The Internet is an intricate web of electronic pulses. The Internet world keeps expanding day after day, with more people joining its branches and vines of websites, applications and platforms. Instagram is a hugely popular, photo-sharing application for mobile phones that has redefined the term social medium. Despite the limitation of socialization and not providing too many features that make way for cyberbullying, Instagram bullying has become a huge issue recently. In this article, you will learn about the many forms of Instagram bullying so that you don’t fall into the trap of being a part of it unintentionally.

Cyberbullying is the use of electronic communication gadgets or social networks to harass, intimidate or threaten someone, making their online experience intolerable. How can you recognize these signs via the daily use of Instagram?

Posting Embarrassing or Humiliating Photos Of a Target

Kids in the critical age from 8-15 tend to enjoy toying with their cruel side. With the Smartphone and selfie mania, many kids started to create their own “blackmail moments” albums. It’s an electronic album of course, where kids tend to capture photos of their peers in embarrassing poses, wearing skimpy clothing or -worse- in a state of drunken stupor. Many kids these days publish these photos online to bully their targets and make fun of them on the Internet with other friends.

Captioning Gross or Demeaning Pictures with the Target’s @Username

This is a very cruel method of Instagram bullying. It has been said to cause a lot of damage. If you do it, you won’t realize how labelling another human being might stick with them for so long. In some cases, bullies actually use sexist or racist slurs as captions underneath their targets’ photos.

Writing Cruel Comments underneath Other People’s Pictures

Commenting on pictures is encouraged on social media like Instagram and Facebook. However, this feature could be easily for Instagram bullying, especially when the cyberbully becomes relentless and uses multiple fake accounts that he/she created. These comments could go on forever and no matter how many times the target blocks the harassing account, another one gets created.

There are methods through which you can protect yourself from Instagram bullying comments:

  1. Block the bullying user.
  2. Report abuse with Instagram’s in-app reporting.
  3. Reach out to online anti-bullying organizations.
  4. If the bullying has gone too far, contact local law enforcement and legal representation.

Using Embarrassing or Nasty Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are more or less the key to going viral. Teens do it for others to have easier access to their photos or to -hopefully- get more followers. Bullies, however, do it only to make fun of their targets and give them a sour Instagram experience. They either upload photos of their targets with the demeaning hashtags as captions or they comment on their targets’ photos with the mean hashtags. Some awful hashtags like #tryweightwatchers or #crackwhore have gone viral and are used by everybody.

Creating Fake Accounts to Harass Celebrities and Famous People

With Instagram, it is very easy to create a fake account. Using this fake, anonymous account, bullies harass celebrities and famous people by writing rude comments, racist remarks and sometimes even posting threats. Some of these fake usernames might even use the real person attached to a derogatory term such as (Kelly Clarkson fat b***h). 

Many Celebrities have been victims of Instagram bullying. In 2014, Nick Carter, a member of the legendary boy band Backstreet Boys, married his longtime girlfriend Lauren Kitt. That was when all hell broke loose. Kitt started receiving online death threats and was cyberbullied everywhere ranging from her Twitter to her Instagram. People posted demeaning, humiliating photoshopped images of Kitt as well as hateful photos on Youtube.

Posting Screenshots of Private Text Messages 

This form of Instagram bullying has caused chaos online. It’s a form of situation where everybody gets involved in a nasty, unnecessary fight. Most couples who are freshly broken up do it to get back at each other. Some girls do it when their friendship is at stake to ruin the other’s reputation especially if their private chats have included gossiping and talking about some of their friends behind their backs.

Instagram bullying is a serious issue. Many teens have written about how their Instagram bullying incidents have left them hurt, humiliated and on the verge of suicide. Try to always be a part of a healthy, safe and positive online environment and stand up to cyberbullying whenever you can.