Bullying is no longer limited to the school playground, work environments, or neighborhoods. Because many children are using the Internet, especially to connect with their peers on a social level, instances of cyberbullying are on the rise. While the administration for websites is aware of the issue and does what they can to manage it, they depend upon the users who are there on a regular basis to identify the cyber bullies and stop them. This makes it important to learn how to report cyberbullying.
How to Report Cyberbullying: Report to Social Media Sites
Many social media sites, as well as other sites where cyberbullying, may be rampant have their own instructions for how to report the bullying behavior. This should be your first step when you witness bullying behavior among users of the site. Following the guidelines for reporting to the website will ensure the case is handled properly. In some cases, this may be the only step you need to take because the website will complete the other steps for you. However, there are situations where you may need to take more action than simply alerting the website on which the behavior occurred.
How to Report Cyberbullying: Report to Site Moderators
Many gaming sites or other sites that allow individuals to interact with each other, such as forums, often have moderators or others who are in charge of making sure things run more smoothly. If you are using this type of site, the process for how to report cyberbullying may be different than that of social media sites. In this situation, you will need to determine who the moderator is and reach out through email or private messaging systems. Some of these websites even have a reporting function that will allow you to report cyberbullying directly to those who are in charge. Make sure you are specific in your reports or messages to aid in the investigation.
Report to Internet Service Providers
If cyberbullying occurs through email or through an individual’s own website, it may be time to report the behaviour to the Internet Service Provider. Again, this process is often different for every service provider, making it essential to look for the proper instructions on their website. One thing that is true across every service provider is you will need proof of your allegations. When you submit your report, be sure to submit copies of emails and any screenshots you have as proof. The Internet Service Provider will look into the situation and exercise the appropriate resolution.
Report to Law Enforcement
More serious cyberbullying issues should always be reported to the proper law enforcement agency to ensure they can take any appropriate actions against the bully. Some of the behaviours that may require you to make a report to law enforcement include:
- Threats of harm
- Child pornography
- Hate crimes
If you will be reporting the issue to law enforcement, you may have to do so in more than one location. Your first step should be to contact your local agencies. Someone in the cyber crimes division will know the appropriate steps you will need to take after the first one if any. Sometimes your local law enforcement agency will handle the rest for you.
Why You Should Report Cyberbullying
It is obvious that victims should report the bullying behaviour so they can get relief from this type of behaviour. But if you aren’t on the receiving end of this behaviour, why should you consider reporting it as well? Cyberbullies may not attack every person on a website, but they can have a negative impact on the overall feel of the site. If problems persist, it can even be a cause for getting smaller websites shut down. Regardless of the size of the website or the threat of shutting it down, everyone should do their part to report cyberbullying to make the Internet a safer place for everyone. No one deserves the negative treatment bullies often dish out.
Cyberbullying has become a growing problem that could potentially grow out of control, especially if individuals don’t take the right steps to stop it. Unfortunately, many individuals simply don’t know what they can do about the problem. This makes it extremely important to learn how to report cyberbullying. When you understand the proper steps and the potential outcomes for reporting this type of behaviour through the appropriate channels, the act of cyberbullying can be slowed down. While there may never be a way to completely eliminate cyberbullying from the online world, reporting the behaviour whenever you see it can slow down the individuals who are participating in the behaviour. Over time, those individuals will either get the message or no longer be allowed to participate in certain websites.