A girl with a phone in her hand being laughed at.
Cyber-bullying is when a person uses technology to hurt, threaten,
tease, control or make fun of another person.

What is cyber-bullying?​

Cyber-bullying happens when a person uses technology to hurt, threaten, tease, control or make fun of another person.

Cyber-bullying can happen by text, email, social media chat, gaming website chat, or in any other way that uses technology. It can involve posting hurtful comments or embarrassing pictures or videos of someone, or spreading rumours or lies about a person online.

It is a very public form of bullying, meaning that lots of people can see it very quickly. Depending on the method used, the content can be difficult to erase. Cyber-bullying can have a very negative impact on some people.

For this and other reasons, it is important to think carefully about who you want to ‘add as a friend’ or ‘follow’ on social media or talk to using any other kind of technology.

What you can do if you're being bullied online​


A mobile device shown with a sad expression

What you can do if you know someone else who is being cyber-bullied

Sometimes, you might be worried that a friend is being cyber-bullied. They may seem anxious, sad, embarrassed and may have trouble sleeping, missing school, avoiding being online or being online more than they usually are.

It is normal to feel worried about a friend if they are being bullied online but there are lots of things you can do to help support them.


Don't join in

Report the posts

It’s important to remember to look after yourself too. It can be stressful when you’re worried about a friend, so talk to an adult who you trust or talk to Childline.

What can I do if I have been involved in cyber-bullying?

You might have heard different things about cyber-bullying and might be worried that you might have bullied someone else online.

Remember, everyone makes mistakes and it doesn’t mean you are a bad person. You can change your behaviour. If you think you might have bullied someone online you can:



Online harassment

Sometimes, cyber-bullying gets more serious and it becomes online harassment. Online harassment happens when someone is targeted, threatened and frightened online. This is against the law.

If someone keeps sending you messages or posts and even sets up a new or a fake profile to do so, or if they send you scary or threatening messages or videos, even after you’ve asked them to stop, this might be online harassment.

If you think you are being harassed online, it is important to:

No-one has the right to bully others. Everyone has the right to feel safe and protected, including when they are online.

If you think you are being bullied online, if you know someone who is experiencing cyber-bullying, or if you think you might have bullied others online, you can always contact Childline for support.

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