who was bullied because of his sexual orientation. Being gay is hard as a teen without the bullying, but it’s worse when your classmates create an anti-gay Facebook group and make death threats over the phone.This wasn’t just from enemies or people he barely knew. After he “came out,” his own friends joined in with tormenting him or they would play ignorance and never step up for their friend. Kenneth was continually harassed in school and online and eventually killed himself. He was just 14 years old.

Angel Green

Another 14-year-old took her own life. Angel had spent years being mocked and called names. Her classmates claimed she was a “whore” and a “slut.” She’d already struggled growing up, as her father hit her and had been jailed for abuse. After her classmates learned about that, they used it as more ammunition both at school and online.While many will do it in their own home, Angel opted for a tree at the school bus stop to make sure her bullies saw her body. She also left a note at home to make sure everyone knew why she’d taken her own life.

David Molak

David Molak had a good-looking girlfriend and was a nice boy. That didn’t stop him from becoming the target of a cyberbullying campaign. Bullies at school would keep sending him abusive and hurtful messages, leading to him suffering from severe depression.At first, David loved to work out and was the life of the party. Everything changed after the torment took its hold on his mental health. He lost enthusiasm and interest in anything. When he was 15 years old, he hung himself in his backyard to avoid the bullying.

Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd had been approached online by a male stranger when she was in 7thGrade. He’d convinced her to flash her breasts while on a webcam. That one instance led to a succession of cyberbullying and the threat of exposure. He contacted her on Facebook to get her to take part in a live sex show on camera. If she didn’t, he’d share the photo of her breasts with her friends.When Amanda refused to give in, the stranger shared the photo online for the world to see. Soon enough, bullies contacted Amanda. Despite moving to another city, she couldn’t escape the cyberbullying.She initially tried to kill herself by drinking bleach, but she was saved. Her second attempt was successful but she did leave a video to tell the full story of what led to this point. She was just 15 years old at the time.

7 Real Life Cyberbullying Horror Stories

Serafina and Bianca

Ilaria and Rosanna

Francesco

Monica and Federica

Gerardo, Alessio and Aniello

Antonio and Arthur

Giulio

Luca, Stefano and Carmelo

Luigi

Videos

Gerardo and Rosanna

Gerardo and Rosanna

Luca and Gerardo

Luigi

Luigi. Giulio and Carmelo

Monica and Federica

Francesco and Stefano

Posters

Horse racing

Crossword 1

Crossword 4

Hangman 2

Memory

Crossword 2

Wordgrid

Quiz

Crossword 3

Cloze test

The Millionaire

Hangman 1

Matching

CyberQuiz

Games

Gerardo and Aniello

Monica and Federica

Gerardo and Carmelo

Luigi and Giulio

Antonio and Arthur

Francesco

Comics

Here we are!

cartoons

WORDWALLS