Users can protect each other from online harassment by actively reporting such behaviors to social media platform administrators. To help site administrators combat cyberbullying, Jason Thatcher and his colleagues investigated the factors that influenced online bystanders’ decisions to follow through with reporting.
Research found that bystanders’ feelings of personal responsibility, concerns of imminent peril and beliefs that reporting truly made a difference all motivated them to make a formal report. Bystanders were also more likely to report online harassment when the reporting feature was easily accessible and if they could do so anonymously.
Social network administrators are encouraged to pay close attention to the interface of their platforms and harassment reporting procedures to encourage more users to take a stand against online bullying.