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In Kids & Family

Teen safety on the Internet is a concern for many parents.

Facebook adds anti-bullying application


In response to the recent bullying incidents that, in some cases, led to teen suicides, Facebook prompted SafetyWeb.com, the leading Web-based online monitoring software for parents, to introduce a new "Find Help" application.

This is the first online help tool of its kind that enables teens using Facebook to quickly report any violation to Facebook officials, while also connecting to the leading safety and crisis support organizations related to cyberbullying, child exploitation, suicide and depression, child abuse, runaways, drug abuse, hate issues, alcohol abuse and LGBT issues.

Milwaukee mom Erin Reese, who has two teenage daughters, approves of the application.

"I think this is a great idea. A lot of kids are getting bullied on Facebook, and to have the option making one click and getting support is going to benefit someone somewhere," says Reese.

Parents are encouraged to add the "Find Help" to their teen's Facebook profile and, in turn, it provides useful phone numbers and links for reporting incidents if they come in contact with inappropriate behavior or content online. Organizations including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's CyberTipline, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and Facebook's Abuse Reporting process are a few of the groups available through this application.

"It is important that kids using Facebook and other social media be aware of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's CyberTipline and have access to a tool that makes it easy to report incidents to us," said Ernie Allen, President & CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Social networks play a significant role in the lives of millions of people worldwide, particularly "tweens" and teens. Although there are tremendous benefits to connecting with others in these forums, there is also a wide array of negative aspects and dangers from cyber bullying to online predators that are affiliated with these online interactions.

"Every day we see stories about teens who needed a helping hand online and
didn't know where to turn," said Hemanshu Nigam, Safety Web advisor. "I commend Safety Web for providing a simple and easy one stop solution to assist in a teen's moment of crisis."

Reese says her daughter had a mild online bullying experience, but it made her realize how quickly issues crop up on the Internet.

"Someone from my daughter's school posted a list on their Facebook page of the fattest girls in the school, and my daughter's name was on it. The list was removed within an hour or two, but still, this deeply affected our family. It still affects us," says Reese. "And the saddest part is, my daughter isn't fat at all."

SafetyWeb is an online monitoring software for parents that helps protect children's online reputation, privacy and safety. The service scours social networking sites to deliver reports and alerts on dangers associated with kids' and teens' online activity. SafetyWeb provides automated parental alerts for cyberbullying, suicide / depression, drugs / alcohol, profanity and custom words.


Talkbacks

Leland | Nov. 3, 2010 at 7:53 a.m. (report)

And what is going to happen to these kids that are bullying? Probably nothing. They will go on to the next kid with no consequences at all. So whats the point? These kids murder with little or no consequences from state simply because of their ages. That is disgusting. I have no respect for our judicial system any more. Anyone who thinks physical discipline for a child is wrong it is probably your children who are the bullies. When someone sends him/her home to you in a box it is your fault for not raising the child.

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