Facebook Launches Feature to Prevent Cyber-Bullying
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by Danielle Sinay
It’s easy to forget how serious cyber-bullying is, because when more than half of teens have been experienced online abuse, and over 95% of teens have witnessed said abuse and chosen to ignore it, it seems normal. But it’s not normal, it’s not okay, and it’s time to consider the consequences. No matter how trivial the hurtful behavior may seem, victims of cyber-bullying are significantly more likely to suffer from mental health issues and consider suicide.
In short: cyber-bullying is a very serious matter, and it’s time to start treating it as such.
Fortunately, Facebook has taken notice of the disappointing trend, and is actively taking measures to stop it. This week, the networking site launched a revamped version of its Safety Center, including a broadened Bullying Prevention Hub, that provides tools and advice on reporting abusive and harmful behavior and protecting your privacy on Facebook.
“People come to Facebook to share some of their most important moments in life,” Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global safety, wrote in a blog post regarding the new feature. “We’ve built the Safety Center to help people control their experience on our platform and feel safe being themselves.”
Facebook’s Safety Center has been around for a while, but very few users seemed to know about it, let alone use it. The updated center, however, is much easier to find and navigate, allowing all Facebook users to utilize the features, tools and advice, like the step-by-step video guides on how to keep your information safe online.
“When we first launched the Bullying Prevention Hub, our goal was to bridge the gap between offline and online,” Antigone Davis explained to Refinery29. “For example, if a student experiences bullying, they can report it to us and we’ll take [that post] down. We also offer tools to control who you interact with or reach out [to] for help. But if someone is being bullied, it’s probably not just a problem on Facebook, and we wanted to help solve the broader problem, too.”
The center is now available in over 50 languages, and Facebook has partnered with professionals and experts across the globe, like the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, to make the center as educational and helpful as possible.
Of course, this feature won’t miraculously stop cyber-bullying and trolling – that’s up to you. But we’re so glad that Facebook has taken the initiative to assist others when it comes to protecting others and themselves.
Remember: if you see someone getting bullied or harassed, report it and tell a trusted adult. And if you’re the one bullying people, please consider your actions. Everything you do has consequences – intentionally hurting people is never okay.
So today, let’s all take a note from Facebook, and do everything in our own power to stop cyber-bullying. Because bullying stops with each and everyone of you. Facebook’s just making it easier to do our part.
You can access the Safety Center here.