New online technology aims to change bullying behaviour
Around 463,000 young people are bullied online in Australia each year with victims being impacted by cyber-bullying to the point where some engage in self-harm and suicidal ideation.
'Reword' is the first technology of its kind in Australia. It works by identifying cruel or intimidating words in real time to prompt online users to reword their message or post.
Similar to spellcheck functionality, a red line appears through words to highlight bullying behaviour, encouraging online users to reconsider their choice of words.
Chris Tanti, CEO of headspace, Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, said: “sadly, online bullying is endemic. We’re encouraged that this is a tangible online tool that will genuinely help change behaviour and reduce incidents of bullying.”
Testing has shown that 79 per cent of young people (12-25 years) are willing to 'reword' when they see the red line.
“The pressures on children in social media are intense. Reword is one way we can help empower them in real time,” he added.
The technology was created by Leo Burnett Melbourne in partnership with headspace.
Adults and young people alike are being encouraged to download the free tool as of March 18 by visiting: http://www.reword.it