Fighting cyber-bullying at the source

Fighting cyber-bullying at the source

Quebec City (Quebec) 19 November 2014 – The Quebec City Police Department have set up a cyber-bullying team to attack the problem at its source.

The team is going out to local schools and explaining to the youth, starting at grade four, the dangers of putting too much information on their social media accounts.

When Geneviève Audet, part of the anti-cyber-bullying team, asked a class of students how many of them had a Facebook account, timidly half the class raised their hands. These kids are 9 and 10 years old and the legal age to have a Facebook account is 13.

Of course Facebook is not the only social media to be used by kids but, it is the most popular and the most widely consulted, so the team from the Quebec Police Department uses it as the example.

Basically, the idea is to simply tell the kids that what they put on Facebook, or any other media for that matter, can and probably will, be used by someone else somewhere around the world.

The risk of putting indecent photos of yourself, or saying nasty things about people, can be used against you and can even ruin your reputation for the rest of your life is the important message being put forward.

With the new cyber-bullying law 56, the victim and the instigator can both face charges. Officer Audet, in her presentation to students, has lots of examples to show the children what can happen when predators or cyber-bullying attacks take place and the consequences they imply. The problem of cyber-bullying is huge and with the new law, law enforcers can trace the guilty parties and try to help the victims and the perpetrators at the same time.

The local school awareness program should be helpful to students and teachers alike because, when it comes from a police officer, most kids tend to take the lectures a bit more seriously.

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