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Cyberbullying: A whole-school community issue

When and How to Contact the Service Provider

Mobile phones

All UK mobile phone operators have nuisance call centres set up and / or procedures in place to deal with such instances. They may be able to change the number of the person being bullied. Mobile operators cannot bar a particular number from contacting a phone, but some phone handsets do have this capacity. Action can be taken against the bully’s phone account (e.g. blocking their account) only with police involvement.

Contacts:

  • O2: ncb@o2.com or 08705214000.
  • Vodafone: 191 from a Vodafone phone or 08700700191 for Pay Monthly customers and 08700776655 for Pay as you Go.
  • 3: Call 333 from a 3 phone or 08707330333.
  • Orange: Call 450 on an Orange phone or 07973100450 for Pay as you Go, or 150 or 07973100150 for Pay Monthly.
  • T-Mobile: Call 150 on a T-Mobile phone or 08454125000.

Social networking sites (e.g., MySpace, Bebo, Piczo)

It is good practice for social network providers to make reporting incidents of cyberbullying easy, and thus have clear, accessible and prominent reporting features. Many of these reporting features will be within the profiles themselves, so they are ‘handy’ for the user. If social networking sites do receive reports about cyberbullying, they will investigate and can remove content that is illegal or breaks their terms and conditions in other ways. They can delete the accounts of those who have broken the rules.

Contacts of some social network providers:

  • Bebo: reports can be made by clicking on a ‘Report Abuse’ link located below the user’s profile photo (top left-hand corner of screen) on every Bebo profile page. Bebo users can also report specific media content (i.e. photos, videos, widgets) to the Bebo customer services team by clicking on a ‘Report Abuse’ link located below the content they wish to report.
  • MySpace: reports can be made via the ‘Contact MySpace’ link, which is accessible at the bottom of the MySpace homepage (http://uk.myspace.com), and at the bottom of every page within the MySpace site.
  • Piczo: reports can be made within the service (there is a ‘Report Bad Content’ button at the top of every member page). At the bottom of the home page and on the ‘Contact Us’ page there is a link to a ‘Report Abuse’ page. The ‘Report Abuse’ page can be found at:
    http://pic3.piczo.com/public/piczo2/piczoAbuse.jsp.

Video-hosting sites

It is possible to get content taken down from video-hosting sites, though the content will need to be illegal or have broken the terms of service of the site in other ways. On YouTube, perhaps the most well-known of such sites, it is possible to report content to the site provider as inappropriate. In order to do this, you will need to create an account (this is free) and log in, and then you will have the option to ‘flag content as inappropriate’. The option to flag the content is under the video content itself. YouTube provides information on what is considered inappropriate in its terms of service. See www.youtube.com/t/terms section 5C.

Instant Messenger (e.g. Windows Live Messenger or MSN Messenger)

It is good practice for Instant Messenger (IM) providers to have visible and easy-to-access reporting features on their service. Instant Messenger providers can investigate and shut down any accounts that have been misused and clearly break their terms of service. The best evidence for the service provider is archived or recorded conversations, and most IM providers allow the user to record all messages.

Contacts of some IM providers:

  • MSN: When in Windows Live Messenger, clicking the ‘Help’ tab will bring up a range of options, including ‘Report Abuse’ and there is also an online feedback form at: 
    http://support.msn.com/default.aspx?mkt=en-gb to report on a range of products including MSN Messenger.
  • Yahoo!: When in Yahoo! Messenger, clicking the ‘Help’ tab will bring up a range of options, including ‘Report Abuse’.

Chatrooms, individual website owners / forums, message board hosts

It is good practice for chat providers to have a clear and prominent reporting mechanism to enable the user to contact the service provider. Users that abuse the service can have their account deleted. Some services may be moderated, and the moderators will warn users posting abusive comments or take down content that breaks their terms of use.

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