Respond to Cyberbullying: Intervention

How do you respond when someone has been a target of cyberbullying? Who do you contact? What evidence should be collected? How do you determine an appropriate response?

4 Steps for Cyberbullying Targets

Stop Leave the online environment (i.e. chat room, forum, game, instant messenger, etc.) where bullying is happening.

Block Block emails or instant messages received from the perpetrator. Never respond to them.

Record Record & send all harassing messages to administrators of the site they originated from (e.g. Facebook, Yahoo).

Talk it out Talk about it with a trusted adult. If the bullying involves physical threats, alert the police.

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Top 10 Tips

Responding to Cyberbullying: Top 10 Tips for Educators

Compiled by cyberbullying experts Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin, this list of top 10 tips informs educators about how best to deal with cyberbullying among students. From investigating an incident to developing response strategies, this document can guide your cyberbullying intervention efforts.

Rethinking Cyberbullying Interventions

RethinkingAs awareness of cyberbullying has risen, so have the number of available interventions. Unfortunately, many of them have proven ineffective, succumbing to pitfalls like:

  • Taking the form of public awareness campaigns or school assemblies that simply tell youth not to be cyberbullies. This reduces the content to a simplistic “just say no” message that youth generally tune out.
  • Using language youth don’t respond to. Youth typically define “cyberbullying” in such a way as to exclude anything they actually do; actions adults would consider cyberbullying, they call “starting something” or simply “drama.”
  • Defining bullying too narrowly, as a single bully or a large group harassing a helpless target, when the reality includes much more complicated relationships.

Learn more about these pitfalls and the need to “rethink” cyberbullying intervention at




About our sources

Sameer Hinduja is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. He is a member of the Research Advisory Board for Harvard University’s Internet Safety Task Force. Learn more…

Justin W. Patchin is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. For more than a decade he has been exploring the intersection of teens and technology, with particular focus on cyberbullying, social networking, and sexting. Learn more…

MediaSmarts is a Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization for digital and media literacy, which has been developing digital and media literacy programs and resources for Canadian homes, schools and communities since 1996. Learn more…