In The News: White House Launches Anti-Bullying Site; Facebook and Formspring Announce Anti-Bullying Capabilities

In the news this week, the White House launched a new anti-bullying web site called stopbullying.gov. This site provides resources to teens, parents and teachers, to help educate and prevent the effects of bullying on the nation’s youth. The site was launched this morning, on the first day of the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention, by President Obama.

President Obama specifically cited the dangers of cyber-bullying, in his recorded message posted to Facebook. In the message, he said “We’re seeing how harmful [bullying] can be for our kids, especially when it follows them from their school to their phone to their computer screen.”

Facebook and Formspring Add New Anti-Bullying Capabilities

Timed in conjuction with the event, both Facebook and Formspring announced new features designed to combat cyber-bullying on their forums.

Facebook will offer “social reporting,” which will allow users to report offensive use of Profiles, Groups, Pages and Events. This adds to current capabilities which allow users to report offensive photos or Wall posts. Facebook also intends to offer educational videos and resources on cyber-bullying, along with teen discussion forums on the subject.

Formspring announced their work with MIT, to develop methods for detecting cyber-bullying behavior patterns in its forums.

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