Info and Advice

Cyber Bullying

Cyber-bullying is when a person uses technology to hurt, threaten,
tease, control or make fun of another person.
A young teenage girl receives bullying messages online

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. 

Talking helps!

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1800 66 66 66

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What you can do if you're being bullied online
  • Don't get involved. Don't reply to any bullying messages, or react to, comment on, or share bullying posts.
  • Keep screenshots of any of the bullying posts or messages. Try to take note of the date and time of the message also. 
  • Tell an adult you trust about what is happening.
  • Report any of the bullying comments or posts to the social network or gaming website. A trusted adult might be able to help you with this. 
  • Block the person who is bullying you, or contact your mobile phone provider if you are being bullied by text / phone. If someone is contacting you through your mobile phone number or email address, you could consider getting a new one. 
  • Set your privacy settings so that only people you know and trust see your posts or comment on them. 
Remember
An illustration of a phone with a worried face
  • It’s not your fault. No one ever deserves to be bullied
  • No one has the right to bully another person
  • You’re not alone
  • Ask for help – it is available
  • This won’t last forever – even very difficult experiences come to an end
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.

Talk
  • Tell an adult you trust about what is happening
  • Talk to your friend and listen to what they have to say
Don't join in
  • Don’t like, share, comment on or retweet any of the bullying posts. If you see someone being cyberbullied, don’t join in on the bullying
  • If it’s safe, tell the bully that what they’re doing is not ok and that you think they should stop
Report the posts
  • Report the bullying posts to the social network site
  • Help the person set the privacy settings on their social media profiles so that only certain people can see what they are posting

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:

Stop
  • Stop sending any tweets, comments, posts, snaps, etc, that are part of the bullying. If you have bullied just one person, you might stop posting / commenting on their profiles completely
  • If the bullying posts are still online, delete them
  • If you have been part of a group which has bullied others, tell the others that you think the group should stop
Support
  • Talk to an adult you trust and get their support
  • If you know the person offline, go to them and say sorry. Ask if there's anything you can do to help now
  • If you are upset because of what has happened, ask for help so that you can manage your feelings. Talk to an adult you trust or to Childline
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:

Tell an adult you trust

Keep evidence of the harassment by keeping screenshots of any hurtful posts / comments / messages

Block, remove or delete the person who is contacting you from your contacts

Report harassment or fake profiles to the social media site

Go to the Gardai and report the harassment if necessary

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.

Contact Childline

Childline is always here to listen and to support you. You can call Childline on 1800 66 66 66 (24 hours a day), text Childline on 50101 (10am – 4am every day) or chat with Childline online

Talking helps!

FreePhone

1800 66 66 66

FreeText

50101

Live

Message