Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Examples of cyberbullying include cruel text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
As a member of the rare skin disorder community you have likely, at one time or another, been victim to discrimination, ignorance, or even violence. And online cyberbullying has, unfortunately, increasingly made its way to the forefront of harassing and abusive actions towards others. If you feel victim to online abuse, whether it be unauthorized or negative images, videos, comments, articles found on social media or elsewhere on the Internet, we encourage you to use your voice, take the appropriate steps and notify the representatives that can help. Below is a list of links, resources and addresses to which alerts and complaints can be sent for various online and social media companies. There are also links to resources on how parents can help their child respond to cyberbullying, as well as ways to deal with face-to-face bullying in general.
Use your voice. Report cyberbullying whenever it occurs. Together we can make a difference.
Advice from U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration:
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration advises parents to encourage children to tell them immediately if they are victims of cyberbullying or other troublesome online behaviors. The agency also lists a number of steps that parents can take to help prevent cyberbullying and how to respond to it at http://www.stopbullying.gov. The site also includes extensive information on preventing and dealing with traditional forms of bullying. The Center for Disease Control also provides information on electronic aggression for parents, educators, and researchers at http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/youthviolence/electronicaggression/index.html
How to report abusive posts on Facebook:
Facebook removes things that don’t follow the Facebook Terms (ex: nudity, bullying, graphic violence, spam). If you come across something on Facebook that doesn’t follow the Facebook Terms, use the report link near the post or photo to submit a report.
Other tools for addressing abuse:
It’s possible that you might see something you don’t like on Facebook that doesn’t actually violate the Facebook Terms. If you come across something you’d rather not see, you can:
- Hide it from News Feed
- Send a message to the person responsible for posting whatever is bothering you and ask them to take it down
- Unfriend or block the person responsible
For information about what is and is not allowed on Facebook, please read the Facebook Community Standards.
How to report harassing or abusive images and videos on Youtube:
You can report abusive behavior on YouTube content here.
You can also contact YouTube at the address below:
901 Cherry Ave.
San Bruno, CA 94066
Fax: +1 650-253-0001YouTube, LLC
How to Start an Online petition:
You can create an online petition and circulate it to your social media network. The more attention is drawn to a particular situation, the more likely it will be addressed.
FIRST members, Tina and Roger Thomas, the parents of Mui Thomas, affected with harlequin ichthyosis have started a petition to end shock videos on YouTube, using the online platform, ipetition.com. This is a powerful example of self-advocacy as well as an appropriate way to engage the community to promote positive change. You’ll find the petition here (please note: No donation is required. Their goal is to increase the number of signatures and the strength of the petition.): Sign here.
Alert the Media:
As a member of the rare disease community, the local media is often interested in telling your story and introducing the surrounding region to your situation. Contact them and tell them the whole story – from living with ichthyosis or a related skin type to how you have been harassed or bullied, to ways that you are hoping the community will get behind you and support your efforts. These stories of activism, advocacy and strength, often catch the attention of the online community as well, and may also help to raise awareness for your rare condition.
Ref. Facebook.com; Youtube.com, Ipetition.com