Saturday, November 9, 2013

Facebook and the Fight Against Bullying

This past Wednesday, Facebook launched the Bully Prevention Hub, a place where Facebook users have "Tools, tips and programs that help people stand up for each other."  Facebook joined forces with Marc Brackett Ph.D., Robin Stern Ph.D. and their team at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to give Facebook users of all ages with the tools and to help them address issues with bullying behavior.  Facebook and the team at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence have the goal of empowering users of all ages to create a climate where people feel connected and safe.  This new hub gives tips and resources for teens & friends, parents & guardians, educators & mentors to reach out and ask for help when they or someone they know is being bullied.  This is the first time that an internet company is integrating a bully prevention tool into with its existing product.
Photo Credit: Facebook
The Facebook and Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence define bullying as:
Bul·ly·ing (verb) Aggressive behavior that is repeated over time and involves an imbalance of power. This imbalance can be the social status, age, or even physical size of the perpertrator. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Facebook promoted the new Bully Prevention Hub in a post on their Safety Page :

Today, we are launching the new Bullying Prevention Hub, offering important tools to help people stand up for each other when they see bullying behavior, both online and off.

The new Hub, created by Facebook engineers and our partners at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, is the first time an internet company is integrating bullying prevention tools directly into a product. It’s just the latest step in a longstanding commitment to protecting the safety of our users, especially young people.

Today on Facebook, we encourage anyone who sees harassment or bullying to report it, and we even offer teens the ability to connect with a trusted adult to get help as part of our social reporting tool.

With the new Bullying Prevention Hub, we’ll be arming bullying victims with information on what they can do when they see harassing content, recommendations to adults who want to help, and even guidance to the person accused of bullying on what he or she has done and how he or she can do better.

These scripts and accompanying information are the result of years of groundbreaking research from dozens of community organizations, academics and others on the topic of bullying prevention. Rather than simply focus on awareness of this information, we’re putting it at people’s fingertips at the moment they need it most.

We’re also excited to announce the 4th Compassion Research Day, where we’ll be sharing preliminary data on how people are using the new Hub, and everything else we've learned in the last year about applying the science of how people relate to each other to social technology. Compassion Research Day, scheduled for December 5 at Facebook’s Menlo Park Campus, will feature speakers from Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, Berkeley’s The Greater Good Science Center and more.
Currently, the hub is featuring three promotional videos titled:
  • Introducing the Bullying Prevention Hub
  • We are All Daniel Cui
  • Social Resolution of Conflicts on Facebook
There are may supporters of the Bully Prevention Hub.  Lee Hirsh, the director of The BULLY Project have partnered up with the hub and released a statement through Facebook saying, "Nothing replaces the power of teens to create a culture where bullying is uncool, and that starts with social and emotional learning. These resources will empower the hundreds of thousands of followers of The Bully Project."

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