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Here’s How To Spot The Different Types Of Cyberbullying So You Can Be An Ally On The Internet

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We’ve partnered with QLD Government to chat all things cyber safety.

The internet has given us a lot of great things but it’s also had its downfalls, particularly when it comes to the way we treat each other online. 

There’s something about the anonymity of the internet that brings out the absolute worst in people. All the trolls of the world come out to play when they think they’re invincible and it showcases a truly ugly side of human nature. The one thing most people forget, though? There’s an actual human being on the other side of the screen whose life can be completely ruined by the things you say and do. Yep, cyberbullying is unfortunately alive and well – but all hope isn’t lost.

The only way we can get better at dealing with cyberbullying is to understand exactly what it looks like and how it manifests. Once we know the behaviours to look out for, spotting and addressing them becomes a far less daunting task. 

Sadly, online bullying is a phenomenon that’s grown arms and legs so there’s a lot of behaviours you should be on high alert for. Here, we’ve outlined six of the most common types of cyberbullying young people in Queensland have experienced. Find out what they are, how to spot them and what to do if you’ve fallen victim. 

Social Exclusion

Being purposely excluded from a social media friendship group is just the same as being left out in the playground. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, and an experience that leaves you feeling isolated with a shattered sense of self. Why is everyone else likeable but you’re not? And what should you be doing differently to ensure you’re ‘liked’ by everyone else? Those are just a few of the questions that’ll likely arise if you fall victim to social exclusion. 

In the online world, social exclusion looks like a blocking of access to certain groups, chats and conversations. It can look like a group chat you’re refused access to, game rooms you’re blocked from and online events you never receive invitations for. 

One of the worst things you can do in this situation is become aggressive towards the people excluding you. Most of the time, perpetrators are looking for a reaction, so the best approach is to simply not give them one. If possible, consider deleting and blocking the group of people who consistently leave you out. This takes the power out of their hands and removes their ability to exclude you in the first place. It’s a small way of taking back some control in a situation that makes you feel helpless. 

Harassment

Harassment is one of the easiest online behaviours to spot because it’s so openly aggressive and nasty. It can look like someone leaving a nasty comment on your photo or a constant barrage of rude messages in your inbox. Any kind of online behaviour which makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe can be deemed harassment, so it doesn’t always fit neatly in a box and determined entirely by how you feel. 

The first thing to do when dealing with a harasser is document all evidence of the harassment by taking screenshots. That way you have proof if you need to present evidence further down the line. Once you’ve gotten what you need, you should delete and block the offender. It’s also important to tell someone you trust about what’s happened as it can take a serious toll on your mental health – especially if the harassment has been ongoing.

Remember there’s no shame in talking about the experiences we face online. Many of us have been made to feel uncomfortable or upset at the hands of the internet, so the more we talk about it the better we get at overcoming it.

Inappropriate Photographs/ Video And Photo Shaming

Whether it’s a photo of you in an awkward situation or just an unflattering angle, sharing any kind of image without your consent is not allowed. The thought of someone exploiting our private content is sickening to say the least, but sadly it does happen and it’s a very serious offence. 

According to a study by RMIT, 1 in 5 Australians have had intimate photos shared without their consent. In situations like this, it’s always better to be proactive instead of reactive. This can mean abstaining from sharing explicit content of yourself and being mindful of the platforms on which we do so. When you’re out in public, it’s also perfectly okay to tell people that you don’t want your photo taken – or that they can’t share it anywhere without your consent. It’s also worth nothing that anyone under 16 years cannot legally give consent to intimate images being taken or shared.

People who are out to treat you badly won’t always care about consent but you always have options. Depending on the nature of the content being distributed, you can start by asking the person to delete the photo – if they refuse, you can report it to the social media platform they’ve published it on or  the eSafety Commissioner. If the content is explicit, you can consider pursuing legal action. 

Trickery

The internet has given us the unique ability to conceal our identities, meaning that unlike anywhere else in the world, you can be whoever you want to be. For some, this might be a cool avatar on World of Warcraft, but for others it’s a lot more sinister. 

