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What to Do If You're Cyberbullied on Neopets


by xxrayray

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Definition of a cyberbully: Someone on the Internet is harassed, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another player.

TNT tells you to report someone who is harassing you, but let's be honest: what the player says STILL hurts. Even when you know the situation will be handled, the aftermath of what the player has said will sit in your stomach for a while.

Cyberbullying happens everywhere, and it's best to be prepared. Neopets is a safe environment; TNT is good about stopping attackers. That doesn't mean there aren't players out there who are passionate about being "right" or purposely making you angry.

I want to give you tips on how to handle situations when a Neopet player starts to hurt your feelings or gets people to gang up on you. You might want to fight back, but that's the opposite action you should do. If you want tips to get through it, here's a good guide:

1. Think before you speak

You've heard this one, right? If you are about to comment something snarky or say something that might offend players, STOP! If you ever think to yourself "is this offensive?" or "will I get frozen for this?" don't say it! You might see something you don't agree with and get angry. Before commenting take a deep breath and ask yourself if this will start a heated argument.

If you hurt someone, it's best to apologize.

Some comments that aren't good for situations: "So you agree. You think you're really pretty".

2. Don't comment back

The worst thing you can do with someone who is hurting you is engage in conversation. I know you want to defend yourself, but responding will fuel the fire. I've been at a place where you realllllly want to say something, but you'll have to be the bigger person and stop. Self-control is key!

This Neopian might also want to get a rise out of you. This is called "trolling".

Definition of a troll: Someone making a deliberately offensive or provoking post with the aim of upsetting someone or prompting an angry response from them.

That means they WANT you to get angry (yes, there are actually people out there that do this). This is why you stop the conversation immediately.

An example of a troll comment: "I'm sorry that people are so jealous of me. But I can't help it that I'm popular."

3. Report the person(s) straightaway

After you stop engaging in the conversation, click that report button! That doesn't make you a bad person, so don't feel like you're doing something wrong. You are being attacked and that isn't okay in ANY situation. If it's a group of people, report all of them. This isn't being "report happy" (meaning you report many people who aren't breaking rules), you are defending yourself by making sure no one else gets hurt by these people.

4. Block the person(s)

If this conversation is in Neomail format, block them so they don't hurt you further and wait until TNT responds to your report. If this is on the neoboards, still block them so they don't personally attack you. If they neomail you on their side, block that too.

Also don't accept any gifts from them. The best thing to do is stop all communication.

5. Take a deep breath

If it's bad, you can get a little shaky. Take a deep breath and get off Neo for a while. Take a break until you're calm. Staying on the site where you don't feel safe isn't a good place to be. When you come back to Neo, hopefully TNT has gotten your report and taken care of it for you.

This might feel like the end of the world, but I can assure you it's not.

6. You're not alone

There are many people who get bullied on the internet. I, myself, have been one of them. It's common to feel bad after someone harasses you, but I promise that after a good nights sleep you'll feel calmer. If you've been a victim, just know that I - among many others – have been dealt the same cards.

That being said, don't post on the boards something like "doesn't anyone agree with me?" because that, again, will cause all sorts of problems for the people who DO defend you (they might get reported too).

7. If you see someone being bullied:

If you see someone being bullied, you'll also want to defend them. Don't do this; instead, report the people who are pestering the player. Neomail the person who's being harassed and help them out. Tell them about these tips, and give them kind words. The smallest kindness can have the biggest impacts.

An example: "I wish we could all get along. I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy."

Final thoughts:

October is national anti-bullying month. Now's the time to spread kind words to each other! You have the power to stop bullying. I can understand if you're passionate about something you believe it, or don't agree with what a player is saying. This doesn't mean the other player is wrong, and it's best to defuse the situation as soon as possible.

Neopets should be a safe environment and with your help it's possible!

If you're still having problems, go to a parent or guardian and they can help you with further steps.

Let's hug it out. *hugs*

 
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