Cyberbullying has been big news the world over and 2016 was particularly bad, as bullies of all ages and walks of life took to social media to demonstrate how tough they were…behind a keyboard. Online, no one knows who you really are, and people develop social media personas that are sometimes radically different than how they act and appear in public. Enacting laws to fight cyberbullying has been a real challenge in Canada, with one law in Nova Scotia being struck down for infringing on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
However, the major social media networks have understood their role in protecting their users from abuse, while continuing to defend freedom of expression. Facebook has allowed concerned third parties to report posts that seem like distress signals. The person in distress would then receive a message offering suggestions on resources, self-help tips and reminders of friends who could help. Twitter allows users to mute, block or report other users in case of abuse, and celebrated the first anniversary of its #PositionOfStrength initiative that offers different resources to equip and empower women with tools and strategies to safely deal with negative interactions. And Instagram has added new features that allows high volume accounts to moderate comments, and any user to disable comments on a picture-by-picture basis.


  • Do not respond to cyberbullying; arguing usually only fans the flames
  • Keep a record of cyberbullying posts
  • Block the cyberbully
  • Contact law enforcement in case of threats of physical harm or violence, sharing of sexually explicit photos of minors, stalking, or hacking of a social media account or creation of a fraudulent account under the intended victim’s name