What to do if your child is harassed on BeReal

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BeReal is a new hit with teens who are tired of the filtered, continuously-updating feed of content they see on TikTok and Instagram. At the end of 2023, 13% of U.S. teens were on the app, and we expect to see that number increase. 

But BeReal is different from many other social media platforms. Users can't create posts whenever they want ... and there aren't any parental controls to help you monitor your kids' activity. 

If your child experiences harassment on BeReal, though, either through direct messages or comments, you do have some recourse. Here's what to do. 

1. Check in with your child

It goes without saying, but the first step is to touch base with your teen and make sure they're okay. Whether they've been cyberbullied by someone they know offline, or are experiencing harassment from a stranger, online altercations can lead to real-world feelings of distress and fear. 

Throughout the process of resolving the BeReal harassment, you may decide to bring in a mental health professional to help your teen cope with what's happening. The Psychology Today website is a great place to start your search for a therapist in the U.S. 

2. Take screenshots of the harassment

Next, pause and take screenshots of the harassment. It's tempting to advance right to deleting, blocking, and reporting but these pictures can be useful evidence later on. 

Make sure you take these screenshots before reporting the harassment to BeReal, as the platform may quickly delete any offending content or shut down the harasser's account. 

3. Decide if you need to contact the authorities

Now that you have documentation that illustrates the harassment, decide if it's time to contact the authorities. 

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, you might want to contact the police when your child receives physical threats, sexual images, hateful language, coercive messages, or blackmail attempts. 

If you contact the police, follow their guidance on how to proceed from this point. Taking further action yourself could impede any investigation they decide to launch. 

4. Block the harasser

If you don't contact the authorities—or the police tell you to do this—go ahead and block the harasser's account. 

Once you block someone, this person will no longer be able to send your child a friend request, see their posts and reactions, or view their profile information. It'll also remove the harasser from your teen's list of friends on BeReal.

You can block someone on BeReal by:

  1. Visiting their profile page
  2. Tapping the menu icon in the upper right corner
  3. Selecting "block"

5. Report the harassment to BeReal

It's also a good idea to report the harassment to BeReal. The app's community standards statement is very clear that BeReal users should not bully, abuse, harass, exploit, or threaten violence to another person. 

You can:

  1. Report a BeReal post. Tap the menu icon above the post and select "report." You'll have a chance to add any additional details and reasoning, too.
  2. Report a profile. On the harasser's profile page, tap the menu icon in the top right and select "report." Once again, you'll have a chance to provide a reason and supporting details.
  3. Report a group chat. Open the chat and tap the menu icon in the top right, then select "report." Add any additional details before submitting your report.

All reports on BeReal are anonymous.

6. Consider taking a break from BeReal

Finally, if your child is stressed or upset, it may be time to take a break from BeReal. Because the app doesn't offer additional controls to filter content, stepping a way can be the best way to create distance between your child and BeReal. 

Deleting the app from their phone won't delete your teen's account—they can always go back to BeReal when you both feel ready. And when that time comes, our seven tips for staying safe on BeReal will help you both feel better about using this social media app.

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