What is flaming?

‘Flaming’ is posting personal insults and vulgar and angry words. Flaming is an intense argument that normally takes place in chatrooms or via instant messages or email. It may also occur on social-media sites and YouTube. It is a very aggressive form of intimidation.
• Bullies who engage in flaming use capital letters, images and symbols to add emotion to their argument.
The flamer may put down someone’s race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status and more.
You need to report flaming to a trusted adult such as a parent, teacher, relative or family friend.
This type of behaviour is dangerous and can have serious consequences.
Flamers seek attention. It does not matter if the attention is positive or negative, as long as they get attention and a reaction.
Did you know that using vulgar and angry language with the intent to start fights is cyberbullying?
Did you know that flaming is a serious form of cyberbullying? You could humiliate the person or make them very sad or even depressed. Think about why you want to put someone else down – then put yourself in their shoes. Using the internet to get control over others is not going to make you feel better. Talk to a trusted adult about how you are feeling. Flame wars will never help anyone.
Did you know that every computer has an IP address that can be traced?

What is trolling?

Named after the wicked creatures found in children’s tales, an internet troll is someone who stirs up drama and abuses their online anonymity by deliberately spreading hatred, bigotry, racism or misogyny, or just simply bickers between others.

Trolls search the internet for many different people to make negative comments about, wait for a response, then move on to the next person.

You can find trolls all over the Internet – on message boards, in your YouTube video comments, on Facebook in blog comment sections and everywhere else that has an open area where people can freely post to express their thoughts and opinions. 

The most common ways to get rid of trolls are to either ban or block individual user accounts (and sometimes IP addresses altogether), report them to the authorities and the website or app, and close comment sections entirely from a blog post, video page or topic thread. 

How to be a good digital citizen

Being a ‘good digital citizen’ means using technology in a positive way, such as communicating responsibly with others online and knowing the rules when using apps, social media and forums. To be a good digital citizen, remember the three Rs:
Right to safe online experiences
Responsibility to other internet users
Report inappropriate behaviour

Cyberbullying facts

Each year, one in five young Australians aged 8 to 17 experience cyberbullying.

Australia is ranked number one in the world for bullying on social networks.

In Australia it’s against the law to use the internet or phone to harass, threaten or offend others.

If found guilty of cyberbullying crimes, the maximum penalty is three years’ imprisonment or a fine of more than $30,000.

Cyberbullying can be a crime under either NSW or national law when it involves using the internet or a phone in a threatening, harassing or offensive way; to stalk or access accounts without permission; to spread lies or hurt someone’s reputation (defamation); to encourage someone to hurt themselves.

Visit www.esafety.gov.au to learn more.