Last week, popular kids network Nickelodeon announced a partnership with Common Sense Media to battle cyberbullying and other cybersafety issues. The initiative is part of Nickelodeon’s The Big Help, a long-term effort to connect kids to important issues and information prevalent in their lives. Nickelodeon will feature on-air and online PSAs from different stars on the network’s shows, offering advice on what kids and teens should do when confronted with cruel or hostile posts, texts, emails or other online messages. There will also be useful information on Nickelodeon’s website via videos, lessons, quizzes and other interactive content.
Additionally, the initiative will emphasize Common Sense Media’s “Rules of the Road,” a set of useful guidelines that help kids practice safe online and mobile behaviors. Some examples of these tips include protecting privacy and online reputation, assuming everyone can see what is posted online, and balancing time spent online and offline. Specific tips for dealing with bullies are to not reply to hostile messages, blocking bullies from access to Facebook pages or other online profiles, and making a copy of hurtful messages to show to an adult if necessary.
According to Marva Smalls, Nickelodeon’s executive vice president for public affairs, this anti-bullying and online safety campaign will last for two years. The initial inspiration behind the campaign came from the recent prevalence of teen suicides based on cyberbullying. For similar reasons, President Obama held a conference at the White House last month that addressed anti-bullying initiatives. This campaign looks like a positive way for kids and parents alike to gain a better understanding of potential dangers online and how they can be dealt with.
What are your expectations for this online safety campaign? Do you know of other similar initiatives?