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Eight Ways Children and Teens are Using Instagram to Bully

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Technology is on the minds of all kids these days. It’s a powerful tool that allows them to stay in touch with people. One of the most popular ways for teens to stay in touch and let others know what is going on in their lives is through Instagram.

Instagram is a social networking site that allows users to share photos and videos on the internet. It’s extremely popular. It may seem all fun and cool on the surface, but it also allows cyberbullying to occur.

Here are eight ways teens are using Instagram to cyberbully others:

  • Bullies can post malicious or embarrassing photos and videos of a target for all of their followers to see. Kids seek out “blackmail moments” or play the “slap game,” where someone slaps another person while another person films the victim’s reaction. This is then posted to Instagram to shame and embarrass the target.
  • Bullies can write a caption on a disgusting or insulting photo and tag it with a target’s username. For instance, a teen might find a picture of a nerdy person picking his nose. They then post the picture with a caption that says: “this reminds me of @username.”
  • Bullies can post cruel remarks under a photo that someone else posts. For instance, if your teen posts a video of herself singing, others might take this opportunity to make rude comments like “you’re so ugly” or “you sound like a raspy frog”, or may even pick on their weight.
  • Bullies can use the “Add People” feature and tag an image with the target’s name. If a bully is not following the victim, the victim will be unaware of comment and posts. There is no notification to the victim. Your child will have no idea why people are laughing and pointing at her until someone clues her in.
  • Use of mean hashtags under a photo your child posts. Examples include: #loser #whatnottowear and #ugly. Hashtags allow people to search for different topics and your child’s photo could become exposed to a broader audience.
  • Bullies can create a fake account in your child’s name uploading mean and embarrassing photos directly about them or even other people. When aimed at other people, these rude comments make people think your child is the bully. This can damage your child’s online reputation and cause her to be ostracized.
  • Bullies can post screenshots of private text messages.
  • Bullies can take and post embarrassing screenshots while using FaceTime and post them to Instagram to embarrass or humiliate the person

If your child is a victim of bullying, give us a call at 516-222-4000 or fill out our webform and we will get back to you. Our lawyers are compassionate and experienced working with families. We provide free, no obligation consultations to answer all your questions.

Did you know every school on Long Island has a staff member trained in handling bullying issues? Find out who this is for your school by requesting  Our Long Island School Contact List for Bullying Issues

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