Cyberbullying (SAFE Campus)
Do not retaliate
Cyberbullies want you to react. The problem is that if you respond angrily, the bully may feed off your response and continue (and even escalate the severity of) the cyber- bullying. There could also be consequences for your response.
Keep evidence of all content (pictures, texts, emails, tweets, status updates) that the cyberbully has sent or posted about you. If the cyberbullying is occurring on a blog or forum, take screenshots of the posts. The evidence will be useful to build a case against the person harassing you, and to work with College and/or Police investigators when needed.
Talk to someone at the College
Let the College know if the cyberbully is a College employee or student, or an employee of a College contractor or lessee. Notify the College if the bullying is occurring on a student-related, or work-related, forum, blog or social media account, or if the bullying appears to be using College computing resources in any way. Students can reach out to the Student Success Centre (Shuniah Room 153; 807-475-6618); employees can talk to Human Resources (Shuniah Room A230; 807-475-6148).
If threats of physical harm are made, or if the cyberbullying starts to get more dangerous, make a police report. The more evidence you have of the threats, the easier it will be for police to respond. Students can obtain assistance at the Student Success Centre (Shuniah Room 153; 807-475-6618); employees can talk to Human Resources (Shuniah Room A230; 807-475-6148).
Talk about it
Don’t suffer in silence. Talking to someone about what you are going through, even if it is just to vent, can be very therapeutic. Twenty-four hour telephone support is available:
- Students: Good2Talk (Ontario’s Postsecondary Student Helpline): 1‐866‐925‐5454 (Toll Free)
- Employees: Employee and Family Assistance Program: Sheppell‐fgi: 1‐800‐387‐4765 (Toll Free)
You may also wish to talk to a trusted friend: they might have gone through similar situations and might be able to give you advice.
Don’t befriend the cyberbully or try to get them to warm up to you. If you feel like you need to respond to the cyberbully, do it respectfully. Do not try and rationalize or make friends with the bully.
Block the bully
Block the cyberbullying at its source. If you are getting incessant emails from a cyberbully, use your email program options to prevent that person from contacting you. Use the options within social media sites or applications to do the same. Then, the cyberbully won’t be able to see you, search for you, or contact you in any way. You can even go through your cell phone provider or telephone company and block a particular phone number that is calling you.
Change your contact info
Change your e-mail, phone number, or online account completely. This would be a last resort to terminate the problem, even if it greatly inconveniences you.
1From: Hinduja, S. and J. Patchin. (2013). Responding to Cyberbullying Top Ten Tips for Adults. Retrieved from https://cyberbullying.org/Responding-to-cyberbullying-top-ten-tips-for-adults.pdf