How do I deal with a friend who is being bullied on SnapChat?

Dear Auntie, how do I deal with a friend who is being bullied on SnapChat?

Thanks for looking out for your friend. They’re lucky to have you.

So SnapChat is a little harder to get help with bullying than say Facebook is because you can’t do it directly through the app, but have to go to their website instead. And actually what they suggest and help you do is to block the person bullying you.

SnapChat does provide community guidelines, which they want people to follow, but whose really going to read those? You can report the bullying by selecting the “Report a Safety Concern” button to let them know about the bullying.

Just to be clear ‘cyberbulling’ is considered a form of serious aggression, usually targeted and repeated.

Here are some things you can tell your friend to do to help him from being bullied on SnapChat:

Let them know it’s not their fault. If someone is repeatedly cruel to you, that’s bullying and you shouldn’t blame yourself. No one deserves to be treated cruelly.

Don’t respond or retaliate. Sometimes a reaction is exactly what aggressors are looking for because they think it gives them power over you, and you don’t want to empower a bully. As for retaliating, getting back at a bully turns you into one – and can turn one mean act into a chain reaction. If you can, remove yourself from the situation. If you can’t, sometimes humor disarms or distracts a person from bullying.

Save the evidence. The only good news about bullying online or on phones is that it can usually be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. You can save that evidence in case things escalate. Take a screenshot of the repeated harassment.

Tell the person to stop. This is completely up to your friend – tell him not to do it unless he feels totally comfortable doing it. Offer to practice with him beforehand.

Reach out for help especially if the behavior’s really getting to him. He deserves backup. See if there’s someone who can listen, help process what’s going on and work through it – like a friend, relative or a trusted adult.

Use available tech tools. Block the person whose doing the bullying. You can also report the problem to the service. Take a screen shot of the repeated harassment. If your friend is getting threats of physical harm, call your local police (with a parent or guardian’s help) and consider reporting it to school authorities.

Protect your accounts. Remind your friend not to share passwords with anyone –and password-protect their phone so no one can impersonate them. You’ll find advice at Connect

What you can do to help your friend being bullied:

Take action. Just standing by can empower an aggressor and does nothing to help. The best thing you can do is try to stop the bullying by taking a stand against it. If you can’t stop it, support your friend being bullied. You can listen your friend and see how to help. Consider together whether you should report the bullying. Something as simple as a kind word can make a difference.

Hope this helps and thanks again for looking after your friend!

Take care,
Auntie Manda

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