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Cyberbullying sets out to harass, hurt, insult, pester, expose or threaten young victims by email, text message, mobile, in chat rooms, the social media or any other communication media. Almost one in four young people knows someone who has been tormented on the Internet, according to JIM-Studie 2011 zum Medienumgang von 12- bis 19-Jährigen, a study of the media habits of 12-to-19-year-olds.
If you do nothing, it gets worse
It is not easy to escape cyberbullying. The Internet is always available and the attacks don’t stop when the victim switches off their computer or mobile. For help, confide in a trusted adult, maybe a relative or a teacher. You should also report the incidents to the service provider used for the cyberbullying. Social networks usually have functions for blocking contacts and reporting offensive content. If you don’t react to the insults, the bully usually loses interest. When things get out of hand and turn into a potential crime, contact the police.
Help and advice are available, for example, at Mobbing-Zentrale, the EU initiative klicksafe, Netz gegen Cybermobbing or juuuport, a self-protection platform where young people help each other when they experience problems on the Internet.