Solutions to Online Harassment


As long as there have been kids, there have been bullies. Modern bullies adapt their tactics to meet the evolving demands of the online, information-based society of the 21st century. Thus, bullies are nonetheless bullies, regardless of the medium via which they exert their authority.

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, email, cell phones, and other forms of digital technology are used by modern bullies in addition to the classic bullying methods of the past. “Cyber Bully” describes the new breed of bullies operating in the digital realm.

Cyberbullying: What Is It?

Since most of these students use social network sites like Facebook as one of their primary sources of communication, cyberbullying has become a dilemma for school administrators and local governments across the country.

Cyberbullying occurs when someone uses a computer, mobile phone, or other electronic device to harass, threaten, or otherwise humiliate another individual repeatedly. The term “cyberbullying” refers to incidents in which one child or teen is regularly harassed, intimidated, or humiliated by another child or teen using electronic means such as text messages, emails, instant messenger services, or the Internet.

A former student at the high school where Lauren Newby studied in Dallas, Texas, launched a thread on a website message board where vicious comments against Lauren were posted. The comments poked light at Lauren’s size, calling her a “suicidal cow” who “can’t stop eating.” The author also alludes to Lauren’s battle with Multiple Sclerosis, writing, “I guess I’ll have to wait until you kill yourself, which I hope is not long from now, or I have to wait till your condition (M.S.) kills you.” As a direct result of these hateful messages, someone threw acid at Lauren’s front door, wrote “MOO BITCH” in shaving cream on the sidewalk in front of her house, and egged her car.

What Ought You To Do?

In the battle against cyberbullying, two strategies have proven particularly useful. Concerned parents can take action against the rising tide of cyberbullying by using technological tools, such as surveillance software like iMonitorPC (available at Giving your kids a computer with surveillance software installed will keep a log of everything they type. Using such software is invasive, and your kids will probably call you a spy, but it’s the next best thing to being there with them when they surf the web.

The second approach is to provide your children with sound parental counsel and valuable recommendations. Remember that parental guidance is most effective with young children and can be difficult with teenagers due to the temptation to rebel given by their classmates. If you’ve built a solid parent-child bond with your teen, they will likely take your advice.

The NASS rule can help you educate your students on how to deal with cyberbullying:

Confidentiality should never be compromised.

A cyberbully might use information such as a user’s password, photo, home location, or phone number as a weapon. A cyberbully, for instance, could shut you out of your own Facebook account and spread rumors about you and others if they had access to your password.

It would be best to be careful about what kinds of photos you upload online, as their destination is unknown once they enter the ether. It’s incredible what some tweaking in Photoshop can do to make a photo look like something it’s not.

Never give up

If you find yourself the target of cyberbullying, you shouldn’t resort to your bullying. You should report the cyberbully’s conduct to the proper authority but try to resist the bullying. For instance, if your email account has been compromised, you should contact your ISP immediately.

Cyberbullying can be stopped swiftly if the victim refuses to participate in the bully’s attempts to humiliate and punish others.

Don’t engage the cyberbully in conversation.

You may feel compelled to respond to a threatening message with another message, but you should resist the desire. When you respond to a cyberbully, they know they’ve succeeded in making you anxious and agitated. Cyberbullies utilize psychological terrorism to gain power over their victims.

Make sure to keep track of any suspicious correspondence.

You should keep all emails and text messages if you think you are the target of cyberbullying; you never know when you might need them as evidence if the issue worsens.

In addition to following the NASS rule, if you or someone you know is a victim of cyberbullying, you should talk to an adult you trust immediately. Don’t stop reporting your problem until someone agrees to help you.

However, if you are in danger of physical harm, you should immediately call 911.

Owner and editor Eric Dunbar provides excellent materials to assist online company owners in succeeding at Golden Entrepreneur []. In addition to being the editor of the X-JOURNAL Blog, Eric Dunbar is the author of THE FACE OF A DEMON, often known as “The Recovering Addict’s Handbook.”

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