Duke of Cambridge Launches National Action Plan to Tackle Cyberbullying
The Royal Foundation brought together the UKs largest media and technology firms to deliver first ever internet code of conduct – 'Stop, Speak, Support'.
The Duke's national campaign seeks to reach every 11-16 year old in Britain, to empower them to stop cyberbullying, to speak out and seek support.
The Taskforce has prompted unprecedented action from some of the most popular social media and gaming companies to commit to further action to support and protect young people online.
Today, Thursday, The Duke of Cambridge will unveil an Action Plan created by The Royal Foundation's Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, and launch an online code of conduct called 'Stop, Speak, Support'. These initiatives will put the UK on the path to become the global leader in supporting young people online.
His Royal Highness brought together some of the world's most recognisable names in media and tech, as well as children's charities and parents, to work alongside a panel of young people to find ways to tackle cyberbullying. Together they set themselves the task of creating a safer and more supportive life online.
The internet has opened our world to exciting opportunities, giving young people a view of the world their parents could only dream of. But with it has come a new ferocity to bullying that can follow a child wherever they go. Cyberbullying is a serious threat to happy, healthy childhoods and in the most serious cases can ruin lives.
After more than 18 months of work, the Taskforce has created an Action Plan which is designed to kick-start a new approach to support young people when they are using social media and gaming platforms. Chaired by tech entrepreneur Brent Hoberman CBE, the Taskforce members include: The Anti-Bullying Alliance; Apple; BT; The Diana Award; EE; Facebook; Google; Internet Matters; NSPCC; O2; Sky; Snapchat; Supercell; TalkTalk; Twitter; Vodafone and Virgin Media.
The Action Plan includes:
The UK will today become the first country in the world to launch a national, youth-led, code of conduct for the internet - 'Stop, Speak, Support'.
For the first time ever the world's biggest social media firms are adapting their platforms to provide direct access to support when bullying strikes. Facebook and Snapchat have worked with the NSPCC to create new functions that will be trialled among groups of young people. If successful, The Duke hopes it can become a global blueprint.
A major new commitment to design 'Safety Guidelines' has been agreed by the social media and gaming firms in the Taskforce, as well as creating a new compliance process, with the sole drive to commit all platforms to keeping children and young people safe.
Taskforce members are building a universal strategy for information, ensuring all online resources for support and help – whether aimed at young people or parents – are high quality, reliable and have common themes.
Brent Hoberman, Taskforce Chair, said: "Under The Royal Foundation the industry has come together for the first time to design a comprehensive Action Plan to address the important issue of cyberbullying.
"This Action Plan is the first step in positioning the UK as a global leader in this area and we are looking forward to the industry building upon this vital work.
"Working together, we are now much closer to our ambition of making life online safer for young adults."
Baroness Dido Harding, former CEO of Talk Talk and independent advisor to the Taskforce said: “The Taskforce has simultaneously demonstrated how powerful it can be when the whole tech industry works together but also how hard it is to deliver real change.
"The emotional support pilot and national campaign are significant steps forward but we are a long way from delivering what children themselves are asking for so that the design and functionality of social media platforms meets their safety needs. Whilst celebrating the steps forward, we should see this as a step in the right direction rather than the end of the journey”
Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive and Taskforce Charity Partner, said: “We know it can be very difficult for young people being bullied online or in person to tell someone what’s happening to them. Many are simply too scared to speak out or they believe somehow that it’s their fault.
“By helping to create the ‘Stop, Speak, Support’ campaign with the Royal Taskforce and our young volunteers - some who have experienced cyberbullying themselves - we are empowering young people to support their friends who are being bullied online.
“‘Stop, Speak, Support’ provides simple steps for children and teenagers who witness cyberbullying to follow, with an emphasis on encouraging their peers to speak out and seek help from either a trusted adult or Childline, because bullying doesn’t go away on its own.”
Stop, Speak, Support – The Code of Conduct Campaign
The Duke of Cambridge believes that our largest social media, technology, gaming, communication service providers and media companies have a positive opportunity to create the solution to support our children online, and to help children feel empowered to question online behaviour, speak out and support their friends.
All young people should feel able to look out for their friends, to stop the bullies, to speak out and to get support. The young people on the Taskforce said they had rules and guides for every part of their life – but not online. This is the 'green cross code' for the web.
The Stop, Speak Support code includes:
Action 1: Take time out before getting involved, and don’t share or like negative comments.
Action 2: Try and get an overview of what’s really going on.
Action 3: Check the community guidelines for the site you’re on.
Action 1: Ask an adult or friend that you can trust for advice.
Action 2: Use the report button for the social media it’s happening on.
Action 3: Speak to one of the charities set up to help with situations like this, such as Childline.
Action 1: Give the person being bullied a supportive message to let them know they’re not alone.
Action 2: Encourage the person being bullied to talk to someone they can trust.
Action 3: Give the person being bullied a positive distraction from the situation.
The promotional campaign to highlight the code will run for three months until 'Safer Internet Day', and seeks to reach every single 11-16 year old in this country. The aim is to empower all young people to take a stand against bullying.
For more information visit www.stopspeaksupport.com