Facebook has long been adamant about preventing cyberbullying, and the company announced recently that more controls are in place so teens can feel safer on the social network.
After consulting with researchers at Yale and Columbia universities, Facebook added new features for teenagers to report content that makes them feel unsafe.
The biggest change is specifically for users who are 13 and 14 years old. If a teen sees a mean or hurtful image that a classmate has posted to Facebook, he or she can click, “This post is a problem,” replacing “Report.” Facebook then prompts the teen to casually answer questions about why the content is worrisome.
There is even a grid for ranking the teen’s emotions. If the teen is more annoyed than fearful, Facebook might prompt the user to send a message to the classmate, saying that the message makes him feel uncomfortable. If the teen user is afraid, there is a prompt to contact a parent or adult. If Facebook believes that the user is showing suicidal tendencies, it will direct them to professionals and Facebook’s own suicide chat hotline.
Robin Stern, a psychoanalyst from Columbia University who worked on the project, explained to CNN how these changes were necessary:
We feel it is important that Facebook provide encouragement for kids to seek out their own support network. The children tell us they are spending hours online. .. they are living their lives with Facebook on in the background.
Readers: Has your kid been bullied on Facebook? How did you handle it?
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