Monday 21 August 2023

Four categories for Anti-Bullying Apps (ABAs), with examples for each

Written for people interested in learning about the wide range of anti cyber harassment apps that exist.

There are many Anti Bullying Apps (ABAs) seeking to inform and assist recipients of cyber harassment. Some ABAs may even assist cyberbullies with curbing their anti-social behaviours. ABAs vary in their specific functions and features. These can be categorised into three groups [1]: (1) general protection, (2) information, and (3) reporting to authorities. This post suggests a fourth, (4) in-platform interventions (such as Instagram's anti-bullying tools). This accommodates tools that are distinct in being specifically developed to exist inside a particular platforms (such as WhatsApp, versus being a standalone app outside it). Such sub-apps (or tools) may also combine different aspects of the top three categories:

1 General protection

1.1 Bark at is an online protection tools for US parents to limit the amount of time their children spend on various websites, view their children’s browsing history, and for receiving alerts when keywords and phrases that might indicate bullying or harassment in their child’s electronic communications (such as text messages). Mentioned in [1].

1.2 BullStop at aims to help young people's proactive combating of cyberbullying, and monitors social media accounts by regularly reviewing messages as they are received. It uses artificial intelligence for analysing these- flagging offensive content like abuse, bullying, insults, pornography, spam and threats. [1]

2 Information

2.1  ActionPoint aims to help families build stronger communication skills, set healthy boundaries for social media use, define a teen's cyberbullying risk and identify instances of cyberbullying. Ultimately its designers seek to decrease the negative outcomes associated with cyberbullying (view app's research at

2.2 Bully Mysteries (available as an Android package to download and install from is an interactive mystery app that includes the chapter, 'The Case of the Cyberbully'- In it, 'A defenseless victim is being mercilessly harassed by someone. But who could it be and for what purpose? Katie and TC are extra motivated to solve this case and help protect those who can’t protect themselves!'. [6]

2.3 ClearCyberbullying (available as an Android package to download and install from uses Drama Education for creating awareness on cyber-bullying among students and then develop an education video-games exploiting traditional “Puppet characters” or “shadow theatres” coming from the six partners countries. The project at seems to have been discontinued.  [6]

2.4 Cyberbullying by Grey Lab (available as an Android package to download and install from provides information on 'what cyberbullying is, why it works and how to prevent it'. [6]

2.5 Cyberbullying First-Aid was developed in Germany by the klicksafe Youth panel for Android and Apple users. described how the app includes short videos from the coaches Tom and Emilia for recipients of cyberbullying. The app gives 'those affected concrete tips on how to behave, encourage them and accompany in the first steps to take action against cyberbullying. In addition to legal background information and links to anonymous counseling centers, there are tutorials on how to report, block or delete offensive comments on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok or in the messenger WhatsApp.' The app is available in English, French, German, Luxembourgish, Lithuanian and Slovenian, dependant on the user's device's language setting. [6]

2.6 Cyberbullying Vaccine (available in Korea) aims to provide parents, guardians and other adults with an indirect experience of cyberbullying. [2]

2.7 Klikd at covers many topics, ranging from how to manage tricky people online and cyberbullying, to online reputation to phone addiction. Each module contains multi-faceted components for keeping t/weens engaged throughout their learning journey. The app includes talks by teens, card games and quizzes, and offers plenty of opportunity for reflection. Parents and schools as also supported through updates. [9]

2.8 Know Bullying app at gives US guardians and parents information on how to discuss online risks and cyberbullying with their children. The app was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to; explain the warning signs of bullying, and to offer advice for parents on talking to their kids about bullying. It includes important strategies for preventing bullying for kids in varied age groups (3-6, 7-12, and older). [3]

2.9 Sit With Us is a US Apple app developed by a 16 year old. Natalie Hampton wanted to help pupils set up inclusive lunches with classmates who typically eat alone. [7]

