One of the many issues President Barack Obama and the first lady Michelle are trying to address, is the problem of cyber-bullying. We have known for some time that this is an issue that has to be looked at and with so many people now using the world wide web, it seems the problem is rising.
Whilst for a large percentage social networking sites prove to be a beneficial communication tool for friends, loved ones and for companies advertising their brands, there is a darker side that too needs to be delved into. Today 10th March between the hours of 12pm – 1pm, the President and his wife will be taking part in a live event at the White House Conference of which can be seen on Facebook. Surrounded by attendees from the Department of Health and Education, students, parents and teachers, this will be the ideal opportunity for all issues to be aired in the open with possible outcomes.
The conference on Bullying Prevention will as Mashable reported start off at 12.20pm ET and will be shared not only with Facebook but MTV and the White House Office of Public Engagement.
It is hoped by the end of the conference today, issues around Internet Safety would have been looked at more closely and as Facebook’s official page stated, “a culture of shared responsibility and strong digital citizenship.” will have been achieved. If we cast our minds back just a few weeks ago, the first lady Michelle herself spoke about the problems of cyber-bullying and the subsequent ban imposed on her 2 daughters. With this in mind a safe portal named “StopBullying.gov” was set up along with Mark Zuckerberg’s aim to make Facebook a safer place, by creating a Safety Page and Safety Center.
Cyber-bullying is not something we can just shrug off, just the other day we reported on a 14-year old boy who had taken his own life due to persistant bullying on Facebook. This as reported was due to individuals teasing him about his sexual orientation. Ok to some this case may seem extreme, but its a problem that is being raised time after time.
In a statement from founder and CEO of Crisp Thinking Adam Hildreth he said, “Out of 15 million children’s IM accounts analysed we found that 5.6 million children received cyber bullying messages.” He went on to say that almost half of all American teens, 19,000 attempted suicides occur each year in the U.S. because of cyber-bullying. This statistic was reported from the Cyber-Bullying Research Center.
As miamiherald reported, some people have criticized the President in that his time and energy would be better spent addressing other issues. This is not a view shared of course by parents who have lost children through this very problem. For some they would like Congress to get involved and bring in a national law ordering schools to implement anti-bullying policies.
What are your thoughts on the White House and Facebook joining forces to combat this very problem? Is it enough to stop it? Let us know what you think.
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