Coming Together to Prevent Cyberbullying

girl with phone being cyber bullied

writer icon Vera P. Jensen     ISB   |   Ethics     🕐 16. Apr. 2019

Two Swedish initiatives are joining forces against cyberbullying. Metodicum and Let’s make love great again are arranging a conference together in Stockholm, for the sole purpose of reducing the presence of hate content and harassment online.

“Cyberbullying is increasingly becoming a work environment issue that affects everyone in society,” Veronika Törnqvist, CEO at Metodicum shared wth Swedish news site SVT about the conference.

According to Metodicum “98 percent of Swedes have access to internet, nine out of ten own a smartphone, 76 percent of internet users have Facebook, 40 percent write personal posts on social media, and 86 percent access internet at work, even for personal use.”

Behind the non-profit initiative Let´s make love great again is Niclas Lagerstam, who feels that youth might have to be the ones who teach adults how to behave online: “In many comments sections it is [actually] adults who make the most insulting comments” emphasising that educating youth on how to better behave online could lead to adults learning it secondhand.

’Troll-filters’ against cyberbullying in Sweden
Most Swedish municipalities can be found online on social media platforms, where their respective communicators have had to implement filters against use of offensive or strong language to try and prevent cyber-harassment, bullying and abuse.

Swear words and sexual or racial slurs, are some of the most commonly blacklisted words that are filtered out. The hope is that by omitting all comments that use certain words, it will minimise ‘trolling’ and online harassment on the municipality-run sites.

The communicators also choose to limit, or are mindful of when, they post on matters that can become controversial, due to an increased likelihood of cyberbullying.

Concern regarding children
It is not only in professional, grown-up, or work environments that cyberbullying and online abuse occurs in Scandinavian countries.

In Norway, a high number of children have experienced online abuse, and Norwegian police and Save the Children have spoken out in concern. The abuse occurs on a range of well-known social media and game platforms.

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