A cyber bully is a person who bullies another using electronic technology. Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using, such avenues as email, chat rooms, social network sites and apps, among others.

Cyberbullying is often discussed as a particular problem for children, especially teenagers, however we believe that anyone can be cyberbullied, regardless of their age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Examples of cyberbullying can include demeaning text messages or emails, malicious rumours circulated via emails and social media posts, intimate pictures and videos shared without permission, among others.

You can access the reports and briefings published by OHPI on the subject here.

OHPI stand against all bullying, especially cyberbullying, and we urge our supporters to report any cyberbullying they encounter on online forums to the platform providers. If the platform refuses to remove the content, please report it to our online hate reporting tool FightAgainstHate.com.

Below is a list of all the articles shared by us on Facebook on the subject of cyberbullying. You can read the articles and the discussions that followed the posts

 

How to fight trolls online

Vice Magazine has written a wonderfully helpful article on trolling, cyberbullying and what you can do to fight it. It includes a interview with the Online Hate Prevention Institute‘s CEO Dr Andre Oboler and also mentions our online hate reporting system, FightAgainstHate.com, calling it an “accountability system” where social media platforms are held accountable.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Stop online abuse

UK has launched a website offering practical tips to people who find themselves the victims of online abuse. It is particularly aimed at LGBTIQ communities and women, who are disproportionate victims of online harassment.

The Stop Online Abuse site offers help to people facing online harassment, revenge porn, hate speech, sexual harassment and blackmail. While the legal advice it offers may not be applicable to the LGBTIQ community and women in Australia,the practical tips it offers on how to respond to derogatory and abusive comments online are.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

Fighting Cyberbullying

Here’s an interview with Australia’s first Children’s eSafety Commissioner, Alastair MacGibbon on ABC Radio.

He discusses how the department aims to tackle the problem of cyberbullying: by helping remove cyberbullying content and changing the culture online, encouraging resilience, encouraging bystander interventions and informing parents about the problem.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

OHPI CEO talks about cyberbullying on Joy 94.9 Radio

Dr Andre Oboler was recently interviewed by Joy 94.9, an Australian gay and lesbian radio station.

He spoke about online hate, cyberbullying, origins of OHPI, the different kinds of hate we deal with, how it affects society and how we are trying to combat it. He details the challenges of our work and how we try to overcome them.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Cyber stalking increasing, ‘easy’ way to abuse women: domestic violence report

The latest crime statistics released by Victoria Police have seen an increase in cyber stalking, part of an overall rise in general stalking and harassment charges.

In a domestic violence report published by the ABC earlier this week, Cyber stalking has been described as an increasingly ‘easy’ way to abuse women.

The internet can provide anonymity to the perpetrators, as well as easy access to their victims, and the nebulous nature of trolls’ geographic location is also problematic for policing.

In Victoria cyber-bullying is classified as stalking. Complaints can be made to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. See our briefing.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

 

Man wrongly labeled a pedophile on Facebook gets death threats

Social media has given us a great weapon to vent. Whenever we feel our concerns are not being heard, we use the social media to amplify our voice and gain support for our cause. A recent book “So You’ve Publicly Been Shamed” looks at how such vigilantism can have completely disproportionate effects on the life of the accused.

But given the quicksilver nature of social media and the fact that once a piece of information goes viral, it is very difficult to retract or control, we should be careful about what we say and whom we accuse of wrongdoings.

The above article looks at how a woman wrongly accused a man of being a pedophile on her Facebook page, leading to the man receiving death threats.

We should understand that online vigilantism of this kind is a form of cyberbullying.

Yes, social media is a great tool to reach out to people. But let’s use it carefully and appropriately.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

Why it’s time for the FBI to get involved in Gamergate

Brianna Wu, the head of development of game designing company Giant Spacekat, discusses why the law enforcement needs to take online threats of violence more seriously. As she says:

“Tech journalist Peter Cohen quite correctly called the actions of Gamergate “emotional terrorism,” the idea being to intimidate, bully and silence anyone speaking out for diversity in games until they quit.”

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

6 Social Media Accounts That Are Fighting Misogyny And Online Harassment

Online misogyny is rampant on social media. Here are six social media accounts that are fighting misogyny and online harassment.

If you encounter misogynistic abuse on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube – directed at individual women or women as a community – report it to our online hate reporting tool FightAgainstHate.com.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Anti-Obama trolls fuel questions about online hate, racism

Even the President of United States of America is not immune to cyber harassment. When President Obama made his Twitter debut last week, he was inundated with hateful and racist Tweets.

