Cyberbullying is something many parents and grandparents wouldn't have encountered growing up, but for young people it’s an unpleasant side effect of modern life - recent research reveals that 8 out of 10 parents are concerned their child will be bullied on a group chat.
The research* conducted by Internet Matters, an organisation dedicated to keeping children safe online supported by BT, found that parents of children aged 11 to 13 are the most concerned (85%) that bullying can take place in group conversations on social media. Group chats involve three or more individuals and can leave children open to feeling excluded, victimised or a target of ridicule.
The research was conducted to support the very first Stop Speak Support Day, which takes place on Thursday November 15 as part of Anti-Bullying Week.
Stop Speak Support launched in 2017 by The Duke of Cambridge, as part of The Royal Foundation’s Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, whose members include BT and Internet Matters.
Stop Speak Support is an online code of conduct created by young people to help parents, grandparents, teachers and children spot cyberbullying and understand how to deal with it if they witness it. Check out the video below to find out more.
The code provides three steps for children and young people who witness cyberbullying to follow.
- Stop: Take time before getting involved and don’t share or like negative comments.
- Speak: Ask an adult or friend you can trust for advice.
- Support: Give the person being bullied a supportive message to let them know they are not alone.
Parents, grandparents and teachers are being encouraged to share the code with children to encourage them to take positive steps to stop cyberbullying. To help parents support their children, Internet Matters has created a guide to Stop Speak Support
The Stop Speak Support campaign speaks direct to bystanders, encouraging them not to ignore cyberbullying, said Internet Matters CEO Carolyn Bunting.
“Online groups are one of the most common ways children communicate with each other - whether that be a group that includes their whole class or a few select friends. Crucially, group chats are not public, which makes it challenging for parents to know what’s going on.
“If all UK parents encourage positive peer-to-peer action to tackle cyberbullying, they can have peace of mind that their child will be supported across their online world including group chats.”
*Internet Matters' study of 2,022 parents was carried out in August 2018 by Trinity McQueen.