Cyberbullying is bullying online.  Bullies want us to feel scared, threatened or ashamed. Although this stuff happens online, it can affect how we feel about ourselves, and how we move through our lives offline. Bullying can and does affect our mental and even physical health. These are some of the types of bullying that are common online:


Photo of three diverse women looking at a phone and laughing at an image.
People don’t always think about the impact of gossip and harassment that happens online. Photo credit: Elisabeth MacGillivray 2016


Harassment is the act of continued unwanted and annoying actions of one [person] or a group, including threats and demands. Online harassment, similarly, can be when someone sends repetitive inappropriate messages, comments, pics, or videos. Some examples of this can be:

  • repetitively sending unwanted dick/body pics
  • repetitively sending someone messages of a sexual nature they don’t want to receive
  • constantly following someone across different social media websites
  • targeting someone continually for racist, sexist or homophobic comments


Gossip, also known as “shit-talking”, is when people say nasty stuff behind your back and sometimes in front you.

They can include rumours, untrue stories or events, or just generally putting you down for your looks, race, gender, or class. Online gossip can look like:

  • Making nasty statuses obviously about you, but without naming names
  • Adding you to a group chat and talking shit about you
  • Making inside jokes on your Facebook pictures you’re not in on
  • Tagging you in a nasty post or image
  • Posting or sharing things without your consent*

*Unless you say it’s okay to share a picture or message that belongs to you or that you’re in, no one is entitled to spread your materials online. Some examples of this might include:

  • Someone taking and sharing your private nude pics or sexts online
  • Sharing screenshots of private messages you’ve exchanged with others
  • Sharing or posting a picture or video that violates your privacy and that you’ve asked to be removed (drunk pics, you passed out, inappropriate shots of your body).

Sometimes these actions can lead to bigger things. If you’re at school, and these images are being spread – it can be a really isolating and terrifying experience. Sometimes parents and teachers, and even police, simply don’t understand the harsh impacts of cyber sexual violence (CSV), but don’t stop reaching out because there are people who understand.

To talk to someone anonymously about your experiences – click ‘Get Help’ on the top right hand corner of this page for some resources on immediate phone counselling services.

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