The Red Cross, Kids and Media, Telenor and the Norwegian Media Authority launch the "Use Your Head" tour: One out of two children have faced digital bullying among friends
(Thomson Reuters ONE via COMTEX) --
Digital bullying is still a widespread problem among Norwegian youths. Half of all children and youths have experienced bullying or teasing online or on mobile phones. The 8th season of Norway's largest campaign against digital bullying, "Use Your Head", starts today.
Norstat has recently published a survey commissioned by Telenor that shows that 56 percent of children and youths between 10 and 15 years say they themselves or friends have received bullying messages online or on their mobile phones. The digital bullying is worst among girls. More than one out of three Norwegian girls say they have received hurtful messages.
Fighting digital bullying with dialogue
"Digital and hidden bullying can hit hard, and a joke or a picture published online can quickly turn into a massive hate campaign. Every day thousands of Norwegian children and youths are bullied or teased on digital platforms, and the tendency is increasing in line with the increase in the use of smartphones and social media. That is why it is completely obvious to us that we must continue the fight against digital bullying," Telenor Norge CEO, Berit Svendsen, says.
Telenor, The Norwegian Media Authority, the Red Cross and Kids and Media have been working together since 2009 to fight digital bullying through the dialogue based attitude campaign, Use Your Head. The campaign is arming children and adults with good tools and advice to prevent and fight digital bullying, and with good results. Telenor's new survey shows that six out of ten children who have taken part in the Use Your Head attitude campaign now have knowledge they need to be able to handle bullying online and on mobile phones.
Support from the Government
The Norwegian Government has supported the Use Your Head tour ever since its launch in 2009.
"Preventative work is extremely important for the safe use of digital media, especially when young people increasingly use new channels that trigger new forms of bullying. Use Your Head is a great example of how preventative dialogue and good tools give results. The government is also very much committed to this area through our 2011 Manifest Against Bullying. We are committed to work to ensure that all children and youths have a good childhood and learning environments with zero tolerance for bullying," Culture Minister, Hadia Tajik, says.
The Norwegian Media Authority has been an important contributor to the Use Your Head tour, both through their competence and with finances, and the sharing of knowledge is helping. Telenor's survey shows that eight out of ten children now know that it is illegal to publish pictures without permission from the person in the picture.
"It is very positive that Use Your Head results in that the participators get enough knowledge to be able to avoid digital bullying. Through this campaign we constantly see a correlation between an increase in knowledge and a reduction in the misuse of digital platforms. This shows that our advice is working," Director of Norwegian Media Authority, Tom Thoresen says.
One out of ten children bullied out of their class
According to Telenor's survey one out of ten children have considered switching their school class as a result of digital bullying. The survey also shows that eight out of ten children know there are adults they can talk to, yet more than half feel it is hard to tell someone if they have experienced digital bullying.
"There are far too many children who wish to switch classes and who dread going to school every single day. It is important to the Red Cross to be able to contribute to safe environments for children and youths to grow up in. "Kors pa Halsen" [Cross my Heart] is the Red Cross' offer to children and youths to talk, call, email or chat with an adult no matter what they want to talk about. At "Kors pa Halsen" we also get a lot of messages every week about bullying, and together with the numbers from Telenor's survey we see that we still have a large and important job to do," Secretary General at the Red Cross, Asne Havnelid, says.
Parents fear digital communication
The survey shows that nearly nine out of ten parents believe new ways of communicating online and on mobile phones can contribute to making bullying more common. 37 percent say they have little control of what their children are doing on their mobile phone or online.
"Children and youths use their mobiles and the internet considerably more after the rise of the smartphone. This makes it easier to hide the bullying from adults and makes it harder for parents to keep track of their children's digital lives. That's why the main focus of this campaign is the dialogue between adults and children," Managing Director at Kids and Media, Merethe Clausen Moe, says.
The Use Your Head campaign consists of two main parts, in the daytime for pupils and in the evening for parents. At the end of spring 2013 the tour will have visited 400 schools, nearly 120,000 pupils and 22,000 parents.
Youths use bullying filter on their mobile phones
As part of the campaign against digital bullying, Telenor has developed a bullying filter aimed at blocking the bullies out from your mobile. Experience shows many are in need of this service.
"We are aiming to contribute to establish a healthy set of norms and values among the users of digital services. In the long run we therefore hope the need of the bullying filter and similar services will disappear. So far, however, there is no doubt there is a need for it, and that many need extra protection. The bullying filter contributes in an important and concrete way," Berit Svendsen says.
For more information, please contact:
Ana Brodtkorb, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Telenor, tel +47 902 09 832, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Astrid Arnslett, Media Advisor at the Red Cross, tel +47 22 05 40 47 / 932 86 460, or email: email@example.com
Pia Kristine Lang, Project Manager for the Norwegian Media Authority, tel +47 915 55 029, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Merethe Clausen Moe, Managing Director at Kids and Media, tel +47 932 26 309, or email: email@example.com
Also visit www.brukhue.com for more information.
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Source: Telenor via Thomson Reuters ONE
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