William Ellis of OnlineThem comments on the new proposed guidelines from the Crown Prosecution Service which say adults who use fake online profiles to harass others should be prosecuted.
“Cyberbullying may be a new phenomenon but it is serious and can cause great anxiety, upset and stress. Hiding behind the veil of the internet should not be a reason to avoid prosecution from abusing others – in the same way that using the internet should not allow you to become a victim. Abuse is abuse and whether done in person or online, it should not be tolerated by anyone, the law included.
“Going online has become an integrated part of children’s lives and creates an incredible opportunity to learn and to connect with others. However, the risks which the online world presents cannot be ignored which is why we welcome the proposed guidance which would see ‘trolls’ prosecuted. The sad truth is that everyone who goes online is at risk from cyberbullying. The statistics about the scale of cyberbullying are scarce but those that are out there suggest that it is increasing.
“More can be done to protect children from these risks which includes using the law to crackdown on cyberbullying activity and act as a strong deterrent for perpetrators. Keeping cyberbullying in the spotlight creates more opportunities for parents to engage with their children about the issue. A recent study* found that a third of children felt they should be learning about online safety at home and, as a father myself, I know that parents also want to protect children online. Ignoring the issue or trying to prevent children from going online will only exasperate the issue. As parents, we need to be able to foster trust and transparency. It can sometimes be hard to have open two-way conversations about issues with children but this is what we need to do and anything that can facilitate this is a step in the right direction.”
One in five young people are targeted by a cyberbully every day, a fact which is unbeknown to their parents.
With 65% of bullying incidents now occurring online, it is easier than ever for bullies to take advantage of social media platforms and hide their activities from teachers, parents and supervising adults. Technology is providing platforms for cyberbullying, and new ways for trolls and catfish to make contact with your children. OnlineThem enables you to monitor your child’s activity across popular social media platforms, all with your child’s permission and without the need to access their passwords. We at OnlineThem believe that, to fight cyberbullying, ways of monitoring your child’s activities need to advance alongside technology and social media. We have developed OnlineThem in order to provide a way to ensure that cyberbullying will no longer go unnoticed or undetected without you needing to look over your children’s shoulders or fear that they are hiding it from you.
Check out the website here - monitor your child’s activities online
OnlineThem is a first of its kind cyberbullying monitoring tool in the UK, designed by parents, for parents. The intelligence tool uses big data to give parents visibility over their child’s online activity enabling them to be alerted to risks of cyberbullying as well as other potentially dangerous online behaviours.