What to do in case of cyberbullying?From Bystander to Upstander - Tips for Young People in the Event of Cyberbullying

When children and young people are affected by cyberbullying, they often feel helpless and isolated. This is also shown by three video spots from Webwise, the Safer Internet Centre Ireland. The videos of the #SilentWitness campaign offer the opportunity to engage in a conversation with young people on the topic of cyberbullying. How can young people help with bullying without becoming a target themselves? Our new infographic, "Observing Cyberbullying? How to become an upstander!" answers this question and provides helpful tips.

Cyberbullying can affect everyone. The "Cyberlife IV" study published by TechnikerKrankenkasse in 2022 shows that around 17 percent of schoolchildren experience cyberbullying. In Germany alone, that means 1.8 million children and young people are affected. For them, bullying often has severe consequences: They feel helpless, socially isolated and sometimes struggle with physical symptoms.

Video campaign calls for action against cyberbullying

As part of the #SilentWitness campaign, the Irish Safer Internet Centre webwise.ie shows in three videos how quickly young people can become victims of cyberbullying. The spots reflect on the effects of cyberbullying and encourage people to report incidents. The videos can be used, for example, to stimulate conversations in school classes about how we can all help promote respect and empathy in digital spaces.

From Bystander to Upstander - How Young People Can Help Those Affected by the Disease

Often in cyberbullying there are also bystanders, so-called bystander. They are neither victim nor perpetrator and observe what is happening. For example, in the comments on social media or in the class chat. These bystanders find themselves in a difficult situation: They may want to help, but don't always know how. And they certainly don't want to become the target of bullying attacks themselves.

This is how you go from being a bystander to an upstander!

  • Don't look away!
    You observe online that someone is being insulted? Or was it all just a stupid joke? Sometimes it's not easy to tell when a situation is really serious. The important thing is: Don't look away! Observe the further course of events or get help to assess the situation correctly.
  • Don't leave it up to others!
    When you observe cyberbullying on the Internet, you may think, "Surely someone else will help!" The problem is that many think this way and therefore do not act. Don't leave it up to others to do something: Take action yourself!
  • Speak up!
    Victims of cyberbullying often feel helpless and isolated. Even if you as an observer are unsure how you can help, you can approach those affected. Signal: You see what is happening and want to help.
  • Report cyberbullying!
    You don't dare to actively intervene? You can still do something! Report the incidents to social media services. You can also contact a trusted person at school and tell them what you observe.
  • Point out support services!
    You can also help those affected by pointing them to counseling and support services. For example, the child and youth hotline of the number against sorrow or to the counseling platform juuuport.de.
  • Be a role model online!
    We all want to feel safe and accepted - online and offline. You can also contribute to this by being mindful of positive and friendly interaction with others.

All tips are also available on our new info sheet. You can download this via our material system and distribute it to young people.