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Cyberbullying, Haters, and Trolls

What should I do if my kid is bullied online?

Finding out that your kid has been cyberbullied is emotional for parents. You or your kid might want to retaliate, but it's best to help your kid defuse the situation, protect himself, and make rational efforts to put a stop to the bullying. Here are the immediate steps we recommend for parents:

  • Reassure your child that you love and support him or her.
  • Help your child step away from the computer or device and take a break.
  • If you can identify the bully, consider talking with the parents.
  • Consider contacting your kid's school. If bullying is happening online, it might be happening offline, too.
  • Empower your kid with specific steps he or she can take.

Kids may not always recognize teasing as bullying. Some kids also may be too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to their parents about it. That's why it's important to talk about online and digital behavior before your child starts interacting with others online and with devices. To prepare your kid for going online or getting a cell phone, or, if you know he or she has been bullied online, offer these steps he or she can take immediately:

Sign off the computer. Ignore the attacks and walk away from the cyberbully.

Don't respond or retaliate. If you're angry or hurt, you might say things you'll regret later. Cyberbullies often want to get a reaction out of you, so don't let them know their plans have worked.

Block the bully. If you get mean messages through IM or a social-networking site, take the person off your buddy or friends list. You also can delete messages from bullies without reading them.

Save and print out bullying messages. If the harassment continues, save the evidence. This could be important proof to show parents or teachers if the bullying doesn't stop.

Talk to a friend. When someone makes you feel bad, sometimes it can help to talk the situation over with a friend.

Tell a trusted adult. A trusted adult is someone you believe will listen and who has the skills, desire, and authority to help you. Telling an adult isn't tattling -- it's standing up for yourself. And, even if the bullying occurs online, your school probably has rules against it.

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Kid, 8 years old

Hi, I'm an eight-year-old. I've been bullied a lot, especially online. On YouTube, one person said my video was "cringe". I deleted his comment because it felt like real bullying. On Roblox, I was called "noob" "boomer" etc. This has been happening for 4 years now. You can block the player from being rude to you by clicking on their username and hitting "block". You can stand up for yourself sometimes. It's better if you tell an adult.
Teen, 13 years old written by Annapolisblueberry

Here's my advice. On most social media sites, I'll use Discord as an example, you can block the number of the person bullying you, and leave the server. That's the easiest way. Talk it over with a trusted adult, and even report the person. Here's something else that I think is worth noting: Unless it's continuously done, or is really bad, try not to take meaningless trash talking on games or things like that as cyberbullying. If you have any form of a presence on the internet you will get offensive things said to you, you will encounter trolls, and most of the time the best course of action is to just brush it off and move on with life. I understand that some people have thicker skins than others, and at the end of the day it's better to just go with your own personal judgment, but if you report every little thing that you find offensive, then you're not really going to have a very good time on the internet. If it really is cyberbullying, then do everything you can to stop it. If you doubt whether it is or not, then it probably is. But don't be super quick to take action every time someone tells you something offensive.
Teen, 14 years old written by Poodonkus913

When being cyberbullied, the best course of action is to stop engaging with the offending individual. And as a parent, you should also make sure you explain to your child the facts about cyberbullying: that people do it because they aren't considerate, or don't care, and that in most cases they can't do anything too harmful so you can easily try to ignore them. However, if cyberbullying becomes anything dangerous like disclosing personal information or home addresses (which it's a good idea to never disclose yourself) then immediately get copies of the messages and file a report to police.
Teen, 13 years old written by CeCe Orth

Why can't our world be cyberbully free, life would be so much easier. Sometimes cyberbullying can be easy to spot — for example, if your child shows you a text, tweet, or response to a status update on Facebook that is harsh, mean, or cruel. Other acts are less obvious, like impersonating a victim online or posting personal information, photos, or videos designed to hurt or embarrass another person. Some kids report that a fake account, webpage, or online persona has been created with the sole intention to harass and bully. Cyberbullying also can happen accidentally. The impersonal nature of text messages, IMs, and emails make it very hard to detect the sender's tone — one person's joke could be another's hurtful insult. Nevertheless, a repeated pattern of emails, texts, and online posts is rarely accidental. Because many kids are reluctant to report being bullied, even to their parents, it's impossible to know just how many are affected. But recent studies about cyberbullying rates have found that about 1 in 4 teens have been the victims of cyberbullying, and about 1 in 6 admit to having cyberbullied someone. In some studies, more than half of the teens surveyed said that they've experienced abuse through social and digital media.
Kid, 12 years old

