Facebook, in conjunction with Time Warner, GLSEN, CNN and many more organizations, recently released a social application that allows users to pledge that they will stand up to bullying. The application also provides resources for bullying victims.
The release of the app, called Stop Bullying: Speak Up, is timed to coincide with the back-to-school season and also for National Bullying Prevention month in October.
It is hoped that by incorporating the application into Facebook and sharing it through the site, users can actively combat bullying by announcing that they will not tolerate it on their profiles and that it will also allow for resources to always be close at hand for those who may be being bullied and need help, or for adults who suspect a young person in their life might be being bullied.
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, told GLAAD that the social media platform, together with its partners, aims to combat bullying by working with adults and also by empowering young people, saying “We believe that by working together with parents and teachers, we can teach young people to speak up and stop bullying.”
In recent months Facebook has taken stronger steps to try and prevent bullying through the social networking site and has worked with GLAAD to tackle anti-LGBT bullying and hateful postings in particular.
While the new Stop Bullying Speak Up application caters for teen users — and has a number of videos from popular celebrities like Selena Gomez — it also has resources for parents and other adults with information on how they can help combat bullying.
The Stop Bullying and Speak Up Pledge asks that users commit to the following:
I will speak up — I will take a stand about this issue, even before it touches my friends and family, so everyone knows I take it seriously.
I will advocate — I will advocate for children, both my own and others, in need of my help. I will support quality bullying prevention training for all school staff so everyone can effectively help our children.
I will be a role model — I will show kids how to deal with conflicts by setting the standard with my own behavior.
I will be a partner — I will work with schools, parents, caretakers, coaches, and others working hard to stop bullying – especially if they report my child is involved.
The application also provides a list of bullying prevention groups and empowers adults to take the initiative to create their own groups if there is not one representing the nearby area.
The page also links to specific tips on, for instance, how to stop bullying on Facebook and what to do if you suspect bullying is going on.
Image captured from the Facebook page for illustrative purposes, no infringement intended.