Cyberbullying is when someone uses the internet to be mean to a child or young person so they feel bad or upset.

eSafety helps prevent and deal with cyberbullying and its impacts. We do this by providing information, education and resources, and by investigating and helping to fix the most serious cases of cyberbullying.

On this page:

WATCH NOW: How eSafety can help you deal with cyberbullying

Do you feel unsafe right now?

If you are in Australia and in immediate danger or at risk of harm call Triple Zero (000).
Contact your local police on 131 444 if there are threats to your safety or threats to your friends or family members.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is when someone uses the internet to be mean to a child or young person so they feel bad or upset. It can happen on a social media site, game, app, or any other online or electronic service or platform. It can include: posts, comments, texts, messages, chats, livestreams, memes, images, videos and emails.

These are some examples of ways the internet can be used to make someone feel bad or upset:

  • Sending hurtful messages about them.
  • Sharing embarrassing photos or videos of them.
  • Spreading nasty online gossip about them.
  • Leaving them out online. 
  • Creating fake accounts in their name.
  • Tricking them into believing you are someone else. 

Sadly, cyberbullying happens a lot in Australia and around the world.

44% of Australian young people report having a negative online experience in the last 6 months, this includes 15% who received threats or abuse online.

Source: The digital lives of Aussie teens, eSafety Commissioner (2021).

What you can do

If someone is being really mean online, first of all it’s a good idea to:

  • tell a trusted adult and ask them to help you – you could show them this page about cyberbullying
  • change the settings on your device or online account so you don’t see so many messages, posts or comments from the person who was mean – find out how in The eSafety Guide

If you need cyberbullying material removed:

If the site, game or app does not help you within 48 hours, and the cyberbullying is serious enough, eSafety can ask them to remove the harmful content.


For eSafety to investigate, you must live in Australia. Also, the type of cyberbullying must be against Australia’s online safety laws.

This means the content sent to you, or posted or shared about you, must be likely to harm your physical or mental health because it is seriously:

  • threatening (for example, when someone says they are going to harm you, or tells others to harm you) or
  • intimidating (for example, when you stop doing something because someone makes you feel scared or bad about it) or
  • harassing (for example, when someone keeps sending messages to you or keeps sharing posts or comments about you even though you don’t want them to) or
  • humiliating (for example, when someone teases or embarrasses you very badly).

If someone is cyberbullying you in one of these ways you can report it to eSafety, or you can ask a trusted adult to do it for you. The adult can be a parent or guardian, or someone like a carer, teacher or police officer.

If you are a parent or guardian you can report serious cyberbullying to eSafety yourself – if you know your child has been targeted by harmful content, and the site, game or app has not helped within 48 hours.

Report cyberbullying to eSafety

If the cyberbullying is very serious, and the service or platform does not help you within 48 hours, you can report the harmful content to eSafety using our online form.

Report now