When it comes to the negative things in our lives, what we need is support. If you think about the last time you were in a bad place in your life, and you thought nothing could help, your friends and family are usually the ones to help save you. If you think about social media, it should be a large-scale version of family and friends that you stay connected to 24/7. This makes social media a powerful tool of love and support, which is the essence of the fight against cyber-bullying.
If we think back to the days before social media, what did we do if we were bullied? Most people would attempt to ignore, maybe report the situation to a superior and talk to someone who understands. Fast forward to 2017 and what has changed? There are more platforms for bullies to use, which means there are more platforms for anti-bullying campaigners to use.
Delaney Henderson – Facebook
In the case of Daisy Coleman, her assault was like Audrie Pott’s, and she got to the point where she attempted suicide multiple times. Before she ended it all, she received a message on Facebook. Delaney Henderson, another survivor of abuse, who lived on the other side of the country messaged Daisy and they began talking about their past, present and future. Since that act of kindness and support, Delaney and Daisy have now helped countless others on the fight against bullying, spreading awareness through social media and visiting schools and community meetings.
Companies have also taken to the fight against cyber-bullying. A new feature released last year by Instagram saw users able to change their settings to disable comments on posts. This is great for people wanting to post pictures and videos publicly without negative comments, and this change has had good reception from the community. Facebook has also helped with the fight against bullying, the platform being one of the most used in the world. BeBold: Stop Bullying Canada was started by Facebook, one of the first big steps the company took to fight bullying head on by traveling around Canada meeting in cities to start the conversation, and incite the solutions. Twitter has also got on the bandwagon and decided they have the power to ban users dependent on their 140 characters.
Twitter user ban silences bullying
We are wanting to change the attitude of users online, and these changes have seen a social shift where trolls are being attacked for their negative comments. There is a realisation that one must come to where you cannot say whatever you wish online, and we are finally seeing the support from the community on the various social platforms.
It has taken time, and it has taken lives, but we have now started to see change. The positivity and kindness of others are putting an end to bullying. This is from the support of communities on and offline, and the developers of these platforms getting actively involved to find solutions to these terrible offences.
If you’d like to join the fight, start here.
Written by Nathan Biddle
Nathan is a design, advertising and social media student at the University of Sunshine Coast. When not studying full-time, Nathan works part-time at Snowcentral, where he looks after social media and blogging for the snow store. He also interns with Australia University Sport as the Creative Lead to the Marketing Department.