Beat Bullying!

| May 18, 2010

BEATBULLYING

The UK has recently launched a nationwide campaign using shocking art depictions to get the message out that cyberbullying is a serious issue, and that social networking could be a be a promising avenue for change.

Bullying prevention charity Beatbullying worked with advertising agency M&C Saatchi as well as youth to create a series of provocative ads that aim to resonate with young people and make them think about their actions as well as what they can do to help make a change. The campaign aims to promote a new social networking site CyberMentors, as the next step to educate victims that there is help available and for the bullies to understand that they can change. CyberMentors is the first nationwide online peer-mentoring social networking site for young people.

According to this article, “56% of young people admit to having, at some point, been involved in bullying, according to research done according to research conducted by Beatbullying with over 2000 young people aged between 11 and 18. Of those who have cyber-bullied, the most common way is to send a hurtful message to a victim (26 per cent) followed by spreading rumours (16 per cent), editing a picture (15 per cent) and eight per cent have either filmed bullying or sent an offensive video clip about someone to their friends.”

CyberMentors has already experienced a great response with about 23,000 young people accessing the site to seek help and support from their peers. Amongst these young people, hundreds have openly admitted to having suicidal thoughts or harming themselves as a result of verbal and/or physical bullying they are experiencing both offline and online. There are also already over 700 fully trained CyberMentors and Beatbullying cyber councillors manning the site in shifts to provide support to victims.

Emma Jane Cross, Beatbullying chief executive, describes social networking as a force for good in tackling cyberbullying: “Bullying in any form is unacceptable but sadly it is an issue that has only been propagated by digital innovations.”

Some poster examples below, feature silhouetted imagery of young people who appear to have committed suicide from the barrage of bullying taunts in youth language.

Bullying can KillWords can killBullied to Death CyberMentors