According to recent survey results, 87% of students report seeing some form of bullying on at least a weekly basis. From a different survey of teens, fully 30% of students would not report cyberbullying to their parents if it were happening to them.
Numbers from similar surveys vary depending on how the questions are asked, but there is no denying that bullying is still a major issue, and much of it is happening online.
Facebook recently beefed up the cyberbullying resources section of its website, and they have offered some guidance that clears up the following question:
If my friend is being cyberbullied on Facebook, can I report it?
Voila. Facebook has the answer in plain English:
If you see a friend being targeted or bullied on Facebook, please report this to us. If you think your friend needs help right away, let someone you trust know, like a parent or teacher.
Is it anonymous?
Don’t worry, your report is anonymous. When something gets reported to Facebook, we’ll review it and remove anything that violates our Community Standards. We don’t include any information about the person who filed the report when we reach out to the person responsible.
Abuse that you see on Facebook is now easy to report, and there is no need to fear reprisals since it’s anonymous. Kudos to Facebook for putting this front and center. If you do see a friend being cyberbullied, should you report it?
Our answer is without a doubt yes. Consider the statistic above, that 30% of bullying victims would not enlist the help of their parents. Often teens are either embarrassed that they are the victim and don’t want to be seen as weak, or they fear that if they tell their parents they are being bullied on Facebook or other social network, they will be forced to delete their account. This would potentially cut them off from their friends, and not get to the root of the problem.
It doesn’t need to be that way. We encourage teens everywhere to report cyberbullying when they see it, and parents to have open and honest communication with their teens around the best way to proceed if they are a cyberbullying victim or witness.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.