Harmful online content includes cyberbullying and inappropriate material, such as violent and sexual material that can cause emotional and physiological distress.
Online bullying (also known as cyberbullying) occurs when someone uses digital technology to send, post or publish content intended to cause harm to another person.
It can include:
- abusive and hurtful messages, images or videos
- repeated unwanted messages
- spreading gossip and lies
- fake accounts used to humiliate or harass someone
- excluding others online
- embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles
- sharing personal or identifying information about someone without their consent (doxxing)
Netsafe describes distressing content as content that is hateful content, sexual material or illegal material (like age-restricted material or extreme violence).
Offensive or illegal content may include topics, images or other information that could be prohibited in New Zealand. The content can also be upsetting to a young person when they discover it.
It is illegal for anyone to send or publish threatening, offensive or sensitive material and damaging rumours.
Netsafe has more information, advice and resources about how to stay safe online.
Netsafe | netsafe.org.nz (external link)
Keep It Real Online has information for tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people) about being safe online, and also has tools and resources for parents and caregivers.
Keep It Real Online | keepitrealonline.govt.nz (external link)