We hope that the harassment faced by President Obama will throw light on the how easy it is to target people on Twitter with abuse and harassment. It is a problem that has lately come into sharp focus with Twitter making a several changes to its reporting and harassment management strategies. Read our briefing.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

It’s Too Easy for Trolls to Game Twitter’s Anti-Abuse Tools

A Study by a group called Women Action Media reveal some of the problems people face when reporting harassment to Twitter. Some of them, we have already pointed out before.

Here’s some issues they observed:

– Tweet and delete: People who tweet harassing messages and then delete it, so no web address can be found to report.
– dog piling: lots of accounts harassing a person simultaneously.
– False filing and reporting trolling: people putting false reports

Twitter has been working on improving its responses to harassment. We recently compiled the steps it has been taking to fight the problem (some of which address the problems discussed above), but of course there is still a long way to go.

Online Troll Urges Game Developer Rachel Bryk To Commit Suicide

Cyberbullying that involves inciting the target to commit suicide has claimed another life, that of the transgender game developer Rachel Bryk. It is reminiscent of the suicide of Charlotte Dawson, who also took her own life last year after years of facing cyberbullying.

Our condolences to the friends and family of Bryke

We urge our supporters to report any cyberbullying they encounter on online forums to the platform providers. If the platform refuses to remove the content, report it to our online hate reporting toolFightAgainstHate.com. It is currently integrated to accept reports from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Doxxing, swatting and the new trends in online harassment

“Doxxing” and “Swatting” are the latest forms of online harassment. This article discusses what they are, and more importantly, gives advice on how to beef up the online security of your personal data.

Also, here’s a list of publications we have done on the subject of security settings on your social media: http://ohpi.org.au/online-safety/

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

What Can Be Considered Workplace Cyber-Bullying? 

Cyberbullying is most often associated with children and young adults. But OHPI has always maintained that even grown-ups can fall victim to it.

Workspace cyberbullying is one such way. The Government of Western Australia has created resources for people to understand what workspace cyberbullying is and how we can identify it.

OHPI doesn’t confine cyberbullying to children and teenagers. If you are an adult and are facing cyberbullying, report it to our online hate reporting tool FightAgainstHate.com.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Tweeting Troll-Free Is A Form Of Male Privilege, And Alex Blank Millard Just Proved It

Are women, who speak out on subjects of social justice, harassed and trolled more than men on Twitter? This experiment proves that they are.

If you encounter online misogyny on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and are unable to get the platform to remove it, report it to our online hate reporting software fightagainsthate.com.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

The power of public shaming, for good and for ill

Lydia Woodyatt of Flinders University looks at the role of public shaming in society – the circumstances in which it results in positive behavioural changes – and concludes that it is highly doubtful whether it can really work online. As she writes in her article.

“One wonders whether reintegrative shaming can even occur online. Without reciprocity, and an expectation of ongoing cooperation, or personal knowledge contextualising a behaviour within the wider perspective of a person’s life, it is doubtful. Other human tendencies that tend to attribute failures of others to character flaws, that cause group polarisation and schadenfreude, may continue to lead to stigmatising digital shaming, as in the case of Justine Sacco.”

We agree with Woodyatt, which is why we never indulge in individual targeting or public shaming. We always block out the identities of individuals who either public hate speech or like it, tweet it, comment on it or promote it in anyway. Our focus is always to criticize the content and try and get it removed, rather than publicly out the individual (if criminality is involved, we share the identities with the relevant government agencies).

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

How to deal with cyberbullying

Here is a great 10-step article for young people on how to deal with cyberbullying.

We would add a step-11: Report it to OHPI’s online hate reporting tool FightAgainstHate.com, which has a specific category to report online bullying. Our system accepts reports from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Twitter automates the creation of harassment reports

Twitter has rolled out a new reporting tool that allows the user to generate an automatic report of the harassing Tweets for the police. It seems it isn’t quite operating in Australia (we checked), yet, but it is something we can look forward to in the future.

It is just one of the steps being taken by the social media platform to counter the rampant harassment and abuse that takes place on it.

Bad parking and the rise of internet shaming

Internet Shaming may be effective in getting instant satisfaction for the person shaming another but often the costs involved for the target can be high. Here’s an opinion piece on why we should be careful in using it.