2.10 SpeakOut! aims to help children and other vulnerable people with accessing the internet safely. The UK app presents storylines that tackle the topics of cyber bullying, grooming, sexting, fake news, body image and racism. The app was developed in response to 'the growing need for support specifically targeting 10-14 year olds as they face increased challenges as preteens and young teenagers growing up in a highly connected environment.' For example, the app tackles cyberbullying by featuring tools and techniques that help users recognise online bullying, and how to respond. [7]

2.11 Stand Up to Bullying shows an interactive educational video featuring Lucky Kat,  The Kat Patrol, The Cheese Posse and Daren the Lion. It teaches children to identify the different types bullying and to know what to do when they see it happening.  The app contains five (5) chapters of informative animation that cover verbal bullying, physical attack and nonverbal bullying. The final chapter instructs them on how to make a plan for when they see any of these situations. Each chapter closes with question and answer sections to support open discussion with kids and students. [7]

2+ Informational games

2.12 Cyberbully Zombies Attack at was developed by NetSmartz® Workshop, a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® and Gamelearn. The online game helps kids, tweens and teens learn how to handle cyberbullying [6]. It was funded by Sprint through its 4NetSafety(SM) program.  

2.13 Cybersafe is a game for Android and Apple that Goffs School UK students created to help children  deal with cyberbullying. [6] The app contains 3 fun mini games - each tackling a different issue chosen by the students: 'Detective Charlee: An endless flying game which teaches children to collect cyberbully evidence, by taking screenshots of nasty comments on social networks, to email to a trusted friend or adult. PaS$w0rdBlockr: A challenging puzzle game which encourages children to keep their passwords safe and be wary of people hacking their online accounts. Goof Run: An endless running game with helpful cyberbully advice along the way, set in a colourful chatroom.'

2.14 Professor Garfield Cyberbullying features a Garfield comic strip with examples of cyberbullying and advice on how to deal with it. These are followed by a short interactive quiz that tests what kids have learned. It is available on Apple. [6]

3 Reporting to authorities

3.1 117 Chat at provides school violence-related real-time chatting in consultation with South Korea's National Police Agency. [2]

3.2 BRIM: Bullying Reduction Intervention and Monitoring provides tools and resources to US teachers, principals, counselors, and others in school communities to help tackle bullying.

3.3 Bully Button from complements US schools' anti-bullying programs by providing a multi-platform process for administrative intervention in situations of; abuse, bullying, cyberbullying, and social aggression.

3.4 CyberBully Hotline apk (available as an Android package to download and install from provides 'schools with their own unique local phone number, to which students and parents can send a 100% anonymous text or voice message. School administrators can then send back replies which go directly to the person sending the report, without ever knowing their phone number or identity. This guaranteed anonymity provides a welcoming environment for addressing issues of bullying, violence, fighting, theft, harassment, and safety.' [6]

3.5 Dunk A Bully at aims to educate users about bullying by providing examples and questions and answers to learn from. It also enables users to select a counselor for messaging anonymously [8].

3.6 FamiSafe at is one of five apps described in resource [3] which parents/guardians can install on their child/ward's phone. Available on Android, Chrome, Kindle, iOS, Mac and Windows,  FamiSafe empowers users to 'locate their kid’s phone, monitor app usage, site usage, and screen time'. The app also allows parents/guardians to filter web content and block certain apps.

3.7 Guardian Angel at is available on Android and Apple. It is designed to help children and teenagers 'cope with the horrors of childhood violence such as bullying and family related problems.' It includes: access to a 24hr crisis hotlines; optional, anonymous reporting directly to the child’s counsellor or social worker; playlists for affirmation, meditation and motivation; and journaling options. [6]

3.8 Speak Up! For Someone at enables students to record bullying and to report it anonymously and securely to school officials. It's available for Apple users, and Android ones. [8]

3.9 STOPit Solutions at allows individuals (including parents, peers, and community members) to anonymously report harmful images, messages, and videos to government entities that can provide victims with help. Individuals can also connect with trained crisis counsellors from the Crisis Text Line™ for assistance. [3]

