A call on social media networks to do more to combat cyberbullying

It used to be that kids could feel safe from bullies at home. To our great dismay, this is no longer the case. Cyberbullying allows for the terror to continue after school.

Prince William is adding his voice to the conversation. In a recent interview he said “It is one thing when it happens in the playground and it’s visible… parents and teachers and other children can see it. Online, you’re the only one who sees it, and it’s so personal. It goes straight to your room.”

After speaking to a mother of a terrible incident in which a young teen committed suicide after enduring bullying for a long period of time, Prince William was inspired to take action. He opened the Royal Foundation’s Cyberbullying Taskforce meeting at Google’s Headquarters in London and announced his proposal for a code of conduct to be instituted. This code is called ‘Stop, Speak, Support’, and is geared towards encouraging young internet users to stop participating in negative communication, to report cyberbullying incidences to the social media platform, and to support others that are being victimized.

Procedures of reporting bullying online are lacking so there has been a widespread call from a variety public bodies, such as the Royal Family, national charities, and the UK Government on tech companies to improve on their guidelines.

At the final meeting of the cyberbullying taskforce, Prince William urged tech giants to “innovate, collaborate and educate” users on the impact of cyberbullying.

The NSPCC (The UK Children’s Charity) is calling for a legally binding rulebook to be instituted that will require social media sites to protect children from online abuse.

Now, the UK Government is asking internet companies, such as Google and Facebook to pay for measures to tackle and raise awareness about online bullying. The proposed levy on social media firms and other web giants is among a series of measures laid out by governments to improve internet safety. However, it is only voluntary.

The UK’s Culture secretary said “Our ideas are ambitious – and rightly so. Collaboratively, government, industry, parents and communities can keep citizens safe online, but only by working together.”

Cyberbullying is a phenomenon of this day and age, and it is proving detrimental to the health of our young generation. The more we can work together to tackle the issue, the better.