A story in the Washington Post overnight indicates that starting today Facebook will step up its efforts to prevent cyberbullying, and make it easier for parents and kids alike to report incidents of abuse as they occur.
According to the article:
The company will make it easier for teens to contact an adult on the site when they feel bullied, and it will release talking points and guides for teens, parents and educators to deal with harassment.
Facebook’s Bullying Resources section of its website was already pretty extensive before the planned changes, but the site will make improvements in two ways. According to a blog post, which I assume was leaked to the Post, Facebook says that it will make it easier for teens to report bullying themselves (1 click? – edit – Here it is), and will also provide educational material and other external resources for parents to help counsel teens who are being bullied or may be victims.
Short of stopping cyberbullying altogether, ensuring that it is reported or that victims inform parents is the next best thing. You may have seen research out of Europe last month that indicated that 30% of teens insist that if they were bullied, they would not report it to parents. Arming parents with resources to make that 30% a smaller number is a great goal.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.