With the increase of social networking sites, online activity and messaging apps, cyberbullying is on the increase. In a survey by Ditch the Label, 47% of young people who took the survey have received nasty profile comments and 62% have been sent nasty private messages via smartphone apps. This is very worrying as it shows how cyber bullying is on the increase.
Bullying on social networks
Most of the apps and social networking sites are for people aged 13 and over. They also state that bullying, abusive behaviours which includes harassment, impersonation and identity theft are banned and not allowed. However, results from our national bullying survey, shows 91% of people who reported cyber bullying said that no action was taken. This can leave users feeling disbelieved, vulnerable and knock their self-esteem.
A general rule when making a complaint about being bullied online is to copy the terms and conditions which have been breached and take a screenshot of the comment or photo as evidence. This may prompt any of these sites and apps to take action as you have shown them their obligation to investigate and take appropriate action.
How to report bullying or abuse on messaging apps
Bullying or abuse on Instagram can happen in many ways. It can be either negative comments, fake profiles or hacking of accounts. Instagram take all of these violations very seriously and have plenty of advice on their pages if you or someone you know is being bullied or abused on Instagram. Their advice initially is to block and unfollow the person who is being abusive. However, if it continues or it has gotten worse, you can use their in-app reporting tool. This page has details on how to report the abuse directly to them.
Snapchat is an app that allows users to send pictures to each other that disappear off screen within a set amount of time. Unfortunately, there is bullying on Snapchat in the form of screenshots, sending pics without permission, negative comments and more. If this is the case for you or someone you know they can block a user, tap the Menu icon, select “My Friends,” locate their name in the list and swipe right across their name. If you would like to delete a friend from your contacts, press “Delete.” Even if you haven’t added the user as a friend, their name will still appear in the “My Friends” list under “Recent” if they have sent you a message recently. If you receive an inappropriate photo or someone’s harassing or bullying you, report it by filling out their online form.
WhatsApp Messenger lets people sends instant messages, videos, photos, and short audio messages to either one person or within a group chat. Messages can only be sent to other smartphone users who also have WhatsApp. Once you install the app, it checks your address book to see if anyone else you know is already using WhatsApp, and connects you automatically. You have to be over 16 to use WhatsApp legally. Bullying can take many forms as it is a messaging service and we often hear of abusive group chats. You can block and delete the contact. You can find out more by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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