Taking on cyberbullies
Throughout history, the world has always had to deal with bullies. Thugs. Gangs. Mean girls. So it’s not surprising that bullies inhabit the cyber world as well. But what makes faceless cyberbullying different from face-to-face encounters is that the harassment can be ongoing, 24/7.
Strategies to stop this
Every bulling case is different—and there are no sure-fire solutions. But here are some skills and strategies you can suggest to help them avoid and/or handle bullying. Blocking Block specified users from phone, texting services and social media accounts. Going Private If blocking fails, (because bullies often create anonymous accounts) switch social media accounts to PRIVATE, so that only approved members will be seen. Create a safe space Sometimes kids just need to vent. Let them. No advice needed. And certainly no “it’s just talk, deal with it.” No blame, no shame Online anonymity makes it hard to tell where harassment comes from. So help your victim understand that it’s NEVER their fault. Who cares? Adolescence egos are incredibly fragile. Understand that they may not be “thick skinned” enough to not care what others think of them. Zero response Sometimes, the best way to deal with bullies is to ignore them. Without their desired feedback, they may eventually get bored and move on.
When bullying poses a danger, the victim may be forced to go to school officials or even to the police. Negotiating the legal system is not easy. To make a case as strong as possible, encourage them to take the following record-keeping precautions: Take Screenshots Have them take and catalog screenshots of any and all instances of cyberbullying. Keep a log Get them to write down details of face-to-face bullying events, including references to what was said online. Sexting If the bullying was a sexting incident, check out our guide [here]. Multiple back-ups Make sure they save everything in at least three different places (cloud, flash drive, hard drive), because bullies often hack or send viruses to victims.