Livewire facilitator in the Hospital

Cyber bullying sucks, and here’s how to stop it

Haven’t heard of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner? You’re not alone! A lot of people don’t know it exists. But they should. The eSafety Commissioner provides a fantastic service that everyone on the internet should be aware of.

We like to think of Livewire as the safest place on the internet, so there’s no bullying or nastiness here. Unfortunately, not every social media site has the same rules as we do (nor do they have the same awesome chat hosts, guides, and mentors!). And sometimes the nastiness on social media can get out of hand. Being bullied, harassed, stalked or threatened online is awful. Depending on the interaction, it can also be illegal. There is something you can do about it, and somewhere you can reach out for help.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner’s purpose is to ensure that people have safe, positive experiences online, and that everyone understands that you should behave just as respectfully online as you would in real life. Their website is filled with useful information and resources, and is a good place to start for help if you or someone you know is being harassed online.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner also runs a complaints service where you can report cyberbullying and get something done about it. The eSafety Commissioner has relationships with a lot of social media sites, including FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram. If they decide a post is cyberbullying, they can have it removed from the social network it’s posted on. They can also have photos removed that have been shared without your permission, especially if they are of a sensitive nature.

So, if you are being bullied online and need help, here’s some steps you can take to make sure things are sorted out quickly and fairly:

  • Take screenshots. And copy the URL’s of offending posts. Keep a record every time something happens.
  • Complain to the social media service where the bullying is occuring. Lots of platforms like FaceBook and Twitter have a zero tolerance stance on cyberbullying and will remove reported content as soon as possible.
  • Complain to the eSafety Commissioner If the social media site you have complained to doesn’t act quickly enough or refuses to help, or you feel like you need more help, contact the eSafety Commissioner, either online or by phone. They will get the ball rolling on having content removed and support you where you need it.
  • Take care of yourself. Contact Kids Helpline or Headspace for further support and if you need to talk things through. Bullying hurts and it’s almost always a big deal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

The Internet is a huge place- it’s nice to know there are people on your side who can help out. Don’t be afraid to reach out. And stay safe out there, peeps.