As a policy, OHPI does not indulge in internet shaming. We always black out the individual names and photographs of any social media post, comment or tweet, we report. We want the hate speech to be tackled, not the person to be shamed.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Online harassment is a form of violence

An interesting article on how online harassment constitutes violence. The article brings to attention the fact that technology is being used to stalk, harass and abuse individuals, and that it constitutes a form of violence.

The article has been written by Jenny Ostini and Susan Hopkins who teach at the University of Southern Queensland.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

‘I Was Patient Zero’: Monica Lewinsky Did A TED Talk About Cyberbullying That Should Be Required Viewing

Monica Lewinsky gives a TED Talk on ‪#‎Cyberbullying. She uses her own experience to discuss the cruelty of online shaming and public humiliation and calls for higher emphasis on empathy and compassion.

As she says. “Online we have a compassion deficit and an empathy crisis.” We agree.

If you have encountered cyberbullying on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, please report it to OHPI’s online hate reporting tool fightagainsthate.com.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Reddit tackles ‘revenge porn’ and celebrity nudes

Reddit takes action to stamp out revenge porn and nude celebrity photos. It is not perfect but we applaud their stand.

We applaud Reddit’s move. Using social media platforms to shame and harass women is a form of online misogyny, which we condemn. Women should feel safe and secure in digital spaces.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Cyber abuse hurts us all deeply

OHPI has said repeatedly that online hate destroys freedom of speech by silencing segments of the community and forcing them off line. This has an impact on their ability to participate in modern society, and on their ability to play a role in democracy. When making this point we usually refer to cyber-racism. The article linked to here makes this same point about cyber-bullying. What are your thoughts? Particularly on the analogy between cyber bullying and fascism?

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Twitter CEO ‘ashamed’ of how company handles cyber bullying, revenue growth threatened

Social media giant Twitter is reporting a decline in active users, just as it begins to confront a serious threat to its popularity and profitability – cyber bullying.

Yesterday, OHPI published an article by the feminist campaigner Caitlin Roper and the harassment she regularly faces on Twitter. Here is what OHPI recommended in the article:

“The Online Hate Prevention Institute recommends that social media companies take over the monitoring and investigation of large scale hate campaigns targeting particular users. This would remove the need for the user to made further reports, and would allow a faster and more effective response, which may include the banning of IP addresses used to post such abuse, in addition to liaison with law enforcement agencies and the provision of IP addresses for abusers, initiated from the platforms end.

The proposed approach would serve as a significant deterrent to abuse of these platforms, making them a safer space in which more people could productively engage. This would be an improvement for the public, but also add value for the platforms themselves.”

You can report any cyberbullying and serious trolling content to our online hate reporting tool fightagainsthate.com.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Facebook improves tool for suicide prevention

Facebook has improved its tool for suicide prevention. (It currently is being tested in the US). Now, users can report a friend whose updates indicate that he/she is contemplating self-harm to Facebook. Next time, your friend logs in, he/she will be connected with a friend, or a mental health expert at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.The dialogue box will also provide a link to tips and advice in text and digital video form.

We laud Facebook’s efforts to help with suicide prevention. It is also ironical that it is cyberbullying on Facebook that often push users (particularly young users) towards self-harm. What is really required is for Facebook to have a more user friendly reporting system, and a faster and more accurate response rate to reports of cyberbullying.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

An App That Lets Kids Report Bullies Anonymously

A new app brings together school administrators, trusted adults and school children together in an attempt to quash cyberbullying among teenager.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

Facing Online Trolling Sandy Hook Victim’s Family Moves to Trademark Name

In an unusual move, a US family, whose murdered daughter was being impersonated by online trolls, has trademarked their daughter’s name to take legal recourse against online trolls.

A form of cyberbullying involves online trolls impersonating dead people on social media to harass their family. Often, the content posted is offensive and hurtful. Usually, the victim is someone whose death was reported in the media for some reason. In this case, the victim was one of the teachers murdered during the Sandy Hook school massacre in 2012.

It is sad that in this case, the family has been forced to take the extreme measure of trademarking their daughter’s name. It shows the failure of social media platforms to take responsibility of how their tool is used.

If you come across such malicious on social media, report it to our online hate reporting tool fightagainsthate.com.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

Tips for law enforcement: Preparing for and responding to cyberbullying

Tips for law enforcement: Preparing for and responding to ‪#‎cyberbullying.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

6,000 internet trolls charged or cautioned by police for sending malicious messages over 3 years

UK is cracking down on Internet trolls. In the last three years, it has charged or cautioned more than 6000 trolls.

