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How To Prevent/Overcome Cyber Bullying

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By Kyomuhendo Diana Esther

Ways To Prevent Cyberbullying

  1. Only accept friend requests from people whom you know in real life, as a lot of times a cyberbully can create fake accounts of people whom you know, just to get close to cautious while accepting friend requests.
  2. Make sure you never let out your personal information like date of birth, phone number, etc. on social media platforms. Always edit your privacy settings in a way that only your friends can access your daily posts and profile accessible to the public. A cyber bully can stalk your profile accessible to the public. A cyber bully can stalk your profile and collect as much information as is available on social media platforms to later on blackmail you or use it in some way against you.
  3. Always remember your online activity can very well leave digital footprints which the cyber bullies can use against you. Make sure you don’t post pictures, give away your numbers on public posts or in comments, or share your daily routine through check-ins and have your family information and relationships out in public.
  4. Don’t get friendly with people in chat rooms and gaming platforms.
  5. Don’t install apps and software’s from unknown sources or those recommended by people on chatrooms and gaming portals.
  6. If you feel hurt after reading a message from someone you know or stranger, don’t react aggressively, as that might encourage the bully to continue harassing you. Be a silent spectator, and keep collecting these proofs for filing a complaint against that person. If he/ she is a known person, you may request him to take the post down.
  7. Never delete any comments or a post that is inflammatory and is targeting you, and these posts make up evidence that is used to build your case against that person who is a bully.
  8. Always inform your parents/ friends and teachers if such messages and posts that are targeted against you, bother you. Approach law enforcement agencies, if necessary.
  9. Think before you share, re-tweet or repost any post as that might affect someone and might also lead to cyber bullying unknowingly.

Steps To Take If You Are A Victim Of Cyberbullying

  1. Inform your parents/ friends and close family, so that they can support you in such tough times.
  2. Try to identify the bully, whether he’s a friend, a known person or a classmate or work colleague or unknown person.
  3. Contact the bully in personal messages to tell them if they have hurt you in any way and ask them firmly to stop doing it.
  4. If requesting the bully is not effective, make sure you don’t aggressively react and be a silent spectator. If it is going overboard, make sure you block the person from every social media platform possible.
  5. Never delete any comments, messages or posts which are bullying you. Make sure you collect them and save them somewhere as they can be used as an evidence, if incase a legal action needs to be taken.
  6. Report any cyber bullying instance on or contact your nearest police station.

In conclusion, bullying is deeply engrained in the society today. Our society illustrates the pinnacle of capitalistic competition. This win-or-die-trying atmosphere, the competitive college acceptance process, and much of the corporate world, contribute to many of the bullying problems that we battle today. The issues of bullying and cyberbullying can only be contained in the short term and not eliminated completely due to how deep-seeded they have become in our competitive society. The clinical repercussions that bullying and cyberbullying have on today’s youth present the most troubling issue at hand.

To end online bullying and violence in Uganda, U-reporters are recommending the setting up and implementation of strict laws on online bullying, use of social media and internet; sensitizing and creating awareness on the use of social media and the dangers of online bullying.

Victims, do not suffer in silence. All the instances above are against the law and fall under the Computer Misuse Act as Cyber Harassment, Offensive Communication or Cyber Stalking. The biggest struggle for cyberbullying prevention in the future is matching the fast pace of technological innovation with effective preventative techniques.

NOTE: UNICEF and partners developed the platform to capture a range of voices on critical development issues. U-Report is a free social messaging tool that allows anyone from anywhere in the world to speak out on the issues they care about. U-Report encourages citizen-led development, facilitates responses to humanitarian emergencies and magnifies local voices globally to create positive change.    

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