Have you ever been scrolling and thought woah, that's pretty hectic?
Or noticed that someone is sharing personal, intimate info about their ex, partner or mate to “get back” at them? And then everyone starts liking and commenting and taking sides and it’s chaos.
Yeah, this isn’t ok. It’s not funny or trivial or something you should just let slide. Abuse online is serious stuff.
People say and share all kinds of stuff online that they wouldn’t do in person. But crappy behaviour online hurts people just as much as if you shouted it in someone’s face or stuck posters up all over school.
Here are our golden rules to help you not be, well, a massive douchelord online.
DON'T... share other people's shit
When you receive a photo or message, it stays with you. The sender can show or tell other people if they want, they don’t need you being the messenger.
A quick rule of thumb is don’t say or share anything about another person that you wouldn’t want said or shared about you. Just cos you want one person seeing your topless selfies doesn't mean you want that going to the whole world, right? Sooo…
DON'T... ignore their line
Maybe you’re ok with topless photos of you going around – but if you haven't got their consent, just don't. And if someone says something online isn't cool for them, then you’ve gotta cut it out. Respect where each person draws the line.
DON’T... pass it on or hype it up
If your brother’s-friend’s-cousin’s-dog shows you screenshots of a post gone feral just for the lols, do not pass it on. Also, don’t text your mates saying “haha seen what’s happening on Charlie’s FB? Sam is kicking off!!”
Be the one who stops the spread. Adding to the fire, even if you didn't start it, is still crappy behaviour. It makes the problem bigger and the person in question feel even more ganged up on.
DO... call out the crap
You can chime in and call on your mates if it’s to help stop their crap behaviour. The person being attacked will be tired, sad and scared and could use a helping hand. Being a strong person means stepping up and saying nope. This is particularly true if the person being the loser is your mate.
Don’t use abusive language even when you’re doing the right thing by calling out something crappy. Keep things cool and simple and at the very least suggest that they CHILL IMMEDIATELY IF NOT SOONER!
Consider contacting ending the person targeted too, something like “Hey Charlie, Sam's behaviour is shit and I hope you’re ok”
DO... take it out of the public eye
If you have something to say to an ex, friend or even a frenemy just talk to them directly. Be respectful and focus on finding a solution.
If you already posted crap stuff online, delete it. And then apologise to the person you aimed it also. Also apologise to any other people who got caught up in your dodgy behaviour.
DO... go away
Take a moment to think about the possible ways you chiming in could impact the other person – a process called empathising.
And if you’re commenting or liking someone’s stuff online and they’re telling you to leave them alone or ignoring you over and over, just back off. Even if you think you're right and even if you’re trying to help. Cos who wants to be making someone uncomfy?! If this happens, just like their comment that asks you to stop and swap to Netflix.