Cyberbullying wasn't around when a lot of parents were at school - and this is just one of the reasons a social media seminar is trying to help Rotorua parents identify cyberbullies, cyberbullying and cyberbullying risks.

Social media specialist Adam Crouchley said a cyberbully was not usually the traditional school or community bully. Instead, they were usually the ones getting bullied at school - ones parents wouldn't identify as bullies.

Because of this, and the fact that cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent in the community, Mr Crouchley has helped create a seminar for parents and caregivers about social media and keeping their children safe online. Mr Crouchley said the seminar was also created because a lot of parents weren't aware of it because this form of bullying wasn't around when they were at school.

The seminar would be held in Rotorua next Wednesday. Mr Crouchley said it would teach parents about social media including where the risks were, what to look out for, helping them monitor what their kids were looking at, regulating websites, stranger danger as well as "checking in" and geotagging usage. He said parents who weren't social media savvy didn't need to be worried because tuition about the differences between Twitter and Facebook, using them and privacy settings would be given.


He said the cyberbullying workshop for parents would be held in Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga and Hamilton.

Mr Crouchley said the seminar wasn't a parenting seminar but about helping parents keep an eye on their children's online activity, without spying.

"It's just turning into a huge issue around the world, kids are keeping it a secret from their parents.

"There are a few different types of bullying, some minor and some not-so-minor. All of it is quite damaging in different ways.

"People just need to know what their kids are doing online. It's a fine line between spying and just watching without making embarrassing comments on their page. It's a mutual respect thing."

He said it was common for people to bully others through Twitter to get more followers. Another common form of cyberbullying included anonymous Facebook pages revealing secrets about others, which he said was aimed at spreading information and winding people up.

"The more people can stay away from them [the more] they'll lose their popularity."

Mr Crouchley said cyberbullying was an issue people needed to talk about to help stop it.


Details on how to sign up for the seminar can be found at

To share a story about bullying, email or contact her on (07) 348 6199, ext: 57072.


Amanda Todd was a Canadian teenager who was the victim of cyberbullying, mainly through Facebook. She told her story in this video uploaded to YouTube on September 7.

Amanda took her own life on October 10.


A New Zealand teenager who carried on attacking Ms Todd after her death is being investigated, for putting risqué pictures of her on a Facebook memorial page.

The Online Police Child Exploitation team received more than 20 complaints from New Zealand and overseas.

Police removed the images and shut down his Facebook page.