Cyberbullying: a very modern problem affecting our children

Cyberbullying: a very modern problem affecting our children

The need to police the wild west of the Internet

There was an interesting story [1] on the BBC website recently around the need for a review of the laws surrounding the significantly increasing problem of online abuse, or cyberbullying to use its more common vernacular. Former culture secretary Maria Miller said police found it “incredibly difficult” to make current laws work, especially in the “wild west” of social media networks.

A big problem

The number of cyber bullying cases [2] in the UK make uncomfortable reading:

  • 7 out of 10 young people have been victims of cyberbullying
  • 37 per cent of young people have experienced cyberbullying on a highly frequent basis
  • 20 per cent of young people have experienced extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis
  • Facebook, Twitter and Ask.FM are found to be the most common social networks for cyberbullying
  • An estimated 5.43 million young people in the UK have experienced cyber bullying with 1.26 million subjected to extreme cyber bullying on a daily basis
* For many children, this hidden type of abuse via their mobile is a daily reality
* Children often suffer in silence because they feel powerless to act
Is there a solution?

The problem is that most ministers’ views will always be somewhat one-dimensional, depending on which side of the political fence they sit and inevitably just focus on the headlines. It’s certainly true and welcome that the authorities see these problems as ones that need to be tackled, but the law needs to be flexible enough to keep up with the rapidly evolving technology landscape. At the moment, law is somewhat lagging behind because of the time taken to legislate. By the time legislation has been passed, it’s inevitably way out of date and no longer in line with newly developed threats.

I really do think the tech industry has a moral obligation to be part of the solution – after all, at the moment it IS the problem. Tech companies that can help families navigate this will be the ones that lead this debate. You need companies and individuals that have a vested interest in providing a solution otherwise you end up with a situation where you are expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas.

What you can do

If you fear that your child is a victim of cyber bullying visit the NHS website [3] for some good advice.

Also take a look at our product for more information on how haandle is empowering families and helping reduce the risk of cyber bullying.

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