Standing Up to Bullying

Oct 23, 2012 12:08pm

Midway through National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it is important to remember that being secure online touches many subject areas - from protecting networks to how we treat each other.

October is also Bullying Prevention Month and a time to reflect on the appropriate ways to deal with the bullying online. 

Bullying is a persistent and dangerous challenge in both the physical and digital worlds. What starts in the high school cafeteria can all too easily continue online. Words and sharing information about people that they don’t want shared can be hurtful and have a lasting impact.

Young people today face challenges managing online conflict that their parents never knew. New challenges demand new solutions and it’s good to see that leaders in the social networking space are tackling the issue head on.

Last week, Facebook launched a new hub featuring resources for families, teachers and students that want to stand up and fight back against bullying.  

A new video describes tools built into the social network that let community members proactively address bullying. These “social resolution” tools allow individuals that are being bullied – or see it happening and choose to stand up to it – to select pre-written responses designed to de-escalate conflicts.

The system was initially targeted at the 13 to 14-year-old audience and designed in partnership with experts at Yale, Columbia and Berkeley. Since the launch earlier this year it has seen a four-fold increase in people finding resolution via the process with 81 percent of those surveyed saying they are satisfied with the experience.

The hub also features case studies of successful campaigns to stop bullying and resources that help students and teachers hold anti-bullying events at their schools.

Bullying may be timeless, but it should not be taken for granted. We can and should use all the tools at our disposal to push back against bullying in all its forms.

As part of our STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign, we encourage everyone to be a good online citizen and only post about others as you have them post about you.

Being a good online citizen also means fighting back against bullies and being supportive of victims.