JUST IGNORE THEM. If you know them in real life, confront them unless they threaten bodily harm. But for god's sake, they could be 5 year old for all you know, it's just pixels on a screen. IGNORRREEEE THEMMMMM.
Kid, 11 years old

Block the bullies, reassure them. If they are doing it on someone else's device, tell the device owner to not let the bully on it.
Teen, 17 years old written by turkeylips

dont bother with it just ignore it shouldnt matter unless it also becomes a real life thing, also tell them it doesnt really matter cause they just want the attention just like any other bully in the world
Adult written by Camila R.

cyberbullying: cyberbullying is the act of psycologically abusing someone via internet platforms. To guarantee your child's security and prevent this and other issues to happen, it's as easy as supervising all his social media and have his accounts controlled. WHAT IS YOUR FREAKING CHILD EVEN DOING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA AT THAT AGE?? The hardest age to deal with bullies is 13 tho, so just supervise it
Adult written by ajdmasterson

Camila R., first off, children and parents come to this platform looking for solutions and advice, not judgment. I might ask why you feel it necessary to respond so critically. Second, my child is being bullied via his school email account, which he is required to have. Their email addresses are standard format so any one of his school mates is able to reach him.
Teen, 16 years old written by AutumnWoods

I am currently getting cyberbullied by my ex girlfriend. Here's the thing though she lives in California And I am in Florida. I've already blocked her on all social medias but her friends are also attacking me. It won't stop. She somehow finds a way to attack even after I've reported her, blocked her, and told her stop. The social medias follow the reports by daying they dont violate the code or whatever when she posts about everyone can clearly see it. Idk what to do. Is there anyway I can contact someone to talk to her or anything?
Teen, 14 years old written by Danorr37

You should try to delete your account and make a new one that they don't know about. If it continues, notify the police and they will try to deal with it.
Kid, 10 years old

Fight fire with fire or ignore them the best you can, IF you are able online to kick her out of your life using a flame war your good, if you cant turn to your parents (I know you shouldn't take advice from a 10 year old because your older but seriously try.)
Kid, 10 years old

Flame wars are the answer kids, Fight fire with fire, Experiencing this MANY times ive done the following three things sometimes: 1. Start a flame war, Don't let their fire hurt you and fight their fire with fire 2. Start a bluffing war like NewAgePerspective told about, 3. Just ignore them until they find something better to do.
Parent of a 16-year-old written by Yousa N.

Starting a flame war against the cyberbully is often a great way to give them a taste of their own medicine. Kids, you won't be able to stop cyberbullying. You must learn to deflect insults at the cyberbully and become one with the way of the roast.
Parent of a 16-year-old written by Yousa N.

Honestly cyberbullying is for nerds. It's all about lighting tires on fire within the nearest volcano and making the smoke tell the victim off. Level with me here and buy some tires. Now the whole town will be choked by smoke that reads something derogatory about a person. Why cyberbully someone when you can just fake a natural disaster?
Kid, 9 years old

You should remember that there are better things to do in life then hate on people. So instead of being social they are wasting there time hating, therefore they either have no friends or there parents know they are cyber-bullying.
Adult written by Amanda E.

Anyone with similar problem should check out India Ortega's story featured in Stephanie Nilva's interview that she gave to PureVPN. India was a 14 year old girl who got Cyber Bullied by her ex-boyfriend after she left him for his abusive behavior. She was in deep depression when her mom decided to report and pursue the case herself. She was successful in getting the due justice, so it would be ideal for you to look up how India Ortega's mother reported and found success in the case.
Parent of a 13-year-old written by Kris W.

