How do I stop them spreading lies about me online?A group of people at school have set up fake social media accounts in my name and are using them to troll and embarrass me. They've got a really ugly photo of me as the Facebook profile picture and write stupid things like "I'm fat", or "I fancy Mr Stevens”. I've tried talking to them about it, but they just say I don't know how to take a joke. What should I do?
Psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick says: “If it feels bad to you, it’s not just a harmless laugh, is it? Bullying has a lot to do with the intent of the person doing it. So if a type of behavior is meant to hurt you – and in this case, it obviously is – then it’s bullying.
This sort of behavior should be covered by your school’s anti-bullying policy, so let them know what’s going on. Also, report this to the relevant internet platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) and they will take down fake profiles.
Try not to traumatise yourself by looking at this nasty material over and over – though you will need screengrabs so you can use them as evidence. It can be distressing to collect this stuff, so talk to someone you trust – whether that’s a parent, teacher, or friend – to get support.
It also helps to remember that people who’re close to you know the truth and believe in you. You can’t control what other people choose to believe or not, so try not to give that thought too much attention. More than anything, don’t keep this hidden. Talk about your feelings with someone you trust so you don’t have to go through this alone.”
- BullyingUK offers advice and support to victims of bullying. Call on 0808 800 2222.
- Supportline offers confidential emotional support for a range of problems by email, phone and post.
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