An Garda Síochána are reminding parents and young people of the potentially devastating impact of cyber bullying and its ability to destroy lives.
Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, Garda National Protective Services Bureau, said:
"Cyber bullying can have a significant impact on people’s lives. The Garda Online Child Exploitation Unit is committed to tackling it in an impactful way.”
Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. Although more prevalent amongst young people, it can happen to anyone at any age. It is intended to inflict harm or discomfort to others.
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In Ireland, the Digital Age of Consent is 16. Young people under the age of 16 may not sign up for online services, such as social media sites, without the explicit approval of their parent or guardian.
"If you do decide to give your child permission to use social media sites, the best online safety strategy is to talk with your child and engage with their use of the Internet,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Daly.
Tips for Parents and Guardians:
Detective Chief Superintendent Daly continued: "We wish to encourage victims of cyber bullying to report the bullies and provide us with the evidence to help ensure that other people do not become victims of this terrible behaviour.”
Reporting Cyber Bullying:
The Garda Online Child Exploitation Unit has these tips for young people:
Cyber bullying destroys lives. Stop and think before you post, anyone may see, forward, or screenshot that post.
Only post messages you wouldn’t mind your parents or teachers seeing. Remember whatever you share online stays there.
Contact your parent, guardian, teacher or an adult you trust if you are being bullied online. Do not respond to the bully, report it!
Online manners matter. Always treat others how you want to be treated, with respect.