Picture from “Mean Tweets” Video Aims to Stop Cyberbullying
The old adage "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is a gross falsity, especially when it comes to nasty texts or cruel comments posted online. Image ©Dollar Photo Club/Focus Pocus LTD

“Mean Tweets” Video Aims to Stop Cyberbullying

This past week, a Starbucks’ campaign to talk about race issues showed just how caustic the world of social media can be. One of the company’s executives even temporarily deactivated his Twitter account because of the “cascade of negativity.”

But what happens when those negative posts are aimed at teens and children by their peers? A Canadian Safe School Network initiative recently released a video of teens reading mean tweets about themselves. The video is based on Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets segment where celebrities share negative comments they’ve been sent on social media. The first few comments in the Safe School video are followed by a laugh track but the laughter fades away as the video continues and the impact of those tweets on the teens becomes more apparent.

Stu Auty, president of the Canadian Safe School Network, said, “Adult celebrities have the maturity and confidence to overcome these hurtful words. Children don’t. For regular kids, words can cut like a knife. Cyberbullying is an epidemic that invade their lives and leaves many feeling like there’s no way out.”

Almost one in ten Canadian teens admit to being bullied online. The numbers are even higher among American teens according to DoSomething.org who says nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online.

The video initiative was designed to raise awareness of cyberbullying and to raise funds to spread the message. The video may also give parents and teachers a way to introduce the topic and talk to their kids about how to deal with cruel online comments.

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