Bullying of any kind can completely destroy a person’s confidence, self-esteem and also negatively affect their mental health. Cyberbullying and digital abuse in particular can feel relentless as the online world never sleeps and anything posted on the web can reach high volumes of people in a short space of time.
This is why Ben is supporting Stop Cyberbullying Day on 21st June and has put together this piece, showing commitment to an inclusive online environment, without fear of personal threats, harassment or abuse.
Types of online bullying
There are many different types of online bullying and, for some, it can take shape in a number of ways, both online or via apps. Some types of cyber bullying are:
- Denigration – When a person posts information online that is untrue and damaging about another. This could include sharing photos (including altered photos) of someone to purposely shame, spread false rumours and humiliate that person.
- Impersonation – When someone hacks into another’s social network or email account, pretending to be them to send embarrassing or nasty messages to others. Bullies sometimes also set up fake profiles of others online with the same aim.
- Flaming – When a person uses extreme opinions and abusive language to get into online arguments on purpose. They enjoy seeing people’s reactions to their comments and they like when it causes distress to others.
- Harassment – Sending offensive, insulting and abusive messages to another person. This could include vicious, offensive comments on online posts, in chat rooms or on gaming sites.
- Cyber stalking – Repeatedly sending messages to make someone afraid for their safety, including threats of harm. Depending on their actions, their activity may be illegal.
- Tricking / outing – The act of sharing personal information about another, or tricking someone into revealing secrets and getting them to share images and videos. They then send the information, images and videos to others with the aim of shaming and embarrassing the person.
- Exclusion – Intentionally leaving a person out of something online which can include group messages on apps and gaming sites.