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Cyberbullying Information


What Is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:

  • Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
  • SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
  • Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
  • Email


Special Concerns

With the prevalence of social media and digital forums, comments, photos, posts, and content shared by individuals can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. The content an individual shares online – both their personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content – creates a kind of permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. This public record can be thought of as an online reputation, which may be accessible to schools, employers, colleges, clubs, and others who may be researching an individual now or in the future. Cyberbullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved – not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it. Cyberbullying has unique concerns in that it can be:

Persistent – Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for children experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.

Permanent – Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.

Hard to Notice – Because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognize.

Laws and Sanctions

Although all states have laws requiring schools to respond to bullying, many states do not include cyberbullying under these laws or specify the role schools should play in responding to bullying that takes place outside of school. Schools may take action either as required by law, or with local or school policies that allow them to discipline or take other action. Some states also have provisions to address bullying if it affects school performance. You can learn about the laws and policies in each state, including if they cover cyberbullying.

(Provided by the US Department of Health & Human Services, n.d.)

Cyperbulling help and hotline:

The Cypersmile Foundation has many resources to help people.  They also have a help line if you are being bullied online and need to talk.

They have collated a selection of helplines that offer various levels of support for problems ranging from cyberbullying and revenge porn, to mental health and suicide prevention.

Although we do our best to monitor the effectiveness and reliability of any external organizations that we link to – we cannot accept responsibility for any problems resulting in the use of these resources.


  • Helpline set up by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Available 24/7

If you need help to know if something you put online is appropriate, go to and take the Digital Civility Challenge.

Helplines for various issues young adults face:


  • Suicide prevention
  • Available 24/7
  • Website also in Spanish


  • Available 24/7
  • Also available in Spanish 1-888-628-9454


  • Suicide Prevention
  • Bilingual
  • Busy helplines at times – limited resources during busy periods


  • Monday-Thursday from 9am-9pm and Friday from 9am-5pm
  • Closed for public holidays
  • Help and advice for people affected by eating disorders

THE TREVOR PROJECT (USA) 1-866-488-7386

  • Available 24/7
  • Suicide prevention within the LGBTQ+ community

RESTART (USA) 1-800-682-6934

  • Specializes in treatment for technology related addictions including gaming, social media and VR
  • Available 24/7
  • Focus on residential care

SMACtalk Resources for Parents: