What to do if You See Someone Else Harassed Online

Online harassment, like Cyberbullying, is using information and communication technologies to carry out a methodical, deliberate, and persistent manner that is intended to harass, threaten, humiliate or harm the recipient.

If you see repeated deliberate harassment or bullying of another online user this can be very distressing, but there are a few avenues you can take. First, you want to be sure what you are seeing is harassment and not simply banter between two people. For example if someone says “I’m going to kill you next time I see you” it may be a serious threat, or it may be an entirely harmless comment between friends. If you are sure you are witnessing harassment you can:

  • Reach out to the person who is being harassed and ask if they are ok, and if they need help reporting the incident or getting in touch with a local organization that can help them get the support they need.
  • Report the abuse using the reporting features in the online service where the harassment occurred. Follow the instructions you are given to provide the links to evidence, etc. for the moderator to review.
  • Unless you know the harasser well and believe they will respect your comments, do not contact them – you may find yourself being their new target.

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