Before you reply

If you get a message online that upsets, annoys or frightens you, do not respond immediately.  Use this site to learn about your options.

Don’t send an angry reply. Online communication does not have some of the safeguards of face-to-face conversation or formal written correspondence, and as a result conflict can quickly escalate.

Before you send someone a message, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I read this message through at least once to ensure it’s accurate?
  • Have I checked to ensure that I’m sending this to the intended recipient, and only to that person?
  • If someone else read this message, would it sound rude to them? Would it sound hostile or offensive?
  • Do I know this person well enough to be sure I won’t offend them or upset them with anything in this message?
  • Am I angry with the person I’m sending this to? Am I upset with them? Have I talked to someone else about my feelings?
  • Would I say these things to someone face-to-face?
  • Am I trying to force someone to communicate with me when I know they don’t want to?
  • Has the person I’m contacting asked me to leave them alone?
  • Am I trying to bully or threaten someone into doing what I want?

If you persist in sending messages to someone or trying to communicate with someone whom you know does not want contact with you, or if you send any threatening messages, then you are violating University policy and may be subject to formal sanctions.

If you need to talk to someone about a personal relationship that is upsetting you or making you angry, contact:

Student Counselling Services

St. George

  • 416.978.7970


  • 905.828.5399


  • 416.287.7065

Employee and Family Assistance Program 

  • 1.800.663.1142

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