Cyberbullying is online bullying: the use of computers (Internet, instant messaging, etc.) to hurt someone else. Cyberbullying can have negative effects on the victim, such as quitting or even becoming a bully themselves. Though common on Scratch, cyberbullying is against the Community Guidelines; if possible, all cases of cyberbullying should be reported promptly.
Common Types of Cyberbullying
This most common method involves posting very hurtful projects, studios, and comments which are meant to harm the targeted user. Harassment includes name-calling, discrimination, using rude words (many of which are blocked by a censor) to describe someone, and anything else that could hurt a Scratcher.
Gossip is when people may spread rumors about a user, often involving a ban or deletion of the account. These generally spread around the website, either with or without the knowledge (but without the approval) of the subject, or what happened. It is sometimes known as naming and shaming.
- Main article: Flame War
Flaming is when a large and heated argument between two or more Scratchers about a specific topic occurs.
- Main article: Username#Impersonation
A user may pretend to be the targeted user, usually a famous Scratcher, by creating an account with a similar username. Then they can attempt to hurt the reputation of the targeted user with their actions.
Some users might participate in doxing, which is to release private information about another user in order to harass them. Information includes, but is not limited to: full names, home address, email address, passwords, etc. This is rare on Scratch, though, as many users would not agree to share personal information, as sharing personal information can lead to vulnerability of doxing. Unlike the other mentioned ways of cyberbullying, doxing sometimes is illegal, depending on what exactly happened.
What to Do If Cyberbullying is Seen
Whether one is a victim of bullying or have seen a user getting bullied (even if one is not involved in the situation), one should always report the offending content (such as comments and projects) so the Scratch Team can get to the situation quickly. Never fight back or respond — bullies always want reactions and fighting back may worsen the situation. Posting public complaints will not help either and can put one at risk of getting into trouble. For more serious situations such as cyberstalking and uncomfortable situations, one should contact the Scratch Team about the situation. Talking to a trusted adult (such as a parent or teacher) is also a good idea for handling cyberbullying.
Occasionally, a Scratcher may use another site, such as YouTube, to bully a Scratcher. That cannot be handled by the Scratch Team, as they can only handle situations on the Scratch website, with the exception of severe cases. However, the victim can report the offending content on the site it was posted on.
Unmoderated chat and private messaging sites are prohibited on Scratch as the possibility of cyberbullying between users would be greater.