What are my options?

Screenshot them

To make sure it does not become ‘your word against theirs’, take a screenshot of the messages to help you if you want to make a report.

Report the messages and Block the sender

Bullying or harassment breaches the terms and conditions of Social Media sites or Messaging platforms.  You can report the messages directly so they can be removed.

After you have made a report, Block the user.  This will stop you having to deal with more messages coming through.  If things change later on, you can always ‘unblock’ them.

Check out the icons below for how you can Report harmful posts or comments and Block users on the different platforms .


Get in touch with Netsafe

If you need help, advice or support with any kind of online issue, Netsafe can help.

They are a non-profit organisation with a helpline set up to help people with online safety and online issues.

Netsafe have years of experience in helping young people deal with harm online, their service is free and confidential.

Find out more by visiting their website or checking out the services section.


Delete the messages

Once you have a screenshot that you have saved somewhere else, delete the messages from your account so that you do not have to see it/them when you are chatting to your friends or scrolling through.

On Facebook, click on the three dots to the right of the comment and then it will show ‘Remove this’ click and then a box will check that you want to delete the comment.  Click Delete.

On Instagram, swipe left on the comment.  Choose the final icon, the bin on red background, tap it and the comment will be deleted (tap again to undo).

On Snapchat, any comments get sent to you through the chat feature so you can delete them from there, they are not posted publicly like other platforms.


Take a break

It might be worth thinking about taking a break from Social Media for a bit so that you can spend time with your friends and family doing things to take your mind off what has been happening online.

We don’t mean deleting all your accounts and getting rid of your phone, but some time away from all of the hurt can help you deal with the situation later and help you shift your focus.

It us important to remember that this is someone else’s opinion and is not the truth.  You can make the decision to dismiss what has been said and to know that this is someone else’s issue, not yours.

If it is through a group chat, Instagram gives you the option to ‘temporarily disable your account’ so that you can take a break without losing your photos and contacts.

How to Temporarily Disable your account on Instagram

  1. Log into instagram.com from a mobile browser or computer. You can’t temporarily disable your account from within the Instagram app.
  2. Tap or click the person icon in the top right and then select Edit Profile.
  3. Scroll down, then tap or click Temporarily disable my account in the bottom right.
  4. Select an option from the drop-down menu next to Why are you disabling your account? and re-enter your password. The option to disable your account will only appear after you’ve selected a reason from the menu.
  5. Tap or click Temporarily Disable Account.

If it is through a group on Facebook, they let you Deactivate your account so you can do the same thing and give yourself some space.

How to deactivate your account on FB
  1. Click the downward arrow at the top right of any Facebook page.
  2. Select “Settings”
  3. Click “Security” in the left column.
  4. Choose “Deactivate your account”, then follow the steps to confirm.

Otherwise, you could still take some time offline for a bit to spend time in person with your friends and family.

Have some good times and stop dwelling on the confusion and hurt around what has been happening online.


Lock down your accounts

Take a look at your privacy settings and lock down who can send you messages and see your posts.

That way, you can have more control over what you receive and who can get in touch with you.

If things have got nasty with one person, often they will get their friends involved too so using the privacy settings can help stop you having to deal with this too.

Check out the TAKING CHARGE section for how to do that through the different Social Media and Messaging sites.


Open up to someone

Keeping something like this to yourself can sometimes make the situation feel overwhelming and like no one is there for you.  Reaching out can can be the first step in getting through a rough time.

If the messages are starting to get to you, a lot of the time you can start to second guess other friends or think that everyone else might be ‘in on it’ or feel the same way.

Talking to someone in your life that cares about you can be really helpful.  It is up to you who you talk to, but letting someone else know what is going on gives you the chance to get their take on it, to give their perspective and to reassure you that you have people that are there for you.

If you don’t feel confident talking to someone in person, you could get in touch with them via text or direct message.  Sometimes it can be easier to write something down instead of having to do it in person; especially if you are pretty upset about it.

Helplines are also an option if you are not too sure about talking to someone in your life.