Facebook Working with Child Psychologist to Stop Online Bullying

say_no_to_bullyingFacebook is working with Yale child psychologist Marc Brackett to develop an effective system for teenagers to report bullying on Facebook. The features, which are designed for 13- and 14-year-olds, offers prompts and messages to young Facebook users who have clicked on the option to remove a post. Next to common options like “It’s spam” or “It shouldn’t be allowed on Facebook,” teenaged Facebook users can now report a post with “Someone is bothering or bullying me.” Brackett says that he helped create the system to stop teenagers from making rash and emotional decisions on the site.

“Previously, kids would block right away, they’d un-friend right away, they’d jump right into a sort of emotionally charged way of dealing with it,” he said. “What we wanted to do was help kids pause a little bit. Do some problem solving so they can make the best decision possible to either stay in the relationship by sending a message to the person who created the content, or by reaching out to a trusted adult to get the help they need.”

Some other prompts involve giving teenagers the option to send a message directly to their bully, or offering them the option to message a close friend or family member to report the abuse.