Have you ever noticed that when you post on any of the Ink Splot 26 blogs and Message Boards, it does not appear right away? One of the reasons for this is to prevent harmful and mean comments from being made public.
Bullies are everywhere: in school, in books, and online. We all know about popular kids who try to hurt our feelings, or people who spread rumors about us. Cyberbullying is when someone posts comments online that can hurt another person's feelings. It can also be posting personal information about another person without his or her permission. Words can be very harmful, and sometimes the things you say online can really damage another person's confidence or self-esteem. We would never want to hurt anyone's feelings and make them feel like an outcast!
Here's what YOU can do. First of all, make sure that you are not the cyberbully. Think before you post! You should always treat others the way you want to be treated. If you're not sure, talk to a trusted adult about what you can and cannot say on the internet. Remember, you should never post anything online that you can't take back. If you're about to post something, read it back first and imagine that someone is posting it about you. How does it feel? Not so nice? Don't post it.
If you see your friend posting something mean, tell him or her that it's not cool. Don't just keep quiet and go along with it because it's your friend. Stand up for what's right! Also, if you see some mean comments about someone, go out of your way to say something nice to/about that person. Your kind comments will lead by example and show others that being nice is always the best way to be. Use your Kid Power to make the other person feel good!
And, if someone posts something negative about you, first talk to a trusted adult about it. Don't just take it! You might be able to report the username to a website administrator, and you may also have the option to block your cyberbully. By speaking up, you prevent the cyberbullying from escalating, and you stay out of trouble. Then, you should just walk away. If you give in to cyberbullies' comments, you are "letting them win." When you don't respond to a cyberbully, you show that you are the bigger person, and you have more important things to do with your life than let someone bring you down.
Cyberbullying can happen to anyone, and if you take a stand against it, you can make the world a better place. It is easy to make change, and it starts with you! For more information about how to stop bullies, check out the Stand Up to Bullying Special Report.