Every day, millions of people are tricked into releasing personal information online which is then exploited. Sometimes it’s for criminal reasons and other times the perpetrator is trying to embarrass the victim on a public platform by sharing private and sensitive information. If it sounds super scary, it’s because it is. They didn’t create the show Catfish for no reason, this kind of thing happens all the time. 

If you’re talking to someone who constantly asks for personal information or your deepest, darkest secrets – do not tell them. Even questions that seem completely innocent could have a sinister undertone so it’s important to keep your wits about you. The waters get even murkier when you befriend people that you’ve never met in person, because they could quite literally be anyone (even people you know with hidden agendas). Yep, sometimes people you know will use trickery (like pretending to be someone else) to find out personal information and use it to bully you. 

The safest rule of thumb is to only engage with people online that you physically know in real life and it always pays to be extra careful. If you have something important to tell someone, try to do it over the phone or in person – especially if it contains sensitive information. Once things are written on the internet, they’re essentially immortalised so it’s important to remember that everything you write online creates a trail. 

Impersonation

Impersonation is quite similar to trickery in the sense that the perpetrator will pretend to be someone they’re not. In this case however, the perpetrator isn’t pretending to be a cute girl – they’re pretending to be you. There’s a multitude of reasons someone might impersonate another, but it’s usually so they can defame the victim’s name online and ruin their reputation. 

Seeing your face or name on something that isn’t yours and you don’t want to be associated with is a terrifying thought but unfortunately it does happen. Make a mental note to google your own name every now and then to ensure nobody has created a fake profile with your credentials. You should also regularly vet your friends list on all social media platforms ensure you’re only engaging with people you know and have your profiles set to private. 

If you come across something that doesn’t look right, you need to flag and report the account on the relevant platform and take multiple screenshots to ensure you have evidence. It’s also important to never engage with the imposter directly, you need to leave it in the hands of the authorities. In situations like this, you can most definitely take it to the police as well if you’d like it investigated further. Impersonating people online is an absolute no-go, so you can trust it’ll be taken seriously if taken to the authorities.

Trolling

Trolling has quickly became an umbrella term for any kind of online behaviour that’s considered unsavoury. Trolls are mostly understood to be online characters whose primary goal is to start arguments by posting inflammatory comments and spreading hate. 

Troll accounts are usually easy to spot because they’ll avoid using a profile picture and will have little to no followers. Why? Because the account exists solely to cause destruction so they don’t go to the hassle of creating an online presence.

As their primary aim is to get a reaction out of people, the best way to deal with online trolls is to completely ignore them. You should report and block any account who consistently posts inflammatory comments or makes you feel uncomfortable – chances are if they’re doing it to you then they’re doing it to others as well.

By now, you should have a clearer picture of what constitutes cyberbullying and how it manifests itself online. When in doubt, block the account in question and tell someone you trust about what’s gone on. There’s no shame in having a negative experience online and the more comfortable we are with talking about it, the better we get at overcoming it.

Find out more here.

Image:
Stan/ Younger

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TVLine Items: Zoey’s Adds Shadows Star, Pandora Promotion and More

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Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist appears to have found Max’s workplace replacement: Harvey Guillén (What We Do in the Shadows) will recur during Season 2 of NBC’s musical dramedy as George, a new programmer at Sprq Point.

In the Season 1 finale, Max announced that he was moving on from Sprq Point to pursue other opportunities, so could George — who makes his debut in the Season 2 premiere, airing in 2021 — be filling Max’s spot on Zoey’s team? It sure would line up with the fact that George is “constantly hungering for Zoey’s (and his fellow coders’) approval,” per the official character description.

Guillén currently plays “familiar”/vampire slayer Guillermo on the FX comedy What We Do in the Shadows, which was renewed for a third season back in May. His other TV credits include The Magicians, Eye Candy and Huge.

Our sister site Variety first reported the news of Guillén’s casting.

Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…

* The CW’s sci-fi drama Pandora has promoted Tina Casciani, who plays the Hypatia Syndicate’s ruthless leader Tierney, to series regular for Season 2, our sister site Deadline reports.

