Handling Adult Cyberbullying
Published on October 31, 2016 by arothstein
If you spend more than five minutes on any given social media site, it is more than likely you will encounter some form of cyberbullying. From active trolls to inappropriate memes, the internet isn’t only full of friendly cat videos. While cyberbullying is often associated with K-12 education, bullying behaviors don’t miraculously end once a person reaches adulthood. Many adults struggle with online bullying, and unlike school children, they feel they have no formal reporting system to utilize to try and bring the bullying to an end.
If you find yourself a victim of cyberbullying, there are several steps you can take to fight back.
- If the bully is another student, report him or her to school administration immediately.
College administration is here to help. From the Title IX Coordinator to Student Services’ staff, Broadview University has a group of caring and attentive individuals here ready to help you with any issues you may have during your college career, and cyberbullying is one of them. Take screenshots of the offending commentary, and inform a Broadview University staff member as soon as possible.
- Use reporting systems available through your social media platforms.
Thankfully, social media platforms have become more proactive in their response to cyberbullying. They offer features such as blocking and unfollowing to allow you to prevent online interactions between yourself and the offender. However, the features available doesn’t stop there. Comb through the Help sections of your social media platforms. Contact User Services. There are often even more drastic measures that can be taken against cyberbullies. Make sure that you have taken screenshots and kept a detailed log of all of the offending behaviors to support your claims. Sometimes, these platforms will even go as far as to suspend the accounts of cyberbullies, a surefire way to stop bullies in their tracks.
- Depending on the severity of the harassment, you may wish to consider contacting your local law enforcement agency.
Law enforcement agencies around the country are still grappling with how to handle cyberbullying. States widely vary as to the laws that are on the books protecting individuals from bullying behavior that takes place online. However, it is always a good idea to notify law enforcement if a cyberbully has physically threatened you, your family, or your personal property. While the ability of law enforcement to stop the bullying may be limited, they may be able to assist in other ways. Also, the filing of a police report will provide you with needed documentation of the bullying.
- Do not engage with the bully.
Finally, it is important that you do not engage with the bully. Some bullies are relentless. Regardless of the steps you take to end their behavior, they may continue to harass you. One way to minimize the chances you will continue to be a target is to refuse to acknowledge their behaviors. Ignore their comments. While it is tempting to give bullies a piece of your mind, any attention from you, negative or positive, can often exacerbate their attacks.
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