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What do the following celebrities have in common?

  • Adele
  • Rihanna
  • Lindsay Lohan
  • Chris Brown
  • 50 Cent
  • Cheryl Cole

They have all experienced cyber-bullying on social media!

Instagram like every other social media platform creates a platform for potential cyberbullying, harassment and just unpleasant behaviour.

Easy ways to limit cyberbullying specific to Instagram are;

  1. Report: if you feel like an account is specifically trying to bully or spam people, the best thing you can do is to report them. But don’t worry the account you are reporting will not see it, and you remain anonymous.  
  1. Block People: If you feel like someone is bullying or harassing you on Instagram the next best thing is to block them. This means they won’t be able to see your posts or direct message you. However, if you do this to someone become very cautious about them creating fake accounts to become friends with you again under a new name. 
  1. Limit the number of people who can see your account: you can do this by ensuring your account is on private and not public. This can be easily changed in the Instagram settings under privacy. This way the only people who can comment and like your posts are your followers. 
  1. If you think someone is impersonating you: report it. You can also go Instagram settings and there is a form you can fill out if you think someone is trying to copy you or steal your identity. 
  1. Turn off your activity status: again, this can be done under settings and it means your account won’t say its active, however this also means you can’t see anyone else’s active status’s. 
  1. Create a close friends list: Instagram has created an option that allows you to select certain people to see posts or stories. Meaning not all your followers will be able to see what you post. Only your good friends. This is a great feature if you want to share something more personal but not to all your followers.
  1. Control the comments you want to see: Instagram has created the feature that allows you to filter out comments with specific words that you don’t want to see. There is also the option to swipe right on a comment and delete it by clicking the trash icon. Or if you feel like you don’t want any comments on you post you can select the option that says “Turn off Commenting”
  1. Create a 2-factor authentication to log into your Instagram account: this means there are two levels of security that only you should know to access your account, for example, Face-ID and a passcode. This would be useful if you think someone else has access to your account. 
  1. Reach out to your friends: if you see your friends posting content about self-harming or mental illness, you can anonymously report this type of content, however, make sure you reach out to your friends to make your they’re ok.

Instagram is designed to be a safe space where people can creatively show their followers and friends what they have been up to lately. They have even added in the ‘Reels’ feature which allows the app to feel much like Tik Tok in the fun and creative sense. So do your part and keep it a safe place for all users and always report a post if you feel uncomfortable. And remember, use the hashtag #STOPcyberbullying to end online bullying in Western Australia.

– Written by Kristen Sly