Fight cyberbullying and insults

The Internet brings people together, but unfortunately also provides space for hatred and agitation. Bullying is one of many faces with which hatred shows itself on the net. We show you, what cyberbullying is and what you can do against it.

What is it exactly?

In cyberbullying, perpetrators attack individuals in the digital space over a longer period of time, for example in social networks, via messenger or by e-mail. Often the bullies know their victims from analog life. They insult, harass, embarrass, humiliate or denounce them. Typical examples include photos that show the victim in embarrassing situations and that are disseminated on the Internet. For the victims, bullying on the Internet is very stressful and agonizing.

Here's what you can do about cyberbullying

  • Document the incident. Information about the perpetrator (taken from the postings), screenshots of offending entries and saving mails serve to preserve evidence, but also as a basis for discussions. 
  • Do not get into the bullying. Nothing is more frustrating for the perpetrator than when there is no desired reaction from the victim. If possible, have the bully technically blocked. 
  • Report the posts: Inform the operator of the platform on which the disparaging posts were published. This can often be done through built-in functions in the environment of the posting ("Report post"). 
  • Contact the operator: the imprint of each website states how to contact and inform the operator. Most operators react quickly so as not to be seen as a contributor. Often, contributions can also be reported to an administrator. If the operator does not react, one can turn to complaint places as for example and
  • Seek dialogue. Particularly in the case of children and young people, it is advisable to contact a liaison teacher or other persons with appropriate responsibilities, such as trainers or supervisors in youth centers. Often, the attacks end after such a person has openly addressed them. 
  • Get help: You can, for example, get advice anonymously and free of charge from the Nummer gegen Kummer or Juuuport. These agencies will also refer you if more and lasting help is needed. 
  • If necessary, file a complaint. In the case of threats and gross violations of personality, you should go to the police well informed and with the evidence secured. In addition, there are also possibilities in civil law, such as warnings, cease-and-desist letters and other legal instruments. However, only a lawyer can help here. 
  • Have the data deleted. Some companies offer (chargeable) advice and assistance in the event of cyberbullying, for example with data deletion.

Take precautions

Anyone can become a victim of cyberbullying. Always act with caution on the Internet.

  • Don't reveal too much about yourself: address, cell phone number, passwords are best kept to yourself.
  • Be careful with photos and pictures: Anything posted on the Internet or social networks is almost impossible to remove. That's why you should think about whether you really want to publish a photo and whether the scene might embarrass you at some point. 
  • Control privacy on social networks. Weigh who you make a "friend" on a social network and who you share posts and photos with in the first place. 

Show attitude

Even bystanders can help prevent bullying and other hate online. For example, take a stand if something is not okay and report abusive posts. In our special "No hate speech" you will find many organizations that offer concrete strategies to counter hate on the Internet. 

Helpful links

  • (German only): Young people advise one another anonymously about problems online.
  • Klicksafe has compiled important contacts and tips to combat cyberbullying. 
  • (German only): This portal, which also offers advice by email, is a site for anyone who is seeking guidance.

Further reading