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Can We Get Rid Of Cyberbullying?

Combatting Cyberbullying

How To Combat Bullying Online: The Fight Against Cyberbullies

Cyberbullying has become a hot topic in recent years. With the rise of social media, many people are experiencing cyberbullying for the first time. How do you know if someone is being cyberbullied? And what should be done to end it?

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place online through social media, chat, email and texts. It is often easier to cyberbully someone because the bully has a high degree of anonymity - this makes it very easy for people to attack others without facing any repercussions.

Cyberbullying tends to be worse than traditional bullying because there is no escape once you have been targeted. Bullies can send a constant stream of abusive messages, images and videos to their victims from anywhere in the world - they do not even need to know where their victim lives!

Reporting Cyberbullying Can Be Hard For The Victim 

Bullying can feel shameful to the victim, which can prevent them from reporting it. It can also in some cases be hard to recognise if someone is being cyberbullied as it does not happen face-to-face. In addition, telling about indirect, subtle bullying is also often challenging for a young person: how should you express yourself if the abuse does not include specific acts but instead creates vague and nasty feelings of being repelled among peers?

A student who fears that the situation will only worsen if an adult is informed may be hesitant to disclose it. Also, a bystander who has witnessed bullying may fear that telling an adult increases their own risk of being bullied. Increasing awareness about cyber safety and how to recognise when you are being bullied online is an effective way to fight cyberbullying.

Using social media and a wide range of other media platforms is based on sharing information. Therefore, students (and adults too) need to be careful with what they share and with whom. It might be difficult for children to determine what information they can convey and what should be withheld.

>> Watch Saasyan #SafeVillage Interview With
Trent Ray, Co-Founder of Cyber Safety Project <<

Detect When Students Are Being Bullied On Social Media Sites And Other Messaging Platforms

blog images (19)Knowing if children are being bullied can be hard, especially if they do not share it with a trusted adult. Detecting bullying is the first step towards stopping it. It requires adults to be able to recognise bullying for what it is and then act upon it.

Schools need to be active in working towards ending bullying. Cyberbullying can be combated by developing a school-wide anti-bullying strategy that is aimed at all students and emphasises the creation of a safe environment built upon trust, effective intervention of bullying and continuous monitoring.

Cyberbullying is more prevalent at both school and outside due to students' rising use of technology. Students have their own devices, making it more difficult to stop and detect cyberbullying. Schools may use student monitoring software to identify cyberbullying on student devices while they're using the school network.

Schools in Australia are required by law to take reasonable measures to minimise the danger of reasonably foreseeable hard under the "duty of care". With software detecting cyberbullying amongst other concerning student activities, school staff have the possibility to receive early warning signs and intervene when needed.

Saasyan Assure Help Schools To Prevent Cyberbullying And Other Concerning Behaviour

The Saasyan Assure software contains sophisticated features for analysis, alerting and reporting across all students' digital activities in chat, email, search, web visits and videos watched. These advanced features include:

  • a Words and Phrases dictionary that lists terms that are classified as self-harm, cyber-bullying, violence etc. This dictionary gets updated monthly with the newest words and phrases Crowdsourced from other schools using Assure.
  • AI capabilities such as -
    • Fuzzy logic - that is able to alert you to inappropriate language or searches even if a student tries to get around the software flagging it by misspelling it or using special characters for certain letters in the word; and
    • Natural Language Processing that picks up context within sentences where individual words may be unproblematic on their own but put together would have a bullying intent (e.g. "you're not funny, get out of this chat group")
  • Recurrence analysis to identify patterns in behaviour that needs attention
  • Tracking of access to specific types of web pages, web searches, and concerning communication among students.

The school wellbeing leaders receive alert notifications and reporting giving them actionable insights to reach out to students potentially needing a helping hand or if they require guidance in relation to worrying behaviour in terms of the pages they are visiting, things they are searching for, and how they are communicating with others over email and chat.

The software provides the data for the school's leadership to step in with evidence in hand and educate students on the effects of bullying, where students can reach out in case they are experiencing difficulties at school and other hardships that could be taking a toll on their mental health, as well as being able to see if any students are visiting pages that relate to weapons or extremism.

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