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Tips for dealing with negative behaviour online

If you are the target of trolling, online hate, discrimination, or inappropriate behaviour, there are steps you can take to protect your online safety and cope with the situation.


Trolling refers to the act of posting or commenting online with the intention of starting an argument or eliciting an emotional response. Trolls may post anonymously or under a fake name in order to escape accountability for their actions. They may also try to minimize the impact of their behavior and dismiss those who are upset by it as oversensitive.
Don’t feed the trolls. It can be tempting to respond to a troll, but doing so can give them exactly what they want. The best course of action is often to not respond at all.

Image-based Abuse

If you are experiencing image-based abuse, which is the sharing of intimate images or videos without your consent, you may find our advice on the topic helpful. It provides information on how to deal with this type of abuse.

Adult Cyber Abuse

If you are experiencing serious online abuse that is menacing, harassing, or offensive and intended to cause harm, you may find our advice on adult cyber abuse helpful. It provides tips on what you can do in such a situation.


If you believe you are being stalked online or by someone you met online, you may find it helpful to read our advice on cyberstalking.

Discrimination and Online Hate

If you feel that you are experiencing discrimination based on your gender identity or sexual orientation, you may find our advice on online hate and discrimination helpful. You may also be able to seek help from the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Fear of Loss of Visa Status or Deportation

If you are in Australia, you are protected by Australian law, regardless of your visa status, and your visa will not be affected if you report online abuse. Whether you are a student, migrant, refugee, asylum seeker, or waiting for a change in your visa status, you can report online abuse to the appropriate service or authorities without fear of negative consequences.

Tips for dealing with negative online experiences

  • Take Screenshots

It is important to take a screenshot of any harmful online content, as it may be used as evidence when reporting the behavior to the online service, eSafety, or the police. This can be helpful if the situation escalates and further action needs to be taken.

  • Report Hurtful Content

If you are experiencing online abuse, it is important to report it to the platform or service that it is happening on. This is often the quickest way to get the harmful content removed. If the abuse meets the legal definition of adult cyber abuse, and the platform or service does not help within 48 hours, you can also report it to eSafety. They can provide information, education, and resources, as well as investigate serious cases of abuse and help to remove harmful content. It is important to keep evidence, such as screenshots, in case you need to report the abuse to authorities or seek legal assistance. Do not hesitate to seek help and support from friends, family, and trusted resources such as 1800RESPECT if you are feeling overwhelmed or distressed.

If you are experiencing image-based abuse, where someone is sharing an intimate image or video of you without your consent, report the incident to eSafety as soon as possible. They can help you remove the images and protect yourself from further harm. Remember, sharing a nude or sexual image or video of someone without their consent is a violation of trust and can have serious consequences. It’s important to always obtain active consent before sharing someone’s intimate images or videos.

  • Block Unwanted Contacts

If you are experiencing online abuse, harassment or stalking, it is important to remember that you are not alone and there are steps you can take to protect yourself and manage the situation. One option is to report the abuse to the app or online platform where it is occurring, as they may be able to remove the harmful content or block the offender. If the platform does not respond within 48 hours, or if the abuse meets the legal definition of adult cyber abuse, you can report it to eSafety for further assistance. To protect yourself, you can also collect evidence of the abuse, block or mute the offender, and adjust your privacy settings. Remember, it is not your fault and you have the right to feel safe online.

  • Get More Help

Dealing with trolls or coping with a negative experience online can be difficult. To get through it, try reaching out to friends and loved ones for support. Let them know what you’re going through so they can help you through it.
Consider seeking counseling and support from an LGBTIQA+ service that fits your needs. You can also check out the ABC Queer and LGBTIQA+ support services page for additional resources.

  • Tips For Online Resilience

The online world can be both thrilling and overwhelming. To help you stay strong and resilient, check out our advice on building online resilience. This page includes tips and recommendations from the community on how to maintain your resilience online.