Thursday 19 November 2009

MTV: BBC Bullyproof

The BBC has launched a new campaign targeting online bullying. ‘Bullyproof’, promoted primarily through the Radio1 and 1Xtra channels, brings together the biggest names in social networking over a six week period in an effort to raise awareness of this increasingly apparent issue and provide advice to listeners on Bullyproofing themselves. The question is, can this really help? MTV Sticky caught up with the Interactive Editor for BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra to get a better understanding of the initiative...

Where did the idea for Bullyproof come from?

We know that people spend a lot of time having fun online with their friends on social sites, but some of that time is marred by bad experiences with bullying behaviour. The opportunity to team up with some of the most relevant sites for young people was too good to miss. It means we can spread the word about being confident while sites like Facebook, Bebo and MySpace can focus on ways to help users protect themselves.

I never knew there was such a big issue with online bullying. Can you name some of the things that would be classed as online bullying?

Online bullying can take lots of different forms, sometimes people don’t even realise that they are being a bully. Bullying online can range from things such as posting a picture of someone on a site without their permission, to offensive messages to making a silly comment on someone’s wall, to being hounded with unwanted friend requests. It might be that someone tags an unfortunate picture of you without you knowing or uploading videos of you that you don’t want people to see, or even starting up a group on a social media, that isn’t pleasant. It can take many different forms.

Why didn’t you include Twitter in your campaign? I think it is one of the biggest sites where people get bullied…

We are working with Twitter; we felt that delivering the campaign doesn’t require a formal conversation to get the best results. We felt the best way to engage Twitter was to use the platform to spread our message. Our DJs are twittering and we have many friends in this space to share best practice!

What do you hope to see as a result of Bullyproof ?

We continually strive to raise awareness of issues that affect young people in the UK and we felt the issue of online bullying needed to be tackled. We hope that with this campaign we can raise awareness and help young people protect themselves online.

With the support of UK music acts like Cheryl Cole, Kano, The Saturdays and Alesha Dixon, I’m sure this will be a successful campaign for an issue that affects many.

By Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson

This also appeared over at MTV: HERE