BullyBlocker: Keep Your Child Safe from Cyberbullies on Facebook
Beyond the Bully
To prevent cases of adolescents being cyberbullied on Facebook, BullyBlocker alerts parents of potential cases where their child may be a victim of this form of online aggression. Indeed, over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and well over half of the victims do not tell their parents when cyberbullying occurs. Addressing this epidemic, BullyBlocker gauges at-risk adolescents who are most emotionally vulnerable by using a combination of computer science coupled with psychology research.After being granted various permissions, BullyBlocker extracts information from the child’s Facebook data to be analyzed for signs of cyberbullying. This includes hurtful comments, embarrassing photos, and other methods of virtual harassment. The results are then converted into numerical factors and plugged into computer algorithms that compute the Bullying Rank, determining how well this child fits the profile of a cyberbullying victim.Moreover, one of our design goals is the inclusion of mechanisms that enable improving the accuracy of our cyberbullying identification model.
Friend or Foe?
Without BullyBlocker, the best way for a parent to monitor their children on Facebook is by either logging into their accounts or creating an account and ‘friending’ them. Despite taking these precautions, a parent is still limited to what they can find: it’s easy to miss or overlook potential red flags when trying to keep up with the demanding task of watching their children’s Facebook interactions, as either a moderator or a friend. Manually monitoring their accounts may be the only obstacle preventing a parent from identifying a case of virtual harassment. BullyBlocker overcomes this limitation. In fact, BullyBlocker doesn’t even require a parent to have a Facebook account in the first place.Of course, the issue of the adolescent’s privacy is at question. Rest assured, that although our application requires access to the child’s Facebook interactions, the information and conversations we identify that include online aggression remain anonymous, thus protecting the privacy of the child. The parent is only notified of alarming aggregated statistics and a summarizing numerical risk value – the Bullying Rank – communicating to the parent only the potential degree at which their child may be cyberbullied.A parent will be neither a ‘friend’ nor a foe to their child. Thanks to BullyBlocker – a parent can remain a parent.
An ongoing project, the model we’ve designed to identify cyberbullying builds on previous research findings in the area of cyberbullying in adolescents. Consequently, we’ve designed our model to identify the warning signs and the states of vulnerability that can be identified from available data. Previous literature influences what characteristics are considered in the identification of cyberbullying as well as the probability of bullying within identifiable groups, where victims are typically children on the “fringe” of various peer groups, e.g., newcomers.In addition to our first model, our team is currently in the process of implementing an initial version of the application. After reaching this milestone, we will evaluate the accuracy of the model and explore mechanisms to improve it, integrating parental feedback and machine learning techniques.
We Need You
BullyBlocker has the potential to be an incredible resource for parents. Lately, there has been an overwhelming amount of stories in the news regarding young victims of cyberbullying, and the impact of cyberbullying on their lives. Your support and generous contributions will help to further the creation of the BullyBlocker application and, in so doing, will be putting a tool in the hands of parents that will enable them to monitor their child’s risk of being cyberbullied. BullyBlocker would provide parents with awareness and a chance to help their child in time to make a difference. The goal isn’t to replace parenting, but rather to provide a tool to help parent.
Your generous contributions will aid in the creation of the BullyBlocker application. A good deal of research and application development has already been completed. However, there is still a substantial amount of research and development necessary to complete the project. The money donated will enable the creation of student scholarships, each in the amount of $2,500; these scholarships will be awarded to student research assistants.Donations will also allow for the purchase of both hardware equipment and computing resources to be used for application development and to cover travel expenses for students to attend research conferences. We can see the enormous potential our application has to decrease the risks associated with adolescents being cyberbullied and hope you will join our cause. Any donations are considered as charitable contributions toward a non-profit organization.
- Facebook page (crowdfunding updates and news):
- Research project website (research related news, publications and posters):
- Cyberbullying statistics (used in video and in project description):
- YouTube BullyBlocker video:
- Video YouTube de BullyBlocker en Español:
This is it, just less than 24 hours until our fundraising campaign comes to an end (today at midnight). It’s been such a thrilling ride these past 29 days and I wanted to let you know how much your support has meant to the BullyBlocker team. We truly believe that with your help we can make a difference and minimize the negative impact cyberbullying has on adolescents....
If you have not yet contributed, please consider making a donation now at https://asu.useed.net/projects/99/home.
Your support means a lot to the BullyBlocker team. With your help, we can create a happier and safer cyberspace for children.
Please repost and share this message with all those you feel would be inclined to support this initiative.
Thank you for your time and generosity in advance!
Yasin Silva, PhD
Lee Ann Silva, MEd
BullyBlocker has been featured in news venues all over the United States lately (see www.facebook.com/thebullyblocker) for a taste of the media frenzy!) and has now gone International, with advocates and donors around the world!
The crowdfunding campaign for BullyBlocker has 11 days left and we really need your support. This would be a great cause for one last charitable contribution in 2013. Your donation will go directly to undergraduate research scholarships for students to finish BullyBlocker 1.0 and provide funding for the required hardware to complete the app implementation by May 2014.
Children being bullied on Facebook and their parents NEED YOUR SUPPORT NOW! Your contribution has the potential to save lives. You can donate today here: http://asu.useed.net/LJdepy0aOTU
Thank you for your support and have a wonderful start to 2014!
What we didn’t receive in donations, we compensated with media relations! Our lead researcher, Professor Yasin Silva, was interviewed by the 92.3 KTAR-FM radio station the morning of the 17th and also made an appearance on Telemundo Arizona at 5pm that same day! The research team was also showcased on ABC 15 Arizona the morning of the 18th and was featured on CBS 5 AZ – KPHO that evening.
Our funding endeavors have also been featured in an article by public relations manager, Matt Crum, published in ASU News, and our campaign was mentioned in the article covering all the research projects involved in ASU’s crowdfunding pilot as well. We hope that we gain momentum from the media and that the exposure will materialize into more donations as the public rises to the challenge!
For those of you who are sharing and tweeting our campaign posts and news, thank you. Your support hasn’t gone unnoticed!
Still, we have quite some distance to go before we reach our goal, and we need you! If you have 3 minutes to spare, check out our video for our campaign if you haven't already seen it. Gain some insight on the problem and our solution, and if you like it, please share it with your extended network. Any contribution, monetary or temporal, is a substantial contribution that each and every one of us appreciates.
Walter Tucker Jr
Hands-on Spanish Travel LLC
12 supporters have chosen not to be listed for "BullyBlocker: Keep Your Child Safe from Cyberbullies on Facebook".
Make an Impact
When you make a gift of $50 or more, we’ll be sure to acknowledge your generosity with a public ‘thank you’ on our Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/thebullyblocker
Be a Hero
Your gift of $250 can be used towards supporting our undergraduate researchers with scholarships. Every contribution makes a difference, and a gift of this amount is a heroic donation.
A gift of $500 could send one of our members to a conference where they can share the importance and practicality of BullyBlocker when they present our project’s progress, expanding our network and raising awareness.
With $1000, we could purchase a laptop, opening our team to one more member who will help get our application ready for public use. We’ll recognize your donation by placing your logo or name as a BullyBlocker Sponsor on our project website, as well as the application’s acknowledgements.