Safer Internet Day Takes on Bullies

NicoleMotta - February 9, 2016 - 12:19 PM

Safer Internet Day Takes on Bullies

Today, Tuesday, February 9, is International Safer Internet Day. But what does that mean?

Safer Internet Day has been marked in Europe for the past 13 years, but news of this day to squash cyberbullies hasn't made headway in the US until more recently. This year, the US is hosting an event at Universal Studios Hollywood, featuring activists and even professional wrestlers. World Wrestling Entertainment's Mike Mizanin, who plays a villain, or "heel," called "The Miz," will attend the event, as well as Hulk Hogan and other wrestlers. Hogan previously created an after-school special on anti-bullying nearly three decades ago in partnership with Nickelodeon. When asked about the wrestlers participating in the event, Larry Magid, one of the event's organizers, said, "There's a difference between performing as a bad guy and being a decent person."

One of the event's sponsors, ASKfm, has first-hand experience with the dangers of cyberbullying. Back in 2013, the social networking site was linked to UK teens' suicides after the teens had been victims of cruel messages. The site was purchased by which has since revamped the platform for teens. In January, the Q&A platform overhauled its iOS and Android apps. This update brought a new invite and notification system, Giphy integration, and support for @mentions and viewing users who "liked" your answers. The new system also adds a toggle switch that lets users stay in control of whether or not they accept anonymous questions. "We continue to build out the product and offer features that encourage positive use, the more negative use on the site will decrease," said ASKfm in a statement. "We are taking down 40 percent more content than we were a year ago, as well [as] working hard to educate our community on our blocking and flagging features."

Photo: © iStock.
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