10 Tips to Stop Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying: How to Spot It, And How to Stop It

The statistics are staggering.

  • More than one in five high school students have been bullied.
  • Three out of four LGBTQ+ students have been bullied.
  • Kids who are bullied are at high risk of anxiety and depression. They’re more than twice as likely to think about or attempt suicide as their non-bullied peers.
  • Over 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because they are bullied.

    Classrooms should be safe spaces — but for far too many students, they’re not. Fear, anxiety, and insecurity make learning difficult, if not impossible.

    And now, many students are staying home or doing at least some learning at home — whether temporarily, part-time, or full-time. 

    It may seem there’s a silver lining to all of this: kids and teens who are harassed, taunted, and bullied now have the opportunity to learn in the safety and comfort of their own homes. But the increased online distance learning has had an unfortunate consequence — an increase in cyberbullying.

    Cyberbullying is real. Like all bullying, it has devastating effects, from social exclusion to discrimination, from low self-esteem to suicide. But together, we can do something about it. 

    These are stressful times for everyone. Now more than ever, we must unite in love and stand up against hate.

    What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is any form of bullying or harassment that takes place electronically — through social media, instant messaging, apps, texts, emails, online communities, games, or other virtual spaces. Cyberbullying may involve threats, rumors, hate speech, embarrassing or sensitive personal information, taunting, or sexual harassment. Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t end with the school day or the school year.

And cyberbullying is a growing problem. In recent years, the percentage of students who have been cyberbullied has nearly doubled — by some estimates, to more than 50%. Yet in many states, there are no laws requiring schools to respond to it.

Because cyberbullying takes place outside of the physical classroom, it’s easy for teachers and other adults to miss. Online, people can say and do things anonymously, with little fear of getting caught. As a result, victims often suffer in silence.


YES! According to L1ght, an organization that monitors online harassment and hate speech, there has been a 70% increase in cyberbullying! They also found a 40% increase in toxicity on online gaming platforms, a 900% increase in hate speech on Twitter directed toward China and the Chinese, and a 200% increase in traffic to hate sites.

Online, people can be very hostile — while remaining totally anonymous. Behind a screen, people say and do things they never would in “real life.” And others are tempted to pile on. As photos, memes, rumors, threats, and other toxic messages spread, harassment goes viral. 

Victims of cyberbullying are overwhelmed by this onslaught of hateful and hurtful content. It’s hard to see a way out, because technology is with us 24/7. For better or worse, it’s part of everyday life. And tech use is only on the rise.

When schools close their doors or limit their schedules, students have less access to trusted adults like teachers, counselors, and coaches. It’s hard for adults to spot the warning signs of cyberbullying, and many victims are afraid to seek help.

This combination of stress, social distance, increased tech use, anonymity, and fear is a perfect storm for cyberbullying. But together, we can stand up to harassment and bullying and spread love instead of hate.

8 tips on How you can stop cyberbullying


1. Remember that you hold the power.

Always remember you’re not defenseless when it comes to cyberbullying. You have the power to mute, block, and delete inappropriate content. 

Sometimes people are just looking for a reaction — any reaction. They’re trying to be funny, shocking, or controversial. Maybe they want to pick a fight or see who they can rile up. The best thing you can do is ignore them. Their behavior isn’t really about you. If they don’t get a reaction, they’ll find something else to do. 

If the behavior continues or escalates, and you’re being targeted, intimidated, or harassed, don’t be afraid to get help from an adult.

2. Talk about it.

Victims of cyberbullying are often afraid to ask for help. They worry they won’t be taken seriously, that telling will make things worse, or that someone will retaliate against them or their loved ones. They may feel embarrassed, or wonder who they can trust.

If you’re being cyberbullied, it’s important to get help. You don’t have to suffer in silence or solve the problem by yourself. Tell a parent, teacher, counselor, coach, pastor, or another trustworthy adult what is happening. They can help you take steps to protect yourself or, if necessary, they can intervene on your behalf. 

3. Document it.

Don’t respond to harassing or threatening messages. Take screenshots of them or print them out, then document when and how they happened. 

Share this information with an adult or with your school. Report any harassment over social media, like Facebook or Snapchat, directly to the site. If someone is threatening, stalking, or sexually harassing you, contact the police. 

The more information you can provide, the better. Most schools and online communities have zero-tolerance policies for harassment, hate speech, and bullying.

4. Watch out for warning signs.

How would you know if a friend was being cyberbullied? The signs aren’t always obvious. But here are some red flags to be aware of:

  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of interest in relationships or activities
  • Trouble sleeping or eating
  • Poor grades
  • Low self-esteem, depression, and/or self-destructive behaviors


    When it comes right down to it, you know your friends. If they seem “off,” don’t be afraid to ask them if something is wrong. Even if it feels awkward, by opening the lines of communication you’re showing them you care. They’ll be stronger with someone in their corner.

5. Be a friend.

If you see someone being cyberbullied, don’t look the other way. Stand with them. Let them know you’re on their side. Take the opportunity to show them kindness and to be their friend. There is strength in numbers, so encourage others to help you. Start a wave of positivity!

Love is stronger than hate. Your support could be the one thing that gets someone through a dark time. It could even save their life.

6. Be patient with yourself and others. 

Sometimes we are anxious or on edge. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is lashing out at others.

In times of stress, we don’t always act our best. We make mistakes, say harsh things, and treat other people unfairly. There is a saying, “hurt people hurt people.” When we are hurting, we sometimes hurt the people around us — either accidentally or on purpose.

If you catch yourself hurting others, own up to it. Apologize to the person you hurt. Acknowledge that you made a mistake. Show them through your actions that you can do better. Forgive yourself and learn from the experience.

If you see someone hurting others, call them on it in a calm and non-confrontational way. Give them a chance to correct their behavior. They may be in pain themselves.

If you feel like you’re losing control of your emotions or behavior, talk to someone you trust. You may need help processing your feelings about current events. That’s normal, and nothing to be ashamed of. 

You can even get free, confidential support over the phone. Call a lifeline or text a crisis counselor. They’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It’s okay to be stressed out. Now is the time to practice good self care. Treat yourself gently and lovingly. We are all in this together.

7. Take time to disconnect.

Between school, social media, videos, gaming, and social interactions over text, Zoom, or Skype, we’re looking at screens more than ever. Our news feeds quickly become overwhelming, and we can be exposed to a lot of negativity. 

It’s okay to disconnect for a while, whether for an hour, an afternoon, or an entire day. FOMO — fear of missing out — is strong, but everything will still be there when you return. 

Taking a media break gives you a chance to practice mindfulness, or to focus your attention on the present moment. Take the opportunity to move your body, feel the sun on your face, pick up a craft or art project, cook up some food, or write a letter. These kinds of activities give us a chance to clear our minds and change our perspectives.


8. Connect with the Free2Luv community.

We have a strong virtual community and invite you to be a part of our family.

Stand Against Cyberbullying With Your Free2Luv Family

At the end of the day, you are a human being with dignity and worth. No one can take that away from you. And no one has the right to threaten, intimidate, hurt, or bully you — in person, online, or anywhere else.

We invite you to join more than 400,000 people in taking our pledge to stand up against bullying and end hate:

I believe LUV is STRONGER than hate

and BRAVER than bullying.

I believe that when we stand together,

we stand strong.

I will be a voice for the voiceless.

I have zero tolerance for bullying

or discrimination of any kind.

I am committed to being the best version of myself to create change.

We are with you. Together, we are stronger!

Take a stand to spread luv and end bullying

take a stand to spread luv and end bullying

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