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Back in October there was National Bullying Prevention Month, and we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about one of the most prevalent types of harassment affecting young people today, cyberbullying.
When a child spends time online, he or she is vulnerable to a whole host of bullying from others on the internet. Threatening messages can be sent to his or her social media account. Other users can post hurtful comments on the child’s photos. In some cases, the child’s photo could even be shared with others in a cruel, mocking way. This sort of bullying is more common than you’d think in the modern age. In fact, statistics show that over 43 percent of kids and teens have been bullied while online.
So what can we do to prevent this from happening, and make the internet a safer place for everyone? Unfortunately, it won’t be that easy. The first step to fighting cyberbulling is to discover when it occurs, as current reports show that only one in 10 victims are reporting their abuse to an adult. However, anti-bullying groups are beginning to lead the charge against online abuse. The folks at Teensafe, an app that allows parents to monitor their children’s social media activity, have recently launched their Digital Avengers campaign. This campaign encourages teens to step forward and report the harassment they experience online – the crucial step in off fighting cyberbullies.
Additionally, teens are encouraged to step up for their bullied peers when they see cyberbullying in action. While this may be scary, it is also critical, studies show that 57 percent of bullies back off when a peer intervenes on the victim’s behalf. With the combined efforts of kids, adults, teachers and website administrators, cyberbully could one day be a thing of the past.
What can you do to stop cyberbulling in your community? Join TeenSafe’s Digital Avengers and fight cyberbullies with these simple steps: