How can i report cyberbullying?
Sometimes it can feel powerless when cyberbullying happens to you. But you are in a position to do something about it. Targeted online abuse will not stop until you do something about it. TackleBullying recommends that if you are receiving targeted online content (e.g. abusive comments, images, memes, video clips, movies etc.) to do the following:
- Tell parents and teachers;
- Take a screenshot/ download the abusive material and keep it “as evidence”;
- Report and block the bullies immediately. Do not wait for them to target you with more abusive content;
- If the social media company/ website/ relevant platform do not act swiftly, escalate the situation to the authorities and show them the abusive content;
- Get more help if the abuse has hurt you badly.
taking a screenshot
Taking a screenshot is one most useful tools a computer can do. And this can be done in a variety of ways:
- PCs and Macs have screenshot tools like the “Snipping Tool” which allows you select an area of the screen and save it as a picture
- Use the Print Screen key. It looks like this: “PrtScn” and it is found on the keyboard. You may also have to press the “Alt”, “Shift”, “Windows” or “Fn” keys at the same time depending on the type of computer you have. Once you have taken the screenshot, you can paste it into the Paint application and save the screenshot as a picture.
- Smartphones usually have side click buttons that you can press at the same time. It takes a picture of the screen like a camera and stores the screenshot usually in Photo Gallery. Sometimes you might have to find screenshots in a Screenshot section in your Files.
Make sure the screenshot has as much identifiable information as possible. You want the screenshot to provide authorities/ social media/ people who can help you with the most information you can give them. Try to make the screenshots show the following:
- The name/ username of the bully/ies;
- The profile picture/ icon of the bully/ies account;
- The abusive content itself;
- Where the abusive content came from (i.e. obvious signs it came from Snapchat, Facebook, TikTok etc.);
- Evidence that the bully/ies deleted abusive content;
- Any reply you gave. Particularly if the reply was to tell the bully/ies to stop.
A single screenshot does not have to display all of this information. But you may need to take several screenshots so as to document the trail of abuse that led to this point.
How can i report abuse on social media?
Click the links below to get more specific information about how to report abuse on popular social media:
Twitter: Twitter Online Abuse
Instagram: Get Help
Viber: Email Viber
WhatsApp: Email Whatsapp
Minecraft: Report abuse to Minecraft
SimSimi: To report messages you receive in the chat click the warning light icon and report the content. If you see a hurtful message in the ‘Scrap Book’ click the warning light icon and report it.
Fortnite: Players can “Block” or “Report” abusive players, and also choose to not accept friend requests, unfriend or “whisper” to whoever they so choose. See Webwise’s guidelines for understanding and staying safe playing Fortnite.
Also see TackleBullying’s App Watch for more information on other social networks.
It can be the case that the social network did not handle the problem well. This does not mean that nothing will be done about it. If this is the case, there are still a number of options for you:
- Using your screenshots, approach your teacher or parent and show them what you have been getting;
- Contact your local Garda station. The police are in a position to investigate targeted online abuse;
- The situation itself, and the unsatisfactory handling of the situation by the social network, can be reported to the Ombudsman for Children;
- Contact your GP and relevant mental health services if the online abuse has harmed your wellbeing.
Not all online abuse is targeted bullying via comments, memes, videos etc. Sometimes online abuse involves illegal content (e.g. pornographic images of young people) and should be reported to the Garda and to Hotline.