Monday, 24 February 2014

Time to take action against #cyberbullying - 4 things social media owners should do

A joint post with +Fabian Marrone

Cyber bullies are cowards.  They hide behind their screens to cause untold distress and heartache to the most vulnerable in our society.  In extreme cases their actions have led young people to take their own lives.

As a society and a marketing community are we prepared to allow this to continue?  Isn’t it time that those working in the marketing and digital professions and the managers of social networks worked together to begin the process of stamping out cyber bullying?

Here are four things that should be considered as a starting point:
  1. Amend all terms and conditions to make it crystal clear that any form of online bullying will not be tolerated and be explicit about the penalties. Get all users to explicitly agree to these new conditions.  Those who are reported or suspected of cyber bullying should have their accounts frozen and, if there is sufficient evidence, blocked from using the vehicle of their venom.
  2. Subject to local laws, details of those blocked should be shared amongst the main social media sites to ensure all outlets are restricted.
  3. Social media owners should establish a form of neighbourhood watch, encouraging the online community to identify and report incidents of cyber bullying quickly.
  4. Provide support and assistance to those who are victims of bullies online.

This is merely a starting point but it is clear that action needs to be taken by the digital community now.  

What other ideas do you have for tackling this important issue in our society?