Youth organisation issues guidelines to fight cyberbullying

Tuesday 30 October 2012 22.52
Young people are advised to ignore bullying and not to respond online
Young people are advised to ignore bullying and not to respond online

A national youth organisation, SpunOut.ie, has issued guidelines on how to combat cyberbullying.

It follows the death of 13-year-old Erin Gallagher in Ballybofey in Donegal on Saturday, who said she had been bullied in an online discussion forum.

SpunOut is advising young people to ignore bullying and not to respond online, to keep screenshot evidence and to report incidents to a trusted adult.

It is also encouraging parents to speak to their children about behaving responsibly online.

SpunOut.ie's communications manager Ian Power said some people feel free to say things online that they would not say in real life.

He said there has been a rise in the past year in the number of websites that allow anonymity.

Bullying is a serious issue, he said, and cyberbullying needs to be treated the same as any other form of it.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he advised any young people suffering from cyberbullying to ignore what is being posted online and to keep some evidence of the bullying.

He said: "Cyberbullying is unique insofar that it's much more easy to keep evidence of it than something that's happening offline.

"So it's important for everybody to be aware how to take a screenshot and keep that evidence.

"And afterwards you should really speak to a trusted adult, whether that's an older sibling, or a parent or uncle or aunt, but basically ask for help."

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