Charity and Facebook ally to tackle cyber-bullying

The ISPCC is working on a project with Facebook to create an anti-bullying culture among young social network users.

The leading children’s charity and Facebook are in the early stages of forging a new partnership to tackle bullying on the social network on bullying.

“We are working on a project with the ISPCC to develop a healthy, anti-bullying culture in Ireland on Facebook and look forward to announcing more about it later this year,” said Facebook policy director Simon Milner

In the meantime, the ISPCC is hoping the social media giant will make the former’s Blue Shield anti-bullying campaign available to as many users as possible.

ISPCC chief executive Ashley Balbirnie said the shield could be used by Facebook users to access the back-up services provided by childline.ie.

Mr Milner said Facebook welcomed ISPCC’s campaign because it believed in creating a culture of accountability where people reported bullying and stood up for each other.

The shield campaign is supported by child psychologist David Coleman, who said adults needed to become familiar with the new environment created by cyber-bullying.

“While some kids will do OK in those environments, others will really suffer.”

Mr Coleman said there had to be a community response to bullying as its effects could last a lifetime.

Mr Balbirnie said last year Childline received over 2,0000 calls every day and far too many of the calls were about bullying.

The ISPCC has a text service for children who are being bullied. By texting the word ‘bully’ to 50101, children and young people can access real-time support between 2pm and 10pm Monday to Sunday.

Asked about a new national survey that found 60% of adults want schools to ban smartphones and the use of social networks, Mr Balbirnie said: “The ISPCC would look to education to deal with an issue like that as, children, by their nature, would come up with all sorts of ways to get around a prohibition.”


Lifestyle

Triathlete Carolyn Hayes is flat out. Since October 2018, she’s literally been racing around the world.On the treble: Triathlete Carolyn Hayes goes flat out to win a place in the Olympics

Children starting or going back to school is a reminder of how we all need an energy boost when sitting at a desk for hours, no matter what our age.Energy fix: Top 8 snacks for children

A sommelier shares her top tips.The dos and don’ts of serving wine – you just might have been doing it all wrong

It’s that time of year again; the long summer days are numbered, summer’s lease is all too short as she takes her last few breaths.Learning Points: Top tips on coping with back to school stress for you and the kids

More From The Irish Examiner