Cyber bullying

Cyber bullying relates to any kind of bullying, harassment or abuse that’s carried out online, for example through social media, email or a website.

Online bullies may:

  • send upsetting or threatening messages to someone
  • spread rumours about a person online
  • publish fake profiles on social media sites
  • post embarrassing photos or videos.

It’s done with the intention of hurting or embarrassing someone. The person being bullied may not know the identity of their bully, or why it’s happening.

Who’s responsible

Netsafe can help anyone in New Zealand with these kinds of issues.

What they’ll do

Netsafe have dedicated Case Managers who will:

  • ask you some questions to help them understand what’s going on
  • assess whether your complaint breaches the Harmful Digital Communications Act, and
  • work with everyone involved to try to resolve the issue.

Steps they can take include:

  • helping you identify what you can do to stop the abuse, including using appropriate blocking and reporting tools
  • working with you and the person harassing you to get them to stop — including letting them know what might happen if the case goes to court
  • asking online content hosts, like social media sites and blogs, to remove harmful content.

Any steps that Netsafe take will be with your consent and they’ll work with you throughout the process to ensure that you’re comfortable.

We recommend you report cyber bullying or harassment directly to Netsafe.

Report cyber bullying to Netsafe

You can also make a report to Netsafe by phone on 0508 Netsafe. Their hours are:

  • 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and
  • 9am-5pm, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.