Consumer News

Facebook fights back against bullies

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In an effort to address a serious problem that torments many children and young adults, Facebook is ganging up on bullies.

A recent Consumer Reports survey shows that in just the past year, 1 million kids were victims of cyber-bullying.

16-year-old Amy Stiefel was devastated after receiving mean posts on her Facebook page

"I just felt attacked by basically just a whole bunch of people for everyone to see," said Stiefel.

Feeling devastated, Stiefel joined "Love Our Children USA," a group that promotes internet safety.

Now Facebook and Time Warner have announced that they are teaming up to encourage more people to report bullying when they see it.

The campaign is being billed "Stop Bullying: Speak Up."

By the time most kids return to school later this summer, Facebook plans to release a new application that will broadcast a user's pledge to stop bullies.

Facebook introduced a feature four months ago to make it easier to report online bullies.

"We project that more than 5 million kids age 10 and under had Facebook accounts last year, even though 13 is the minimum age that Facebook allows. We also found that most of their parents did nothing to monitor their Facebook activities," said Consumer Reports' Rosalind Tordesillas.

Consumer Reports says that any parents that have a preteen using Facebook should be aware. Parents can delete the account by going to Facebook's "privacy policy" page and clicking on a link to fill out the "report an underage child" form.

"In order to protect your child, whatever their age, it's important to supervise their Facebook use. Become their friend and check their profile regularly. You can also connect their Facebook account to your email so you can see incoming messages," said Tordesillas.

Facebook users of all ages should use privacy settings. Go into your account's "privacy settings" page and indicate "friends only."

Also, if you connect your Facebook account to another site, you're allowing that site to collect a lot of your personal information.

Use the "privacy settings" link on the Apps and Websites page connected to your account, to block its access.

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consumer reports, bullying, facebook, consumer news, nydia han
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