Twitter urged to help stop cyberbullying

Monday 21 January 2013

Twitter urged to help stop cyberbullying

Twitter should follow the lead of other major social media companies and support the Federal Governement's new social media guidelines, urged beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO.

Ms Carnell welcomed the new guidelines, which have had backing from operators such as Facebook and Google, saying the measures will help tackle cyberbullying.

She said Twitter’s announcement last week that it was in discussions with the Prime Minister’s office was good news, but a firm commitment is needed to show it is serious about minimising cyberbullying.

‘’Twitter has emerged as an enormously powerful social networking service in recent years but, unfortunately, it has also emerged as a leading tool for cyberbullying,” she said.

“Cyberbullying, like any form of discrimination, is unacceptable. Discrimination can be a very stressful experience and if it continues to occur over a sustained period can lead to depression and anxiety.

“Twitter must realise that the great power it has as one of the world’s leading communication mediums comes with great responsibility.

“The responsible thing to do is to commit to these guidelines and improve how it handles instances of cyberbullying.”

Ms Carnell said beyondblue has developed a cyberbullying fact sheet that can be accessed from or by calling 1300 22 4636.

She said it is particularly important for parents and teachers to talk to young people about how to deal with cyberbullying, especially with students returning to school at the end of the month.

“The fact-sheet is an excellent resource for anyone who may be experiencing cyberbullying or know someone who is,” she said.

“It contains definitions of cyberbullying, advice on stopping it and how to avoid being part of the cyberbullying cycle.

“Unfortunately, cyberbullying is a problem that can affect anyone, but I would particularly encourage those who care for young people to read our fact sheet and to get the young people to read it too."