Does Australia need tougher cyberbullying legislation?

A great article on why Australia needs tougher laws on cyberbullying. As the author points out, “the current system fails to provide victims with what they need most: speedy and effective removal of offending material from cyberspace. Quick access to such remedies is best way to begin repairing the damage, where even the shortest delays can have the direst consequences.”

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

Social media users won’t fight cyberbullying until they imagine what it’s like to be bullied

Here’s an interesting perspective on the free speech vs hate speech debate.

A research found that social media users fight online policing by platforms until they imagine themselves to be victims of abuse and cyberbullying. Then they start supporting greater interventions by the platform in their social media interactions.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Parents rely too much on schools to teach online safety, say teachers

Do parents rely too much on schools to teach cybersafety to children and manage cyberbullying?

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Meet the Brothers Behind the Web’s Most Controversial Social Network

Ask.fm has become one of the most popular social media sites with teenagers around the world. But with its anonymous nature, it has also become notorious for the cyberbullying that takes place in it. Some reports suggest that nearly 16 teenage suicides have been triggered by cyberbullying on the network.

In this interview, the brothers who started and run the website, give their side of the story. According to them, bullying is a societal problem not an Internet problem. And that anonymity encourages a lot of people to share what they would otherwise not share.

What we are thinking is at what point does anonymity reach a tipping point – when do the drawbacks overtake the benefits. Do social media ever have a responsibility towards its users’ safety? Can any organisation ever safety-neutral towards its users?

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

Free speech is a bad excuse for online creeps to threaten rape and murder

No no no. Free speech does not mean you can threaten rape and murder.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

 

Meet Lady Diamond, anti-Hate campaigner at the Online Hate Prevention Institute

Meet Lady Diamond, anti-hate campaigner at the Online Hate Prevention Institute!

This is the first of a series of videos against cyberbullying, cyber-racism and other forms of online hate. Please help us share this important message. Feedback, in a comment to this post, is also appreciated.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

Local teen develops the “BullyBox” app as cyberbullying escalates

This app helps kids to report cyber bullying anonymously but effectively. Spread it.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

Why you are your best cyber security

A great Q & A on cyberbullying.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

Self-harm sites and cyberbullying: the threat to children from web’s dark side

The Guardian (UK) recently published an article on self harm and cyberbullying and argued the UK hospital system is ‘ill-equipped to deal with fallout from ‘toxic digital world”. The article highlights the real risk to life and health that can result from online hate. The Online Hate Prevention Institute is not just a charity, we are a Harm Prevention Charity and our aim to minimize the risk so these sorts of harm occur far less often.

Here’s an extract from the article:

‘While the internet provides unprecedented opportunities for young people to communicate and learn, it can be a dangerous place for vulnerable teenagers, says Sue Minto, the head of ChildLine. “Children are communicating in a way we have never seen before – all the time and instantly,” she says. “Personally, I think this kind of relentless exposure is the biggest challenge we have ever faced.” Minto notes that while peer pressure and bullying have been around for a long time, the ability to be contacted at all times is new. The cloak of anonymity can lead children to make comments they would shy away from in “real” life, she says. “The pressure on children is immense and very worrying – there is no break for these young people, it is quite relentless. Children who are being bullied tell us there is no point in turning off their phone, because the messages will just be there waiting for them.”‘

OHPI has previously discussed digital self harm (http://ohpi.org.au/digital-self-harm/) and our recent submission to the Government highlights some of the steps that need to be taken to ensure a safer online environment can be created. It us fundamentally up to the platform providers to create that safer environment, and Government’s role should not be a first stage response to police online content, but rather setting standards and monitoring compliance, as they do in the area of with environmental protection which also aims to protect the public.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

Charlotte’s Law – Tougher Cyber Bullying Legislation

The tragic passing of TV personality Charlotte Dawson has in some ways highlighted the issue of online or cyber-bullying. We will continue to advocate for social media companies to do more to protect people against online bullying and trolling, encourage governments to creating better legislation in relation to cyber bullying, and continue to educate people, young and old, about recognising and responding effectively to online bullying.

