With the boom of digital media and Internet, the world has transformed into a global village. Everything is in everyone’s access but a number of other problems are also raised with the usage of Internet. One of such issues is bullying someone.
Bullying someone through Internet (or digital platforms) is referred to as Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is definitely more powerful and scary than the traditional one. The bullying messages, emails or other stuff may reach to an infinite audience within no time.
This guide is going to direct you about the cyberbullying legal consequences through the ways you can adopt to report this issue.
But before delving into the steps to report cyberbullying, you are supposed to be aware of the types of cyberbullying.
Types of Cyberbullying
As there are more social platforms and medium to communicate and socialize with each other, there are more chances of bullying as well. The most common types of cyberbullying are listed below:
This is one of the most common and widely existing types of Cyberbullying. Many types of Cyberbullying come under the umbrella of Harassment. Harassment basically refers to the threatening or hurtful messages sent with an intention to torment the target person.
It can be in various forms like:
Rude, insulting or offensive comments about the target person posted on social media or online gaming sites.
Text Wars or Text Attacks is another form to harass someone. When the bullying person or group intentionally sends a thousands of hurtful messages to the victim, it creates an emotional pressure or stress for him.
Threats, Embarrassing stuff or Rumors posted on social networking sites also comes under Harassment.
One more dangerous type of Cyberbullying is Outing or Doxing. It actually refers to publicizing the sensitive or private information about someone. This can range from posting private photos, chats or related stuff in online social networks with the intention of humiliating the target person.
This refers to the most serious forms of Cyberbullying. Cyberstalking is about monitoring someone’s activities, false accusations and threats to hurt the bullied person. It is further extended by offline stalking which turns it into a serious crime.
This type of Cyberbullying occurs when the bullying person pretends to be the victim by posting inappropriate stuff through his/her social profiles. This leads to emotional problems in the victim’s life.
This may include activities like changing the target person’s profile picture, posting offensive and hurtful stuff with the victim’s name and profile to ruin his reputation, hack the victim’s id and password and communicate with this friends pretending that person and send offensive and embarrassing messages to his family and friends.
6 Ways to Report Cyberbullying
So, when you have a profound knowledge about the types of cyberbullying, it is the time to take appropriate action.
1: Reach Out Immediately
It is critical to stop the bullying person or group by taking proper actions and steps. First, you need to take immediate action by reaching out.
As a first attempt, you must immediately send a message to bullying person as a warning to stop threatening or bullying. Keep your message straight forward by saying “Do not contact me again. Otherwise I will report your messages, emails or calls.”
You can also use ‘Block Contact’ option in your phone or other networks’ settings. This way the person will not be able to send you such disturbing messages. But if they still find a way to reach you out, it is definitely the high time to take the matter to higher authorities.
Before reaching out to authorities, it is highly advised to take screenshots of all messages, emails or other communication from the bully. Save them in your mobile phone or computer’s hard drive to use them as evidence.
2: Consult with Law Enforcement Organization
If the matter is not getting resolved, you need to contact the local police station (or a law enforcement organization) to report cyberbullying.
The police officer will either ask you to come police station or an officer will ne sent to your place. File the report with complete details including your name, address, contact number.
3: Fill Up Online Complaint Form
If the cyberbullying does not involve any violence or sexual harassment, you may file a complaint by filling up the online complaint form.
The lawn enforcement organizations in different countries have setup the websites where you can find out such forms. The form asks to provide your personal information and incident details.
4: Contact the School or College Officials
The statistical figures (available on the Internet) indicate that majority of cyberbullying cases happen in schools or colleges. In order to protect and help out your child, it is vital to contact school or college officials.
You might visit the school/college principal, any teacher or counselor to discuss the matter. Most of the schools/colleges in the United States have proper laws to address the issue of cyberbullying.
5: Report the Bully Through Social media Sites
If you or your child is facing cyberbullying through online gaming or any of the social media sites, there is a reporting option to stop it.
You can email the owner of the gaming site to report about the incident faced on that site. This way the authorities of the site will take immediate action to block that bullying person.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter all have options to report any such user. All the social networking sites thoroughly audit their sites to ensure users’ safety.
As you report that person, the authorities of the networking site execute the necessary steps. This way that person will be identified and blocked on that site.
If contacted by the team of that social media site, you can discuss about the incident in details. It is again advised to keep a copy of screenshots or other such proof to share with the officials. This will further make your case strong and help the officials to take immediate action.
Cyberbullying is something that you should take a prompt attention to. If you or your child experiences cyberbullying, the above ways will help you out to stop the bullying person. Besides this it is also recommended to keep taking other preventive measures. So you may not experience it in future.