There are way too many horrible stories in the news lately about bullying. Decades of research and offline programs have had a range of success and I believe now is a great time for technology to play a larger role.
What would happen if great minds in technology and research got together to develop solutions to help the issue of bullying? Who’s ready to start, sponsor or participate in anti-bullying hackathons? Maybe they won’t solve it, but they will build something better than what exists today.
Reading the latest stories demonstrates just some of the opportunities to help curb this issue by examining the multiple ways that bullying presents itself, and maybe some idea starters for how to help. That being said, I can’t even begin to understand all the ways that it happens, but there are plenty of people that can so let’s get them involved.
Here’s a short list of things to start building your ideas off of, continue to add your own:
- Better privacy and notification controls on social networks
- Better monitoring of online picture tagging (like not being able to tag people in inanimate objects)
- Better monitoring of comments, posts, etc..
- Online educational programs for everyone involved in the bullying ‘cycle’ including bullies, the bullied, friends of either side and parents and educators of either side
- Online support group access, participation and ties to offline support
- How to make the absolute best resources available when someone is searching key bullying terms
- Ways to notify the right people (parents, authorities, kids themselves) when bullying acts occur
- How to privately notify others when someone is searching key bullying (or things people do as a result of bullying like suicide) terms and asking for help online because they may be afraid to offline
- Checklists – research has shown that checklists can powerfully change situations, when someone asks someone for help, is there some kind of checklist to make sure all key areas are covered (since I’m mentioning a hackathon and this is more research based let’s just call it online checklists)
- Ways to streamline and help those investigating allegations (schools, police forces) efficiently process bullying investigations
If it was you or your kid wouldn’t you want a better way.