* ABC News’ T.J. Holmes has been named a permanent co-anchor on GMA3: What You Need To Know, opposite Amy Robach, per Variety . His new duties begin Monday, Sept. 21.

* The CW is developing the romantic mystery comedy drama I’m In Love With The Dancer From My Bat Mitzvah, from executive producer Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and writer Ilana Wolpert, who was an assistant on Crazy Ex, Deadline reports.

Which of today’s TVLine Items pique your interest?

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This is why Number Five always wears a uniform in The Umbrella Academy

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As it turns out, there’s a practical real-world reason to keep Five in the uniform, too. The creative team behind The Umbrella Academy has a unique challenge with the character, as he’s the only member of the Hargreeves family who isn’t aging. That means he should look virtually the same all the way through season two as he did during season one. As young ensembles like the cast of Stranger Things have shown, teenage actors have a tendency to age fast — they can look drastically different over the course of a year. The schoolboy uniform is a way to make Five look approximately the same age as Gallagher himself ages from year to year.

On top of the practical considerations both in-universe and out, there’s a psychological metaphor in Five’s look, as Gallagher revealed in an interview with Collider. “I love the costume. I think it’s really cool. But the way I always imagine it in my mind is that Five hasn’t had the time to visit a tailor. He’s thrust around from event to event, for his entire life, and his only goal is to survive, get back to his family, and save the world,” the actor explained. “He’s never had time to figure out who he is as a person, and the costume is a good metaphor for that. It’s the salt in the wound for Five, being in his younger self now. This is the only thing that fits him, and there’s no time to actually get a proper suit or anything. You’ll probably see the costume change, if Five ever gets the chance to slow down.”

In terms of slowing down, the second season concludes with the Hargreeves returning to 2019, only to find their home occupied by a different group of presumed superheroes: the Sparrow Academy. Time (travel) will tell if Number Five is rocking the same iconic attire when we catch up with him in The Umbrella Academy season 3.

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Tucker Carlson Is Not Happy Ginsburg Didn’t Want Trump To Pick Her Replacement (Video)

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As you might expect, Tucker Carlson spent all of his Fox News show on Friday night talking about the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The show began within an hour of the news breaking about Ginsburg’s death, and Tucker had a non-stop sequence of conservative pundits to talk about it.

For the most part, Tucker refrained from saying anything negative about Ginsburg, but he balked at one point when he brought up the NPR report that Ginsburg, days before her death, expressed the desire that her seat on the bench not be filled until after the November election.

NPR reported not long after the death announcement that Ginsburg has said to her granddaughter, Clara Spera, days before her death: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Tucker didn’t like that, and said as much to guest Peter Schweizer.

“I should say, we’re just getting word that NPR is reporting — and so with a grain of salt take this please — that on her deathbed Ruth Bader Ginsburg said to her granddaughter, and I think I’m quoting, ‘My most fervent wish,’ as she died, ‘is that I not be replaced by this president,’ ” Tucker said, getting the quote wrong.

“It’s hard to believe, and I’m gonna choose not to believe that she said that because I don’t think that people in their death beds are thinking about who’s president. You hope not — that’s a pretty limited way to think as you die. But certainly this will be used as a cudgel by the left.”

Schweizer then said that, really, this situation is Ginsburg’s own fault anyway, because she chose not to retire during the Obama years.

“Yeah, I think you’re right, Tucker. And look, I mean, it’s very tragic that she’s passed away she’s been handling this illness for a couple of years but we all have to remember that there were murmurs in the latter parts of the Obama administration where people were asking her to consider stepping aside and she refused to so part of the reason we’re in the situation because of that.”

Tucker just replied that Schweizer made a good point, and then moved on to the next guest. Most of Carlson’s guests on Friday openly encouraged Trump and his Republicans to push ahead to replace Ginsburg with a conservative before the election. Tucker himself did not endorse that idea, however.

You can watch the quoted portion of Friday’s episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in the video embedded below.

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