3.10 Toot Toot is an Apple app funded by the UK's Department for Education which gives 'pupils and parents a voice by providing a safe and anonymous way to speak about concerns such as bullying, harassment, mental health and racism.' Its key features are: anonymous reporting from parents and pupils, from anywhere. Staff can log safeguarding and behaviour incidents to create a full picture. Admins and mentors receive notifications when new cases are logged. Users can quickly and simply manage their cases. Admins and mentors get a whole organisation overview to identify key trends in data. [7]

3.11 Upstander is an Android app at develop as a student initiative to make schools bullying-free. It is a mobile platform through which students can report bullying instances at varying degrees of anonymity. [8]

3+ Reporting to self

3.12 ReThink – Stop Cyberbullying at is a non-intrusive service that seeks to detect and stop cyberbullying before it does damage. Its users are flagged to reconsider potentially offensive content before re-sharing it. [5]

4 Platform-specific

4.1 BullyBlock or BullyBlocker for Facebook ( seems to have been superseded by the Action Point app (see 2.1) . BullyBlock resulted from research that 'designed, implemented and evaluated automated cyberbullying identification tools for social networks'.  The mobile app for Facebook included several such tools. [1]

4.2 Instagram's Rethink and Restrict are described in Rethink uses 'artificial intelligence to recognise when text resembles the kind of posts that are most often reported as inappropriate by users'. Rethink prompts users to pause and consider what they are saying before sharing content flagged as potentially being inappropriate. Restrict is 'designed to help teens filter abusive comments without resorting to blocking others - a blunt move that could have repercussions in the real world'.

4.3 Shushmoji® for WhatsApp is an anti-chat harassment resource (for Apple or Android users) that provides end-of-conversation stickers and information on tactics individuals can use against chat harassment. See general FAQs at

4.4 Vodafone’s #BeStrong Emoji Keyboard is available on Android devices. This keyboard developed from the Be Strong Online anti-bullying initiative. A suite of #BeStrong support emojis aimed help young people convey compassion and support to friends who are being bullied online. The idea for a support emoji was first brought to Vodafone by anti-bullying ambassador Monica Lewinsky. The app's emojis were chosen by 'almost 5,000 young people around the world, who identified with them as symbols of compassion and solidarity'. [7]


The examples of apps above are largely from the developed world's Anglo- and Asian spheres, with the full usability of these apps often being restricted to their country of origin (notably, Korea, the UK and US). Kindly let me know of any other interesting resources and/or ABAs in the moderated comments section below? Or you contact me directly. I will update this post on an ongoing basis with suitable recommendations for new apps/resources, plus new ones my research uncovers.

P.S. There are several apps listed in the resources below that are not highly-ranked for Google searches, nor available via the Apple or Android app stores (or may be hidden from searches from South Africa).  These are Back Off Bullies [6], Be Cybersafe Game [6], Cyberbullying by Maple Tree [6], Cyberbully Hotline [6], Delete Cyberbullying [6],  I Am Witness and Put an End to Cyberbullying [6].

N.B. The many discontinued anti-bullying apps suggest the importance of ongoing investment of human and financial capital. Sustaining ABAs availability requires costly resources to address code updates, app promotion and ongoing refinement.


[1] U.S. Parents' Intentions to Use Anti-Bullying Apps: Insights from a Comprehensive Model (2023) by Brittany Wheeler, Katie Baumel, Deborah Hall and Yasin Silva describes new technological avenues for parents and other guardians to reduce their child’s cyberbullying risk. The authors focus on understanding the factors that predict parents' intentions to use ABAs. 

[2] 'The application of anti-bullying smartphone apps for preventing bullying in South Korea' by Insoo Oh in Tackling Cyberbullying and Related Problems - Innovative Usage of Games, Apps and Manga.

[3] 'Most useful bullying apps' at

[4] 5 Anti-Bullying Apps Every Family Should Have

[5] Anti-bullying apps are popular, but do they work?, Wyman, Christina (2022) in Wired magazine features an interesting critique of ABAs' limits, and their potential value,

[6] Topcu-Uzer, C., & Tanrıkulu, İ. (2018). 3 - Technological solutions for cyberbullying. In M. Campbell & S. Bauman (Eds.), Reducing Cyberbullying in Schools (pp. 33-47). Academic Press.

[9] Recommended by this blog's readers.

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