The headlines are shocking and real-stories behind bullying are chilling. 12-year old, Rebecca, felt no way out from attacks by her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, and ended her life last week. Over the weekend in an unrelated case, another child took a shotgun to his chest to stop the pain.
Cyber-bullying is the most common form of bullying, and includes spreading rumors and using derogatory terms. It’s most common in grades six through ten, and the results can lead to depression and anxiety. To our most vulnerable, it can lead to suicide also known as bullycide.
As the largest social media platform, Facebook is a common platform for abusers to spread their hate. Facebook takes a strict stand against bullying and reserves the right to remove abusive content, stated in their community standards.
As parents, friends, and neighbors, there’s more we can.
5 Facebook Actions to help stop cyber-bullying:
- Report the abuse: If you, family members, or friends are experiencing bullying on Facebook, report the action to Facebook. The easiest way to do this is to click on the report abuse link next to the content. Facebook will review and consider removing the content.
- Block the abuser from your Timeline: If you, your son or daughter, feels harassed by an individual, you may block that person from seeing or posting on your Timeline. Note, the abuser will not be informed of the block.
- Restrict your privacy settings: Facebook defaults most user content without restrictions. You may close and/or reduce access of what others see on your Timeline by restricting your personal settings.
- Evaluate and document the situation: Evaluate the level of bullying and document each incident. This will help you to enlist the help from others. Documenting incidents will put perspective on the situation.
- Get others involved: If your children, friends, or neighbors, show signs of depression or anxiety particular those under 18 years of age, get others involved. Talk to your school administrator, place of worship, or healthcare professional.
Too many children are falling through the cracks, and it’s going to take our attention and real focus to make a difference. Be a voice to this very important cause.
Thank you for your time.