Cyber-bullying: Prince’s ‘stop, speak, support’ code of conduct
Facebook and Snapchat are set to bring in ways to directly help young people bullied online, following an intervention by Prince William.
The move is part of a code of conduct drawn up by a taskforce of technology companies, children’s charities and parents headed by the prince.
It aims to encourage young people to stop negative behaviour, tell a responsible adult and support victims.
Other firms, including Google and EE, have also taken part in the project.
The Duke of Cambridge became interested in helping to tackle the issue shortly after his son Prince George was born, when he heard about a boy who killed himself because of online abuse.
Lucy Alexander told the prince about her son Felix, who killed himself after being targeted on social media.
She spoke of her son’s descent into depression: “It just ate away at him inside, I think, but I had no idea of the depth of his despair at all.”
Prince William also heard from Chloe Hine, who, aged 13, tried to take her own life after enduring sustained online abuse.
The prince highlighted the danger of anonymous bullying – which he says can come directly into a young person’s room but remain invisible to those around them.
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“It is one thing when it happens in the playground and it’s visible there and parents and teachers and other children can see it.
“Online, you’re the only one who sees it, and it’s so personal,” he said.
He also warned against cyber-bullies being able to ignore the real-world consequences of their actions.
“I think it is worth reminding everyone what the human tragedy of what we are talking about here isn’t just about companies and about online stuff – it’s actually real lives that get affected,” he added.