Cyberbullying non-profit organization announces new partnerships and online support resources
Submitted by: The Cybersmile Foundation
Posted: Jun 19, 2014 – 09:00 AM EST
PALO ALTO, Calif., Jun. 19 /CSRwire/ - In honor of Stop Cyberbullying Day on Friday, June 20, The Cybersmile Foundation today announced its expansion to the United States so they can better serve the growing number of cyberbullying victims and their families across the states. The Cybersmile Foundation, which started in the U.K. as the first and only organization dedicated entirely to tackling cyberbullying, is also announcing new partnerships with Twitter and game developer Pixelberry Studios, as well as an online education program sponsored by The Body Shop Foundation.
According to a recent study, cyberbullying has tripled in the last year, with the vast majority (87 percent) of youth in the U.S. having witnessed cyberbullying versus last year when 27 percent of youth witnessed cruel behavior online. Studies show that regular bullying and cyberbullying are increasingly linked to self-harm, violence and suicide.
“Since 2010, The Cybersmile Foundation has helped millions of youth and families through difficult times, restored their confidence and taught them the powerful message of positivity to combat cyberbullying,” said Scott Freeman, co-founder, The Cybersmile Foundation. “We actively respond to more than 10,000 inquiries for help per month across our online channels and helpline. We’ve seen an increase in the number of U.S. youth seeking our support, which is why we see our expansion as a necessity.”
24-Hour Help on Twitter
In partnership with Twitter, Cybersmile has launched @AskCybersmile, a 24-hour online helpline for targets of online abuse seeking help through Twitter. The channel is listed as a trusted resource for ongoing cyberbullying support and safety on Twitter.
"We've been partners with Cybersmile in Europe for some time and have seen the positive and effective way they engage and support cyberbullying victims,” said Patricia Cartes, Head of Global Trust & Safety Outreach, Public Policy, Twitter. “We are excited to see The Cybersmile Foundation expand to the U.S. to address a mounting issue among U.S. youth and provide more support services for victims and their families. The 24-hour @AskCybersmile helpline is the perfect way to create an easily accessible channel and meet youth on a familiar platform. We’re happy to see our partnership grow across the world, ensuring Twitter users have a positive experience and access to the best possible support services.”
New Online Education Program
The Cybersmile Foundation is also introducing a new online education program in partnership with The Body Shop Foundation that gives everyone the opportunity to learn and teach others about cyberbullying. The education program is designed for all ages and will offer a full range of cyberbullying modules available free to youth, parents and schools. The innovative, impactful 10 to 15-minute modules cover topics such as the following:
Cybersmile supporter and board member Deborah Gilboa, MD, otherwise known as Doctor G, is a family physician and parenting expert. She says that: “The launch of Cybersmile in the U.S. provides adults an opportunity to shine a light on cyberbullying and the actions that lead to such behaviors. With the resources that Cybersmile provides for parents and children, they’re in a better position to face the situation no matter what the circumstances or how difficult, and change the outcome.”
Celebrate Stop Cyberbullying Day 2014
Stop Cyberbullying Day is an annual day where Cybersmile is asking everyone who cares about ending cyberbullying and online hate campaigns to join their growing movement for action against online bullying. Follow and participate in the conversation on June 20 using the hashtag, #StopCyberbullyingDay.
To celebrate this day and Cybersmile’s broadening its mission to the United States, the organization has partnered with Pixelberry Studios, the makers of High School Story, for a giveaway where players will have a chance to win two tickets to see One Direction live in concert and a complete set of One Direction dolls signed by the entire band. High School Story, where players create and run their own high school featuring storylines on the theme of cyberbullying, has become an international sensation that’s already reached more than 10 million youth.
Additionally, One Direction is creating a #PositivePlaylist that will be available on Cybersmile’s Spotify profile in support of Stop Cyberbullying Day.
About The Cybersmile Foundation
The Cybersmile Foundation is a multi-award winning cyberbullying non-profit organization committed to tackling all forms of online bullying and hate campaigns.
Our mission is a simple one; we believe everyone should be able to enjoy being part of the new connected online world. However, online abuse and bullying is rife, holding many back from enjoying the benefits that this connected community can provide. This community lacks the social rules of engagement that have been cultivated over generations, governing the behavior and relationships in the communities where we live, play and work – the physical world. We are committed to helping everyone realize their potential by supporting those who are bullied and by changing the behavior of the bullies themselves.