Online Actions have Offline Consequences

Being online – including using social media – should involve a high degree of responsibility, not only to protect yourself, but to ensure no harm results to others.

There are different ways that people can be upset by what is shared by others.

Upset can be caused by comments or content that have been shared by people quite innocently, without thinking about the consequences of what they have posted or messaged. In many cases, if they had taken time to think about what effect seeing such a comment or content would have had on them, they would not have shared it. However, by the time it has been seen, it is too late. Examples of this type of incident are depicted in videos on this page.

In other cases, negative or hurtful content and comments are shared maliciously, with the aim of upsetting targeted individuals or random people. This is sometimes known as trolling. It can range from abuse aimed at high-profile figures, to spreading hate speech or lies about people who have died in order to cause distress to their friends and loved ones.

Whichever is the case, before you post or share anything online, put yourself in other people’s shoes and think twice about the potential consequences to them.

Jargon Buster

A Glossary of terms used in this article:


A list of personal details revealed by users of social networking, gaming, dating and other websites. Profiles may normally be configured to be public or private.