Prevent cyberbullying: stop spreading online hate

October 14, 2020

There’s no question, 2020 has been a difficult year. Teens and tweens are spending even more time online as they are adapting to distancing learning virtually. It’s been a struggle both emotionally and socially for everyone.

Different studies and surveys conclude that cyberbullying is on the rise, which is understandable with more screen-time combined with stress and anxiety that most are feeling. People are acting out of fear and frustration without consideration of how their comments, posts or other online behavior will impact their peers.

3 Ways to stop online hate

  1. Teach them how to report, block and flag abusive content

Apps will come and go, however bad online behavior is human behavior. Whatever app your teen or tween has, they must take the time to read and understand the terms of service as it pertains to abuse and harassment.

This helps them to become stronger reporters of online hate and what constitutes abusive content.

2. Don’t perpetuate hate

What would you do if you saw hateful or harmful content?

Our young people need to understand by engaging in cyber-combat, it’s a reflection of your character. Your online reputation is everything today – and it will impact your future.

1. Report and flag abusive content.

2. Don’t forward, share or retweet cruel content.

3. Liking a harmful post is equal to endorsing it.

4. Don’t engage in cyber-combat.

Energizing hate gives it life or credence.

3. Critical thinking: Stop spreading misinformation, gossip and fake news

When people spread wrongful information it can lead to cyberbullying, shaming and harassment. It’s important to help our young people to develop critical thinking skills to decipher posts that they may believe is not truthful before forwarding them or sharing them.

The C.R.A.P. Detection Test, by Howard Rheingold, is one way that can help us determine fact from fiction, or at least give us some guidance:

  • Currency: How recent or up-to-date is the information.
  • Reliability: Is the content opinion based or balanced? Does it provide references or sources for data?
  • Authority: Who is the author or source, and are they reputable?
  • Point of view: Does the poster have an agenda or are they trying to sell something?

This article was first published on the Sue Scheff Blog. Visit her original post here. 

Written by

Sue Scheff

Sue Scheff is an author and Parent Advocate. She founded Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc in 2001. Her expertise is educating parents that are struggling with their out-of-control teenager and Internet safety for both kids and adults. In her book, Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate (Sourcebooks), Sue Scheff equips readers to handle cyberbullying, trolls and other digital disasters. Find out more at on