Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices, like mobile phones and computers. It can occur through text, apps, or online in social media, forums or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content.
Cyberbullying and online gaming
As we know, many video games allow users to play with friends they know in person and others they have met online. Gaming has a ton of positive benefits, such as making new friends, socialising and learning to strategise and problem solve.
However, anonymity of players can also give users a ‘protective’ screen to hide behind when harassing or bullying other players and because of this anonymity, they cannot always be held accountable for their behaviour.
Some bullies may spend their time trying to figure out their target’s password or hack into that person’s account so they can wreak havoc. Others may curse or make negative remarks that turn into bullying, or they might simply exclude the person from playing together.
If you’re an adult are cautious of your children who are online gaming, you can check in periodically with them about who is online and who they are playing with. As well as teaching your children about safe online behaviour, such as not sharing personal information and not participating in bullying behaviour of other players.
Dealing with cyberbullying
If someone’s harassing or bullying you online you can block them so they won’t be able to contact you, and most websites also allow you to report it on their site or platform.
You don’t need to cope with bullying alone, talking to someone you trust can help you find ways to stop the bullying.
If you need support and need help in finding ways to cope, you can call Childline for free on 0800 1111, or log into their website for a 1-2-1 counsellor chat.