Online Banter

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National Online Safety Helping schools raise standards in online safety
Webinar 5min

Gentle leg-pulling or joking with friends online can be an amusing, identity-affirming aspect of our digital lives - but at the same time, the concept of 'banter' also provides a convenient fig-leaf which more malicious individuals often hide behind. Our short video examines this complex and often sensitive subject.

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What is online banter?

Banter is a term that describes the jovial teasing or talk amongst friends. It is often used to help establish a sense of belonging, understood only by the group or between a select few.

Used this way it can be enjoyed and provide a source of good-natured fun or entertainment.

However, when banter comes into contact with the outside world, including online, without the benefit of facial expressions, body language, tone of voice and context, things can easily be misinterpreted.

There is a risk that bullying behaviour can be excused as ‘banter’ and statements often said in jest can sound hostile, derogatory, or racist.

For more information on the associated risks and online safety tips for parents and carers, watch our explainer video, available to those with a National Online Safety membership.