Cyberbullying is the electronic revolution of bullying. Predominately consisting of;
abusive comments, sharing pictures without consent, hacking, creating specific websites to target people and blackmail.
With 83 per cent of 12-15-year-olds owning a smart phone and 99 per cent going online for nearly 21 hours a week, young people are increasingly at risk of witnessing or being a victim of cyberbullying (Ofcom, 2017). This has also been echoed by the European Parliament whose recent research highlighted that the most common age young people are likely to experience cyberbullying is 13-15 years old.
Although face to face bullying is more common than cyberbullying, it’s important that the potency of online be acknowledged. Unlike bullying in the real word, online bullying can be truly relentless. The Children’s Society and YoungMinds inquiry report found that online bullying can have at least as much of an impact on mental health as it does offline – if not more. As it can follow students wherever they go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via social media, gaming and mobile phones. The report also found that 12.2 per cent of victims of cyberbullying had viewed websites associated with suicide compared to 3.7 per cent of people who were not involved in cyberbullying. These figures show the serious mental health problems that are related with cyberbullying and highlight the need for action.
This is why tootoot was created, particularly for online bullying. To give children and young people a trusted, confidential way to voice their concerns as soon as something makes them feel unhappy or unsafe.
Another worrying aspect of online bullying is the tremendous momentum it can gain, with lots of people witnessing and joining in due to sharing, liking and commenting.
However, this also means that, unlike face to face bullying, there is clear evidence that can be captured. Which makes it easier for teachers and safeguarding leads to get a clear picture of what has happened.
Tootoot makes it easy for pupils to attach screenshots as evidence to their messages. Schools really like this feature because it allows pupils to send messages and screenshots to tootoot as soon as something happens. Teachers have found that these messages are generally more considered and detailed which in turn helps them to stop issues quickly, before they develop into more serious problems, which leads to a more successful outcome for the pupil.
An Executive Head from a tootoot school in the North West found that, “tootoot is 6x more effective than face-to-face reporting when children need to talk about bullying and their mental health”.
If you would like to try out tootoot out in your school and see how it can complement your anti-bullying practices, sign-up to our free cyberbullying digital prevention pack that includes six weeks access to tootoot and tootmood.