3.3.3 How does cyberbullying end?

Cyberbullying might die out on its own in time. However, if not stopped, cyberbullying can go on for a long time, and due to its public and viral nature, it can be especially damaging. Prolonged exposure can lead to serious consequences, so it is not advisable to wait. Cyberbullying often stops only through the involvement of outside support, either by contacting the social media used that takes down the offending content and informs the cyberbully of the consequences or through parental and teacher involvement.

Prevention and intervention work for combating cyberbullying should include some simple strategies An example of a useful, simple four-step strategy for dealing with cyberbullying is presented in this video and this worksheet.

After the cyberbullying has stopped, follow-up work needs to be done with targets of cyberbullying as well as the bullies. Targeted young people need support to work through feelings of embarrassment, shame, guilt, fear, isolation, sadness and anxiety. Counselling is often useful.

Cyberbullies, on the other hand, need to be shown the impact of their action and strengthen their social and communication skills, moral reasoning, empathy and conflict resolution skills. Non-judgemental and restorative approaches have been shown effective to stop cyberbullies repeat their behaviour.