I appreciate that there's kids on here my child's age giving their input and experiences, it's really helpful. My 13 yr old daughter is being bullied online by a group of girls who used to be her best friends, then decided one day that she just wasn't their friend anymore. It's been heartbreaking. She still has a few close friends, but we're to the point now where we've talked to parents, been to the police, and now their creating fake accounts so we can't prove it's them. Their even sending messages to the friends she has left and they're trying to get them to hate her, telling lies, whatever...I shouldn't have to homeschool my child because of these girls. But even then, it's online in addition to school, would it even stop? Nobody is taking this seriously I don't think and I'm at a loss for what to do now? How do we stop this? I appreciate any help
Adult written by Lance_Taco

Simply ignore them and take what they're saying with a grain of salt. Nothing has happened yet in the real world so you have no cause for concern. Their threats are empty and only exist to scare and worry your daughter.
Teen, 16 years old written by NewAgePerspective

Here's the deal, I wonder if people here are too old to understand the person has written lines to type back or if they are too young to make a practical solution, so read carefully. First, you have to teach the child the art of being "thick skinned' and going to tell them to fight back. cyberbullying is the game of making the biggest bluff seem all too real. so if you have someone cyberbullying saying "i'm going to school and beat you up" then have the child reply "my dad is part of the Fbi and can have your whole family arrested on assault charges and we can take your home away for drug investigations for up to two years." I don't think anyone would mess with this child online, this is tested and proven, cyberbullying is so new that bullies don't expect to be trolled back, so they believe your bluff instead of you believing theirs.
Adult written by Lance_Taco

Or, you could just ignore what they're saying instead of getting into a bluffing match, because that has no positive out, and can only lead to the problem escalating.
Kid, 10 years old

Get them to show you their screen so you can report them and give them some time off the site they are being bullied on
Parent of a 11-year-old written by Mindful Parent

If you are experiencing online/phone text bullying, first know that it is not okay or appropriate for another person to speak or write to you in that manner. Don't believe what he/she communicates to you. Whatever emotion you're feeling, give yourself a moment and step away from your phone or computer. Save the texts, words or images, and communicate the experience to trusted parents/adults/school officials. There is someone available to assist you, and strategies to support you in all situations with people you know and don't know in your neighborhood, social network, public, and school. A good to know fact: If for example you are bullied in text messaging by a neighbor, classmate, or former friend, you have every right to tell the person to stop texting/contacting you. If he/she continues to contact you, it is considered harassment, and can be escalated to law enforcement. Additional legal options are available to you, even if the bullier's parents or school do not remedy the situation appropriately.
Kid, 12 years old

Being a victim of this many times, I would have to say is to take ALOT of screenshots. Don't confront the person because they'll probably delete everything and say they didn't know anything. I advise you to tell an adult you trust. If the bully is from school, then go to the principal. If you don't want to look uncool and have everybody know that you told on the bully, then tell the principal through note and sign it under anonymous or tell the principal not to tell anyone you were the one that told about the bullying. If the principal doesn't care, go to the district office. They are the ones who cares. If it's rom a person who isn't from school, then go to the police i guess? I think that might count as harassment.
Teen, 16 years old written by Introvert EC

Being someone who suffers cyber bullying often and suffered horribly from the consequences, I would urge you as a parent, encourage your child to talk to you. About anything that is being said to them no matter how insignificant it may seem. Advise your child to block the people being rude/mean to them and make sure they know that such behavior is unacceptable online or off. Some bullies will go as far to create another account, so be aware! The last thing you should do is tell your child to laugh it off or that it doesn't matter, because it most likely will to them. Please be aware of what is being said to your children online, if it isn't monitored well enough, remarks may follow your child, tween, or teen well into their adult years.
Kid, 11 years old

Well what I do is laugh at it or just don't listen to it I think it's the best thing to do
Kid, 11 years old

Well, due to the fact that i'm a hardcore gamer with friends on PSN and Wii U, i'd do this, just block the person, or just make them take a break, this is coming from a kid who takes care of this stuff by myself, I've had many people who bullied me online, i just blocked them and unfriended them.
Kid, 9 years old

never share email password where you live or any personal info and never read comments that start with WARNING they will give you paranoia for at least a year.Its usually some scary stuff and this happens at websites for kids very often if you don't read comments he/she will not get cyber-bullied and do not accept strangers to your friends.If you do get cyber-bullied tell an adult immediately.If someone is cyber-bullying you just report him/her.stay safe online!!!!!
Kid, 9 years old

