Cyberbullying can happen at any time. Abuse and harassment online often follow children home from school, and kids often feel like there is no escape. As a parent, you want your child to be able to explore the internet safely. And they can, with adequate knowledge of the risks involved. Check out our blog for tips on keeping your child safe online.
It’s also important to be aware. Here is a list of sites and apps where cyberbullying commonly occurs.
This popular photo-sharing app is the #1 social media network for cyberbullying, according to a British study. On the app, each user’s photos are publicly available to the people they allow to follow them, and friends can comment on each others’ pictures. Bullies will often post cruel comments in the comments section, and some will even create fake accounts to post compromising photographs and video clips.
Although Facebook is decreasing in popularity among the younger generation, it is still a leading social media platform for cyberbullying and online harassment. Teens continue to experience harassment through hate-filled messages, and have private photos posted and sent to others without permission.
Twitter is a news and social networking service in which users interact with posts called tweets. Unless marked private, each users’ feed is visible to anyone, regardless of whether or not you are following them. Due to the public nature of the platform, users can easily become victim to abusive and discriminating tweets.
What differentiates this social media app from others is its core feature: photos, videos, and messages exchanged by users disappear after they are viewed by the recipients. Bullies will send hurtful “snaps” to their victims, who have no proof to show adults when the picture disappears. Other times, bullies will take screenshots of compromising pictures and circulate them to a larger group.
ASKfm is an online platform that allows anyone to ask users questions anonymously. Users are also able to view other profiles anonymously. Cyberbullying is a frequent problem on this app. The lack of identification allows bullies to target individuals and leave hateful and inappropriate comments with no little to no repercussions.
This website was created to allow individuals to receive honest feedback from friends. Users cannot respond to the messages they receive. Children using this site are at risk of being bullied as anyone can leave demeaning messages anonymously.
Kik messenger allows users to text messages, photos, sketches, and even pre-designed greeting cards at high speeds. Kik connects teens with just their username, which allows for anonymity creating a greater risk for bullies to send hateful messages. The app also enables users to send each other sexually explicit messages, which opens the risk for bullies to use that information to either blackmail or humiliate their victims.
Discord is a free app designed for video gaming communities that enables text, image, video and audio communication between users in a chat channel. If your child is a gamer, this may be an app to watch for. As participation on the app grows, there have been safety concerns of users receiving discriminatory and sexually explicit messages.
Whisper allows users to anonymously post statements to profiles and send messages to other users. Users can also search content that has been posted locally. As with other apps that allow for users to remain anonymous, risk for cyberbullying and online harassment is high.
For more information on cyberbullying and how to tackle it, check out the following links:
The 10 Types of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying Warning Signs
What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied