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Online bullying

We're working with Netsafe to help tackle the issue of online bullying. 

What is online bullying?

Online bullying (also known as cyberbullying) is when a person uses digital technology to send, post or publish content with the intention to harm another person or group. This behaviour is often aggressive and repeated.

Online bullying can take many forms, including:

  • Name calling
  • Repeated, unwanted messages/contact
  • Spreading rumours or lies
  • Fake accounts used to harass people
  • Excluding people from social activities
  • Embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles

To find out more, select Netsafe. Netsafe

What to do if you're being bullied online

If you're being bullied, it's important to know how to protect yourself. Every situation of bullying is different. Check out Netsafe's tips on what to do, depending on what's been going on:

  • Don’t reply. Especially to messages from phone numbers, profiles or people you don't know.
  • Don’t attack the person back. Avoid giving the bully the satisfaction of a reaction.
  • Have a conversation. If it’s safe, try talking to the person privately about what they’ve said or done to work things out.
  • Get support. Talking to friends or whānau can make you feel better. Or, you can reach out to online aids such as: 
  • Save messages and images. Take screen shots of the bullying in case you need evidence later. Select Digital content records to learn how. Digital content records
  • Cut off the person bullying you. Block their number or block them on social media.
  • Report it. If the online bullying is happening on social media, you can report it by selecting Report to Netsafe. Report to Netsafe
  • There's an NZ law to help. The Harmful Digital Communications Act aims to help people dealing with online bullying, abuse and harassment. Select The Harmful Digital Communications Act for more information. The Harmful Digital Communications Act
  • Get help. Netsafe can help with any of the above, tell you if there’s anything you can do to stop the abuse and let you know how to stay safe. Visit Netsafe for more information. Netsafe
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