First Technology Fighting Cyberbullying In Australia

Frederique Bros
on 20 March 2016

Have you seen bullying on social media? Report it – it’s time to end hurtful comments taking over our conversations.

First Technology Fighting Cyberbullying In Australia

Around 463,000 young people are bullied online in Australia each year with victims being impacted by cyber-bullying to the point where some engage in self-harm and suicidal ideation.* The National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, Australia’s largest anti-bullying event in schools will be held on 18 March, and a new technology has been launched to help prevent online bullying.

Reword is the first technology to fight cyberbullying in Australia.

reword is the first technology of its kind in Australia. It works by identifying cruel or intimidating words in real time to prompt online users to reword their message or post.

How Does It Work

reword picks up abusive words, phrases and sentences. The red line prompts you to make a better choice.

What makes reword so unique is the red line. Similar to a spell checker, the line intuitively goes through insulting statements, interrupting impulsive behaviour and prompting you to reconsider your words before you post.

The tool aims to encourage a change in the way people communicate online, and gives people a chance to reword what they say.

Over 450,000 Australian children were victims of cyberbullying in 2013

Similar to spellcheck functionality, a red line appears through words to highlight bullying behaviour, encouraging online users to reconsider their choice of words. 

Chris Tanti, CEO of headspace, Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, said, “Sadly, online bullying is endemic. We’re encouraged that this is a tangible online tool that will genuinely help change behaviour and reduce incidents of bullying.” 

Research through headspace has shown that 79 per cent of young people (12-25 years) are willing to reword when they see the red line.* *

“The pressures on children in social media are intense. reword is one way we can help empower them in real time,” he added. 

The tool also encourages the online population to collaborate and become co-authors of new bullying terms, giving them ownership over reword while building the tool’s intelligence and lexicon. Youth groups have been heavily involved in the creation and testing of the tool and three schools in Melbourne are piloting reword. 

The technology was created by Leo Burnett Melbourne in partnership with headspace. 

Adults and young people alike are being encouraged to download the free tool by visiting:

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