Friends of Ms Dawson have lodged an online petition calling for ‘tougher cyber bullying legislation’

You can visit our website to learn more about cyberbullying and trolls here.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ms Dawson at this time. If you or someone you know needs help or information about suicide prevention please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, or visit www.beyondblue.org.au

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

“Cyber Peril”

Well done to Jack, a Monash University student, who’s produced a news report about cyberbullying on the Ask.FM website. We met with Jack to discuss the problem and a segment of that interview is included in his video.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

54% of extreme cyber-bullying takes place on Facebook

Cyberbullying: Nothing new in the finding that cyberbullying can be more serious than physical bullying (which at least stops when people get home), however, the extent of the problem may surprise people.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here.

My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm

Fifteen year old Amanda Todd committed suicide on October 10th as a result of cyberbullying. OHPI asks you to like this post and help share her video and her story.

Facebook partners with a number NGOs to help prevent suicide and this is important work. At this time OHPI calls on Facebook to do more to stop the hate and to ensure there isn’t a spread of hate pages in relation to Amanda Todd like we saw with Jill Meagher. Facebook’s refusal to take down the hate in that case was appalling. It must not be repeated.

A page dedicated to the memory of Amanda Todd is now going viral (well done to those who have set it up, and to those who are helping with it):

RIP Amanda Todd.

You can read our Facebook post and discussion here

This Is What It’s Like To Go To Prison For Trolling

This article interviews two convicted trolls, who have since been released and now admit that trolling is wrong

As their interview indicates, they had nothing specific against their victims. They just sent a torrent of abuse their way because the topic was trending and they were bored and drunk. It shows how open the platform Twitter is to abuse.

We feel that the platform should take more responsibility towards protecting its users, particularly when they are profiting from user-generated content.

You can read our Facebook discussion here.

Paula Todd: How cyberbullies are ruining the greatest communication tool ever invented

As the author writes: “Nothing is out of bounds, no matter how malignant: Children tell each other to kill themselves, mothers ridicule other parents’ toddlers, racists rant, misogynists send rape threats, and anyone who dares to hold an opinion is often targeted — not with evidence-based argument, which is the exercise of free speech, but in hate-filled, grammar-less personal attacks punctuated with profanity. Never before has the complexity — and simplicity — of the human mind been more on display than in social media.”

You can read our Facebook discussion here.

Free Facebook App Targets Cyberbullies & Online Frauds

This free Facebook App searches its user’s Facebook friends for people who are using phony identities, commonly called “Catfish.” CatfishNet not only finds the Catfish but it also helps keep predators from remaining “friends” with the user.

You can read our Facebook discussion here.

What happened when I confronted my cruellest troll

A recent article in the Guardian “What happened when I confronted my cruellest troll” described trolling as gratuitous online cruelty.

“Trolling is recreational abuse – usually anonymous – intended to waste the subject’s time or get a rise out of them or frustrate or frighten them into silence. Sometimes it’s relatively innocuous (like asking contrarian questions just to start an argument) or juvenile (like making fun of my weight or my intelligence), but – particularly when the subject is a young woman – it frequently crosses the line into bona fide, dangerous stalking and harassment.”

You can read our Facebook discussion here.

Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire

Online and social media have given feminist writers a platform to get their voices heard. Unfortunately, as this article discusses, it has also made them the recipient of constant abuse, threats and harassment. The psychological ramifications of such “incessant, violent, sneering, sexualized hatred” is leading to many feminists considering early retirement.

You can access the Facebook post here.

Being pimped out online by misogynist harassers will not stop me from speaking out

“These threats are criminal. They are designed to erode any sense of safety and security and to keep women in our preferred place. As Anita Sarkeesian from Feminist Frequency observed, Elliot Rodger used the Internet to make threats preceding his violent killing spree. How many other men, including unstable ones, feel supported if not justified in their hateful attitudes by an online culture of misogyny?”

An Australian blogger and women’s rights activist shares her personal experience of being harassed, threatened and impersonated online.

You can access the Facebook post here.

EOM Website Is Up and Running Again

End Online Misogyny – a useful site for women tackling cyber-misogyny including being stalked, harassed or abused online.

You can access the Facebook post here

Stroud student speaks out against trolling

A Stroud student has shared her findings after conducting an investigation into trolling on Twitter “The 266 article study found 65% of all comments expressed violence and abuse” #‎misogyny #‎online.

A target of the abuse on twitter was Hopkins, a female tabloid columnist and reality TV star, who shot to fame after appearing on BBC 1 show The Apprentice.

You can access the Facebook post here

Monica Lewinsky’s return to public life is brave. Are we brave enough for her?

Should misogyny have place online? One of the earliest victims of online misogyny, Monica Lewinski speaks out.

You can access the Facebook post here