Through his work with young people, mental health charities and as a parent himself, The Duke of Cambridge has become increasingly concerned about cyberbullying and the impact it can have on children and young people.
A recent nationwide survey revealed that 55% of young people have received hurtful comments online, with 18% experiencing cyberbullying – and the problem is growing. There’s been a dramatic increase in mobile devices and social media sites, which young people view as integral to their world.
In May 2016, The Duke of Cambridge brought together a taskforce of leaders in the technology and charity sectors to develop an industry-wide response to the online bullying of young people.
A panel of young people brought together by the Taskforce revealed that while many of them admitted they have been cyberbullied, they also explained how easy it can be to join in with negative conversations online, quickly becoming a contributor to the abuse. The study also revealed how easy it can be for young people to just stand back and watch cyberbullying unfold.
The panel asked the Taskforce for help in three ways:
1. To identify a set of actions for young people to help them behave better online, and for these to appear on the social media sites they are using.
2. For these actions to form part of a campaign that also reflects the fact that young people see social media and the internet as positive platforms.
3. For parents, carers and teachers to help remind young people how to behave online, just as they do with their usual offline behaviour.
As adults, we have conversations every day with young people, guiding them on how they should behave at school, with friends and when they go out. This generation is asking us to offer them the same support about how to behave online and on social media.
The Taskforce has now turned its attention to delivering these outcomes, and it’s clear that by working together, younger and older generations can help stop cyberbullying, and make the internet a better, kinder place.
Look out for further announcements on the work of the Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying at www.royalfoundation.com/our-work/cyberbullying
HRH The Duke of Cambridge
“The internet creates a wealth of positive opportunities for young people across the world. Unfortunately, digital technologies can also generate new and significant avenues for bullying. As a parent, I have been alarmed by the pressures young people are facing from their peers and of the tragic consequences this can have. Last year, I set up a taskforce bringing social media companies together with internet service providers to develop a new, positive strategy to combat online bullying. I hope that the outcomes from this Taskforce will help to ensure the internet remains something young people and their parents can embrace with confidence.
The Taskforce team:
The members of the Taskforce include The Anti-Bullying Alliance, Apple, BBC, BT, The Diana Award, EE, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Internet Matters, NSPCC, O2, Sky, Snapchat, Supercell, TalkTalk, Twitter, Vodafone, Virgin Media and YouTube. Together the members will be supporting campaigns for young people, parents, carers and teachers.