Rising Online Bullying Statistics Prompt A New Anti-Bullying App
A new cyberbullying app found it’s way on the hit NBC show Sharktank. Trisha Prabhu is the 17-year-old creator behind the anti-online bullying app called ReThink. Prabhu inspiration for the app is rooted in when she was thirteen years old. On her Google Play Store app page, she states that the app’s creation is due to her hearing about a cyberbullied eleven-year-old who died by suicide.
The app’s purpose is to detect hurtful text messages and prevent the user from sending the text message and stop bullying. This poses one big question and that is, can this app stop or prevent cases of cyberbullying? This is not the first type of app to implement artificial intelligence to prevent hurtful messages. Instagram recently rolled out a new feature that will delete hurtful comments and block users before the online bullying messages are even sent. The app is targeted at adolescents, but the app seems to be suited for youth in grade school through high school.
Private Companies Take Aim at Cyberbullying
Google is another company targeting cyberbullying. With an online game called Interland, children guide themselves through four games that teach them how to behave online. These games teach children to now overshare personal information, how to avoid phishing attempts, be skeptical of other online users, and how to report a cyberbully.
In the demonstration video on Sharktank, Prabhu shows an eager high school student attempting to find a homecoming date. In one daring text message, the student asks his potential date. Then, when the date does not feel the same, she is about to reply to the message by calling her suiter ugly. Before she taps on the send button, the ReThink app asks if she wants to send that message.
Social media is like a coin. On one side of the coin, social media can connect like-minded individuals and provide a support group of strangers for them. On the other side of that same coin, social media can promote a vicious cycle of hateful comments, bullying, sleep issues, and mental health problems. It’s evident that online bullying is becoming a severe problem. Michigan will implement a new law in March 2019 that makes cyberbullying a crime.
Cyberbullying is on the rise among young people with assistance from social media sites, apps, and text messages. Around 25 percent of adolescents report that they have suffered repeated cyber bullying attempts through cells phones and the internet. The organization DoSomething conducted a survey and found that 68% of teenagers agree that cyberbullying is a serious problem. When there are 3 billion active users on social media in America alone, it’s no surprise why Prabhu created her app.
Are Cyberbullying and Traditional Bullying Different?
In many cases, real-life bullying extends from the hallways, playgrounds, and bus into the online world. Bullying prevention starts in schools and online by reporting harassment and mean messages to social media networks. There are many ways that you can spot and stop cyberbullying. One of the easiest ways to stop an online bully is to take a screenshot of their message or comments for your records and to report the posts and profiles to social media networks.
Mental illness is not always the result of bullying though. It is proven that bullying victims are two to nine times more likely to die by suicide. Long term studies and findings on bullying discovered that victims show elevated signs of social isolation, depression, and anxiety. Victims of bullying also showcase an increased chance of self-harming and suicidal behaviors. However, bullying has long-lasting effects on mental health. It’s estimated that those who experienced cyberbullying and bullying leads to mental health problems in late childhood, adolescence, and can carry into adulthood. The ReThink app aims to be a preventative measure for instances of cyberbullying and the long term effects it has on someone’s mental health.
The ReThink App In Action
The free app is available on both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. I decided to download the app on my iPhone X to try it out. First, you download the app, second head to your settings, third you will click on keyboards, and fourth, you will add the ReThink Keyboard. You can control the access of app. However, even though full control is an option, you do not need to grant the app those permissions. The app does not stop at text messages. It extends into Snapchat, Facebook Messanger, Instagram comments, and other social media platforms. Once the app was downloaded, I put it to the test on a text message to my roommate and best friend.
Currently, ReThink has 1,070 reviews with a four-star rating on Google’s Play Store. The app is nice because it does what it sets out to do and can be used on multiple social media apps. However, on the iPhone, the keyboard does slightly lag. Other than that, it is a nice, convenient that can have a significant impact. Most of the reviews praise the app for helping them think about what they are going to send. Cleveland Clinic doctor who was fired over her Anti-Semitic tweets.
How Digital Forensics Can Stop a Cyberbully
Unless you live in Michigan, where cyberbullying will be a crime in March 2019, law enforcement will not dedicate the resources to stopping it. Yes, you can take screenshots and report posts, but typically, there is a gray area surrounding the law and online bullying. This gray area means that cyberbullies can get away with their actions. SecureForensics goes beyond a screenshot. We’ll dedicate the time and resources to help you not only stop a bully but build a court admissible report.
The Cyberbullying Research Center’s 2016 survey of cyberbullying victimization sampled 5,700 middle and high school students between the ages of 12 and 17. Of those surveyed, 33.8 or, approximately 1,920 were bullied online. In regards to a mean picture posted online 11.1% or, 632 students said they were victims of that method of bullying. Continuation of cyberbullying and online bullying needs to stop. The end of bullying and cyberbullying means increased mental health, happier students, and a safer online environment.
Are you a victim of cyberbullying? If so, contact us today for a free phone consultation at 1-800-288-1407. Our digital forensics team will help you put an end to cyberbullying and build a court admissible report. We want to help you feel safe online again.