A WORLDWIDE VOICE FOR CYBER-CHANGE
Have you ever been harassed, threatened, or stalked online? Has your reputation been damaged by internet defamation, identity or data theft, or the wrongful publishing of your personal information or intimate photographs? Have trolls seized your website, forum, blog, or review sites to post inflammatory posts about you, your work, or your visitors? Every day, more and more online users around the globe, or someone they know, are affected by one or more of these questions. Everyone can become a victim and millions already have. Bullycide is happening in every country and in growing numbers. Now more than ever, online users are rallying voices to fight for change in cyberspace. Join us!
the internet and
Few of us can say anymore that using the internet is not an integral part of our lives. It's a daily tool we use to conduct our business, manage our finances, and keep in touch with friends and family. We sign on every day with the illusion that as long as we are careful with our name and address, we're safe. We believe that until someone violates us and starts to create havoc in our lives. If it happens to you, or someone you know, it comes as such as shock that it's hard to know what to do and how to stop it. All online users need to be aware that the internet is intertwined with real life. We can't separate them anymore. Those looking to hurt you can do so easily and the damage is not contained inside the computer. Not taking our online safety seriously by thinking nothing will ever happen to us could mean the difference between surviving or not surviving it, if and when it does. Get educated and be aware. It's your life.
Are you a victim? Have you become the target of an online hate or smear campaign? If so, chances are you are feeling confused, embarrassed and ashamed. Those emotions are normal responses but be careful. When they become overwhelming enough to prevent you from reaching out to get the help and support you need, they can become dangerous triggers for clinical depression and suicidal thoughts. This is not the time to stay silent. Depending on your situation, be sure to alert your family, friends, teachers, or anyone else you trust to confide in. Silence is a slippery slope and will not make your circumstances better. No man is an island, so don't make yourself one out of a sense of shame you have no reason to be carrying. Start talking!
Are you a watcher? Have you been witnessing the online harassment of a victim on your favorite social media sites? If so, you probably don't want to get involved and have made up lots of reasons in your mind why you shouldn't. Speaking up for someone else and drawing attention to yourself might put you in the fire line or maybe you think it's not any of your business. When any online user is being abused it is always your business because it could one day happen to you. If you are standing by and watching a hate campaign play out, you should know that bystanders add to all the hurt a victim feels and makes them feel ostracized and outcast from society. This couples with their sense of shame and can trigger serious thoughts of suicide. Wouldn't you want someone to stick up for you? You don't have to go toe to toe with a victim's abuser. You can reach out, send a kind word, let it be known you don't approve of what is happening. Just start talking!
do you need help?
If you or someone is the victim of a crime, is being threatened, or is immediate danger of any kind call 911 (or the number for emergency response in your country.)
If you or someone is considering suicide please call a prevention hotline in your area. In the US, contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
We are developing a country by country directory of help and emergency services as fast as we can.
Interested in how you can join one of our global mentorship programs to become a voice for cyber change and victim support? Would you like to help others by either sharing your own experiences or offering your time to help raise awareness? There are many ways you can help. Contact us to find out how you can become a part of our work at The Global Institute for Cyber Safety & Standards and you can help make a difference today!
one size doesn't fit all
know the facts
Your situation is unique to you but it's easy to be confused about what it is. The blanket term we hear everywhere to describe online attacks is cyber-bullying but do you know that is only one definition to one aspect of the overall problem? There are many facets involved in addition to bullying: harassment, exploitation, stalking (which can carry into your real life), privacy invasion, defamation, false light, revenge porn, identity theft, etc. Many of these will overlap each other. It's important to learn the facts relevant to you so you can use the proper strategies that best fit your situation.
There are many occasions when there are more than one of these occurring simultaneously or cases where they partially overlap each other. Given the potential complexity of each case, It is important to learn the facts relevant to you so you can use the proper and most effective strategies that best fit your situation. Involving others to help is often disregarded as a viable step in gaining resolution. Allowing others who are trained to deal with online assault can be beneficial as it opens new resources and can expedite a resolution to your particular situation.
If you've been a victim of a cyber-attack it's normal to feel alone and that you have no way to recover from the marring of your reputation or the devastated emotions you are left with. You're not alone and you can get your life back. Seek support from people who care about you and guidance from those who've been in your situation. There is help available to assist with the removal of damaging smear statements about you or copyrighted material belonging to you that has been illegally published (i.e. private photographs or other content)
A big part of taking back the control of your life is educating yourself about your options and also learning what makes an online attacker tick. What's happening to you isn't about you and it's more common than you may think. A mistake most victims make is personalizing the hate thrown at them over the internet.Search out the resources available to help you and take that first step to take back your life. You don't have to suffer in silence any longer!
What online victims are saying.
I never felt so low as when my ex betrayed me by posting private photos he'd taken of me when we were together. All of sudden my naked body was all over the internet for all to see. I just wanted to die.
Breanna, United States
I love children but couldn't have any of my own. So for years I ran a daycare until a woman I'd had a disagreement with at a church meeting starting posting lies on her Facebook suggesting my husband was a child molester and nobody should leave their kids at my home. Gossip spread around town and suddenly for no reason my husband lost his job he'd held for over 20 years and parents withdrew their kids from my daycare. We lost everything including friends, moved away but had to start all over. My husband has never been the same since. I'll never understand how anyone could do something like this.
Maureen, United States
A man from work cyber stalked me and started using my name on a social website and making obnoxious language about me. He gave over the internet my resident phone number inviting people to call me for sex on the phone and telling them I was a prostitute. I kept getting dirty rude calls and messages from everywhere and almost lost my job because people called my work.
Our son tried to take his life two years ago after a girl at school pretended to be his girlfriend as part of a cruel bet with other kids. She lured him into taking sexual videos of himself he thought would be private but she posted them online. The humiliation and betrayal he felt put him over the edge and he didn't tell us because he was ashamed. We only found out from his principal when he stopped attending school. It has been a long road to bring him back around and we have had to move to another school district but he's still very emotionally damaged which will effect the rest of his life. What these kids did for a little fun destroyed us.