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Harmful Social Media Accounts – Tips and Reporting

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Social Media at HWDSB 

HWDSB values social media as an effective tool to communicate, connect and engage with students, staff, families and community members. Click here to learn more about social media at HWDSB.  

Social media participation should be respectful and in line with HWDSB’s values. Unfortunately, many social media accounts do not mirror these principles. Inappropriate content on these platforms has the potential to be harmful towards students, staff, families and community members, fostering an atmosphere of bullying and undermining the inclusive environment we strive to maintain. Click here to read our Multi-Year Strategic Plan. 

How to Report a Post or Account (Facebook and Instagram)

If you see an account that does not reflect HWDSB’s Social Media Guidelines or the Community Standards from Facebook and Instagram, we encourage you to self-report through the platform. 

  1. Visit the user’s profile and/or a specific post. 
  2. Click three dots next to their username and/or a specific post. 
  3. Select Report (Instagram) or Find Support or Report (Facebook). 
  4. Select the type of report and follow the on-screen instructions. 

HWDSB Helps 

Another way students can report harmful online behaviour is through HWDSB Helps. The service is a free and anonymous way for students to find help for themselves and one another. Click here to learn about HWDSB Helps. 

  • Text 905-963-0066 (standard rates apply) 
  • Download the HWDSB Helps app for iOS and Android 
  • Access the web chat at bit.ly/HWDSBhelpswebchat 

Tips may relate to student mental health, bullying and more. The service receives anonymous messages and shares the report with staff who follow Board and school protocols. Bullying, whether physically or online, is not permitted by any means. Click here to learn more about Safe Schools at HWDSB. 

Wellness and Social Media 

Social media should be a positive experience. At times, however, the content consumed can impact one’s wellness depending on the content that a user monitors. Follow these tips to ensure you are practicing healthy social media habits:

  • Put boundaries on usage. Take a break! 
  • Follow accounts that bring you joy. 
  • Set a purpose for scrolling. 
  • Support and encourage others. 

If someone is posting something online that makes you worried that there is the potential to harm themselves or others, contact someone who can get immediate help. Click here to find mental health and well-being resources and supports. 

Digital Citizenship 

Online spaces offer positive opportunities for collaboration, skill acquisition and support. However, they also pose risks with potential for harm through hate speech, trolling and cyberbullying, negatively impacting individuals and whole communities. 

At HWDSB, we believe all students and staff should have equitable access to engaging, authentic and globally connected learning environments. We are committed to promoting ethical, competent and responsible use of digital tools. We urge all students and staff to be respectful and to “THINK FIRST” when connected online. Click here to learn more about Digital Citizenship at HWDSB. 

Privacy and Consent 

Personal information includes more than somebody’s name. It can be their image or a video of them, their work, something they created, or facts about them such as their grade, age or birthdate.  

HWDSB users, including staff and personal accounts, must respect the privacy of individuals and obtain consent before posting such information online. Individuals have the right to request removal of shared content without their consent. Click here to learn more about Privacy at HWDSB. 

Tips for Social Media Users

  • Maintain a sense of safety and exercise good judgment.  
  • Never share information online that would be inappropriate to share in a classroom, meeting room or community setting. 
  • Keep posts positive and refrain from negative conversations. 
  • Likes and Favourites are perceived as endorsements. Use them carefully. 
  • Be transparent and authentic. Always use your identity. 
  • Always respect the privacy and confidentiality of members in the HWDSB community. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the privacy and reporting settings of the platforms you use. 
Updated on Monday, March 04, 2024.
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