Bullying is certainly nothing new. For years, children and teenagers have been ridiculed for everything from how they look to what they wear to where they live to what hobbies they pursue.
In this increasingly digital age, bullying has become even more prominent, as it spills over from the playground to the online world. Cyberbullying is neither a rite of passage nor a mere aggravation that can be ignored. It has been the driving force behind multiple teen suicides and has prompted school districts to get involved and create policies even though the bullying happens off school grounds. Greater awareness of the pervasiveness of this problem has led the creation of numerous resources, including www.TeenCentral.Net’s award-winning anti-bullying section, which discusses ways to prevent and overcome the negative effects of bullying.
Now, the world’s largest social media site is stepping up to the plate as well. Facebook on Wednesday launched a Bullying Prevention Hub as part of its Family Safety Center. The new section, designed with the help of Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, is intended to give guidance to teens, parents and educators on how to take action against online bullies. In addition to blocking content or users, teenagers have an option to share offensive posts with trusted adults, in an effort to curtail bullying. The goal, according to the site, "is to develop innovative educational approaches that empower people of all ages with the emotional intelligence skills they need to succeed."
No matter how you feel about social media, it is not going anywhere, so this is definitely a step in the right direction.