How do you stop cyberbullying? Start by raising awareness

Cyberbullying has become a growing concern for parents, educators, policymakers and young people, especially with a few highly publicized and tragic cases helping to perpetuate those fears.

A new report from the European Commission (EC), “Cyber-Bullying and Social Networks among Teenagers,” discusses the best policies for combating online bullying. The report is a result of a recent workshop in Italy, where European professors, a U.S.-based cyberbullying prevention specialist and Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft’s chief online safety officer, explored the ethical challenges of social networks among teenagers.

“Microsoft has been focused on this issue for the last half-decade,” Beauchere writes on the Microsoft on the Issues blog. “We see our role in online bullying specifically, and in Internet safety generally, as both a creator of digital devices and services, and as an informer and proponent of ‘digital citizenship:’ safer, responsible and appropriate use of technology.”

Still, she says, as the paper points out, online bullying (like its in-person counterpart) is largely a social construct and technology cannot cure social shortcomings.

For a full report on the EC’s cyberbullying report, for more on Microsoft’s work in online safety, and for more resources on combating cyberbullying, read Beauchere’s blog.

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Jennifer Warnick
Microsoft News Center Staff