Online abuse can come in many different forms and anybody can be a victim. Both children and adults can suffer when being bullied online or be the victim of revenge porn. Being aware of what counts as online abuse and what you can do about it ensures that we can tackle it. Unfortunately, we will never be able to stop online abuse, but we can act appropriately and report abuse.
Cyberbullying consists of any form of bullying that is online. This bullying may also happen in real life too, especially for children at school. The difference between normal bullying and online bullying is there sometimes feels like there is no escape. It isn’t as easy as logging off or blocking someone and often we still want to be able to use our mobile phones. True cyberbullies will find other ways to taunt or post images or comments about you. The first thing you should do is report the bully to whatever site they are attacking you on. If you know the person, this should be addressed in person, either through school and/or by talking to the police.
Grooming is a nasty form of online abuse of young children and parents need to be especially aware if they are allowing their child internet access. Groomers can disguise themselves as other people and children can be very naïve to what is truly out there. If you have any suspicions or you are worried about your child, report this immediately. You should check your child’s browsing history if you are concerned or they seem to be hiding things from you.
Some online abuse takes the form of online “trolls”. Often these people hide behind fake profiles on social media accounts and add nasty, rude comments to images and videos or even send messages to victims. These people may not even know you but may choose to attack you or your business randomly. Trolls may also leave fake reviews on products or services, which can negatively impact a business. Removify is there to help businesses that are suffering from trolls. As negative reviews can be bad for business, getting rid of these comments ASAP will ensure trolls don’t get the better of us and ruin businesses.
Revenge porn is a very serious offence that is punishable by law. You should always report revenge porn to the police, as this is something that needs taking down immediately. If you have never consented for images or videos to be put on the internet, then you are a victim of revenge porn. This can happen when people are hacked or more often than not, it is an ex-partner that releases these images. You should always be careful with who you share any intimate photographs, and you should never keep any images or videos that you have been asked to delete.
If you have been a victim of online abuse don’t suffer in silence. Speak to family and friends if you are struggling. There are also helplines available throughout Australia, whether you have been a victim of cyberbullying or revenge porn.