I've noticed that plenty of sites tend to have a mute button to not let you hear any language, or see it in text. If that's available, and it's a site where cyberbullying is common, it's usually the best option. For the sites without it, it can be a little more difficult. If the child ignores the bully, he'll stop eventually. Commonly advise your child not to respond back, and if you do, respond with a "Please stop" rather than a threat, name-calling, or general insults. If it's a site with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, it usually shouldn't be allowed anyway, because it starts to get to the point where there are questions like "Where do you live?" "What's you're phone number?". If you're child sees these, tell the child not to answer, it's a real dangerous thing.
Teen, 17 years old written by melissa1441

If its really bad tell the police and get your child homeschooled, if its 'you are stupid' or 'go away' etc, just ignore it. If it gets serious don't make your child think they should die and commit suicide, go to this website called ChildLine! They helped me with Cyber bullying, they are for children that are being abused, bullied, neglected etc. Melissa xx
Teen, 13 years old written by Erik137

If you know anyone that is being cyberbullied you should... 1. talk to them, reassure them. 2. explain and try to understand what they are feeling. 3. try and resolve it, block the bully. 4. if they are in school tell the teacher. 5. if it gets worse and a real problem visit or call child line 0800 1111 6. stand up to the bully.
Teen, 13 years old written by mavrc31027

Take away the account, this works most of the time unless it's a severe case of cyber bullying , like Amanda Todd or Rebecca Sedwick. If it is that bad, then the police needs to be involved and the child needs to be home schooled to protect them from all of the bullies.
Adult written by Stephen Murphy

If it's simply some random "your stupid." not much you can do. However, if it is an outright threat that harms your safety I would suggest that you take a screenshot if at all possible and report it to the police. If it is at school and the bully is physically harming you, you would probably need to decide if it's worth fighting if the situation calls for it.
Teen, 15 years old written by jahvabigdaddy

The kid mom should go up to his school in talk to one of his teachers that one of the kids are bullying her son online and offline to.
Parent of a 13-year-old written by fleecy34

Before reporting to the police you should check your child's inbox well email and account click on the person who is cyber bullying them and you should find a block button that blocks them after phone the police go to the police station but before print out the evidence and show the police the evidence and then they will ask you or your child some questions
Adult written by Kaguas

Delete your kid's account, or take away his/her phone/laptop for awhile. Let them enjoy outdoor activities.
Kid, 12 years old

That's not always possible, and they've probably been working on that account for quite some time. I have an app where people cyberbully constantly, but I've also made some of my best friends there. You might know it, iFunny. I have 150 followers that I've gained over the course of almost 3 years. If someone was to delete that or my VR chat account I would be devastated, as I'm extremely introverted and have social anxiety.
written by Jimmy brew

Immediately report it to a social worker and see what's wrong with the bully
Kid, 11 years old

Hello, First off you need to addressed the problem and the threat. If it is on a website flag them if you can. If not leave for a little bit. Or report them. If it is at school and you know their parent well then go and tell them. And remember the people that pick on you are the weak ones not you. So don't let them win. Never let them win. Hope this help's. -Good day
Kid, 10 years old

You should actually get offline and play if your friends if you want or talk to your family about it. Other than that, you can just block the person that is cyberbullying you. Hope this helped! I wrote about this because I used to be teased in school before I changed my act of stop being so calm. ~ShaylaRose123
Kid, 12 years old

you should also tell the to just block the bully if its the social media or game chat and seeing as those are basically tho only places you can be bullied then, that solves that
Teen, 13 years old written by KawaiiCupcake0718

The way I would do it is, contact the bully's mother if you know who it is, or calm your child down and let him or her to stop the talking online.
Teen, 13 years old written by Darksouls444

you should take them off the site until the player has been banned for his/her actions also there is groups of these bullying turds so its good to have your friends on the site to back you up if needed