I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of the Stop, Speak, Support campaign at YouTube Space in London.
I have been working with Internet Matters for a couple of years now. Recording vlogs to help parents keep our children safe while online. Internet Matters are a not-for-profit organisation that has a simple purpose - to help keep children safe in the online world. They offer lots of help and advice to parents.
The Duke of Cambridge with the Royal Foundation has brought together some of the world's most recognisable names in media and tech, as well as children's charities and parents, to work alongside a panel of young people to find a way forward. Together they set themselves the task of creating a safer and more supportive life online. After more than 18 months of work, the Taskforce is unveiling an Action Plan to combat this problem.
I was there as a parent, to listen to and talk about cyberbullying from a parents perspective. I feel like this is the biggest generational gap ever between us parents and our children.
We don't have the experience of advice passed on from our parents as it didn't exist when I was a teenager.
We try and keep our children safe everyday. We hold our children's hands when we cross the road, because we can see that danger. You can't see the dangers online.
Cyberbullying is a horrible thing, it can make children's lives a misery and even lead to children taking their own life.
Please show this video about the Stop, Speak, Support campaign
When I was at school, if people were bullied, once they went home and closed the door, they were in the safety of their own home. The bullies couldn't get to them. With the rise of smartphones and other devices, children can be bullied 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Duke of Cambridge believes that our largest social media, technology, gaming, communication service providers and media companies have a positive opportunity to create the solution to support our children online, and to help children feel empowered to question online behaviour, speak out and support their friends.
I had the pleasure of meeting some very inspirational people. It was an absolute honour and a privilege to meet Prince William. He was really lovely and very engaging.
I'm so pleased that The Royal Foundation have taken cyberbullying seriously and joined all these tech giants to help children and parents stamp it out.
Internet Matters and other charities are playing a very important role.
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, said: “The Stop, Speak and Support campaign gives children a brilliant, positive focus and helps them to tackle cyberbullying in three simple steps.
"Internet Matters is immensely proud to be supporting such a relevant and significant campaign, and being part of an industry task force which is working hard to combat cyberbullying.
"We have published a guide on our website to help parents understand how their child can benefit from the code and give them practical advice on cyberbullying."
Visit internetmatters.org for more information.
I made a little video of my day...
Six easy steps to tackle cyberbullying:
● Talk About It: If your child is using social media or communicating online, don't wait until they experience cyberbullying to talk to them about it. Ensure they are familiar with the Stop, Speak and Support code and understand the importance of making a positive contribution to their online community.
● Beware What They Share: Discuss with your child what they should be sharing online and how it could invite bullies. Talk to your child about what their friends share and how they can help support them if they've shared too much.
● Learn about it. Find out about the apps, social networks and online games they are using and what they are able to share through them. Find out if there is a social media element and who they are talking to online.
● Take Control: Check the apps they are using are age-appropriate, set safety filters on their devices and ensure privacy and settings are at the highest level on social media.
● Take It Seriously: Check in with your child regularly and look out for signs of cyberbullying. Remember that children can be targeted by cyberbullies at anytime and online bullies can be anonymous. Gently probe to see if they have witnessed anyone else being cyberbullied and remind them they can always talk to you.
● Block and Report: Teach your child what to do if they want to prevent or report abusive messages, including keeping the evidence with screengrabs.
The Action Plan:
1. The UK will today become the first country in the world to launch a national, youth-led, code of conduct for the internet - 'Stop, Speak, Support'.
2. For the first time ever two of the world’s biggest social media firms are adapting their platforms to provide direct access to support when bullying strikes. Facebook and Snapchat have worked with the NSPCC to create new functions that will be trialled among 1,000 young people. If successful, The Duke hopes it can become a global blueprint.
3. A major new commitment to design 'Safety Guidelines' has been agreed by the social media and gaming firms in the Taskforce, as well as creating a new compliance process, with the sole drive to commit all platforms to keeping children and young people safe.
4. Taskforce members are building a universal strategy for information, ensuring all online resources for support and help – whether aimed at young people or parents – are high quality, reliable and have common themes.
Stop, Speak, Support – The Code of Conduct Campaign
Our campaign seeks to reach every single 11-16 year old in this country, aiming to empower all young people to take a stand against bullying. Bullying has no innocent bystanders, and all people online should feel able to look out for their friends, to stop the bullies, to speak out and to get support. The young people on our taskforce said they had rules and guides for every part of their life – but not online. This is the 'green cross code' for the web.
It was a fantastic day and I hope that one day cyberbullying is stamped out for good. But we can only do that if we all learn together.