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How we handle cyberbullying complaints

This page is for cyberbullying
of under 18s.

If you are an adult experiencing cyberbullying, please go to our adult cyber abuse section.

We make sure that people are safe and supported and that we take appropriate action.

Firstly, we factor in safety.

Is the person who made the complaint OK — do they have support from their parents and friends or from their school or community? Do they need to access support such as a counselling service or to be put in touch with a support worker?

Secondly, we look at the actions we might be able to take, which range from removal action or talking to the police.

What will happen to my complaint?

Each complaint is assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all the information provided before we decide on our approach.

For this reason, it is very important that you provide as much information as you can to support your complaint.

All complaints are assessed to determine whether they fall within the scope of the laws we work under.

Generally, we will consider factors such as:

  • whether you (or the person you are complaining on behalf of) are living in Australia and under 18 years of age
  • if you are complaining on behalf of an Australian child, whether you are authorised to do so
  • whether your complaint involves a matter of serious cyberbullying
  • whether you have reported the issue to the social media service and given them an opportunity to act (if appropriate)
  • whether you have provided enough information to support your complaint (such as a full description of the events, copies of the cyberbullying material and links to where the material can be found on the internet)

If we need further information, we will contact you via the email address you have provided. If you can’t access the information we need, you should let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

What action can we take?

Depending on the details of the complaint, we have a number of options available to us. We may provide access to support services, point you to tips to block, report and delete, try to get material taken down, work with schools or undertake a number of other actions.

If we think the best approach to resolve your complaint is to contact your parents or school, we will contact you and ask for your permission first. The only time we may not wait to ask your permission is if we think there is a serious threat to your safety or to others.

As the complaint progresses, we will keep you informed via the email address provided in your complaint.

If you are still not sure about making a complaint or you have questions that have not been answered, see if our frequently asked questions (FAQ) about making a cyberbullying complaint can help.

How long will you take to assess my complaint?

You can expect to hear from us within 48 hours — but in many cases we will be in touch sooner.

When we have completed our assessment of your complaint, we will notify you of the outcome via the email address you supplied. We will also notify you if we decide not to investigate your complaint.

Collecting personal information

We can help you have serious cyberbullying material removed from social media sites. But we need you to provide us with some information before we can act.

Find out why personal information is collected and how we protect and handle this information under our Privacy Policy.

You can also read the collection notification for cyberbullying complaints.