Cyber bullying is one of the biggest concerns regarding online safety for parents and teachers, which young girls in late primary and early high school are disproportionately affected by in comparison to their male peers. Popular social media networks are failing to do enough to address this problem.
Social media platforms aren’t doing enough to combat cyber bullying, according to many consumers of social media. Combatting bullying is not an easy task though. Common advice regarding bullying prevention is often centred around parents monitoring internet use. There is very little information about how social media platforms should aim to stop bullies actually being bullies in the first place, and many anti-bullying campaigns only focus on how to help victims of bullying, rather than how to give bullies adequate support to help manage their behaviour.
Create online spaces which foster support and positivity. Make cyber-bullying easier to report and quickly dealt with, and address the core reasons behind why young girls bully. Educate and support bullies or potential bullies to manage the behaviour before it begins.
There is lots of evidence that when kids are put under tight restrictions with their internet use, they are more likely to make secret online accounts, and if something goes wrong, less likely to reach out for help. Children need authority and structure in life to thrive, but when they feel controlled and restricted they are often worse off.
HerPod takes a different approach to this problem. Instead of trying to keep kids off social media, it encourages positive social media presence, and puts girls into a self-directed online environment where they need to make the choice themselves to be kind and supportive members to get the most from the app. HerPod gives young girls more control of their own experience while having immediate support if that control is lost. They can have role models that are students just like them and look forward to leadership roles for themselves one day, encouraging them to always put their best foot forward.