WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM BEING ANONYMOUSLY cyberbullied?
Anonymous Cyberbullying – When a person bullies others using technology to disguise their identity. It can be done by mobile phone or over the internet.
TOP TIPS FOR DEALING WITH THE ISSUE
- Speak out – Make sure you tell someone about what’s going on. It could be a friend or a trusted adult but it’s really important that you don’t suffer in silence.
- Don’t reply – People who bully anonymously are normally looking to get a reaction out of others, by not replying you’re not giving them that satisfaction.
- Save the evidence – This is important in case the bullying escalates further. Taking a screenshot is an effective and quick way of doing this.
- Report – Most social networks have a way of reporting negative content on their platforms. Make sure you know where this is and don’t be afraid of using it, it’s quick and effective if there is an offensive post that needs taking down. If you’re being bullied via mobile phone you can also get in contact with your network provider who will be able to guide you further.
- Block – Most social networks have a ‘block’ feature which allows you to stop interaction with other users. Information on how to do this can normally be found within platform’s safety centres. On mobile phones this can normally be done within the “settings” menu.
- Privacy settings – With most social networks you can adjust your privacy settings to stop people you don’t want interacting with you.
- Support – Bullying of any form can be difficult to deal with on your own, if you feel like you want to talk to someone about it you can get in touch with ChildLine in the UK (0800 11 11) or Ireland (1800 66 66 66).
- Police – If you feel that the incident is serious enough to be a criminal offence then you can engage your local police force and make a report. You can do this in the UK by ringing 101 or in Ireland by contacting your local Gardaí station.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY STUDENT IF THEY'RE BEING BULLIED ANONYMOUSLY?
If one of your students approaches you and tells you that their being cyberbullied anonymously it can be tricky to know what to do. The fact that anonymity is involved means you may have to adapt some of your schools’ usual methods of dealing with bullying, nonetheless as closely as possible follow your schools’ anti-bullying policy.
In particular it’s really important to keep feeding back what’s going on to the student. Being bullied anonymously can be hugely damaging for their self-esteem and sense of control. By involving those who are being bullied and checking whether they’re happy with what you’re doing, you can help them to begin rebuilding their self-confidence.
Use the tips above to give the young person guidance on practical steps they can take and make sure they know where to find support should they need it, whether that’s you, colleagues or services like Childline UK and Ireland.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT IF THEY ARE BEING BULLIED ANONYMOUSLY?
The rapid changes and developments in technology mean that it can be increasingly difficult for parents and guardians to understand how best to support their children when their being cyberbullied. If your child is being cyberbullied anonymously it can be even more challenging to know what to do. The tips below, combined with the practical advice above should provide support for young people in knowing what to do.
- Reassure - Reassure your child that they did the right thing in coming forward; young people’s imaginations are prone to creating vivid ‘worse-case scenarios’ which can inhibit them from speaking out. The fact that they’ve come to you is a big step for them.
- Listen - Listen to what they have to say without voicing any judgement; it’s important that they feel comfortable with you taking action and that they feel some degree of power over what’s going on.
- Avoid denying access – Young people use technology every day for communicating with friends as well as learning and discovering. Taking it away from them can discourage them from speaking out in the future and from accessing external support. Instead encourage them to come to you if they see anything they’re uncomfortable with and you can go through it together.
Bullying can make a child feel ashamed and scared, and they’ll be most worried about how you’ll react when they tell you. Try to stay calm, reassure them and ask questions about what your child wants you to do to help them.
Make sure you speak to your child’s school to ensure they are aware of the situation. Go through the top tips above with your child and ask them what you would like to do to help.