Last Thursday, the 2nd Annual Bullying Summit closed with demonstrable progress on a range of important topics surfaced during President Obama’s Bullying Prevention Summit last March. Our focus last March was on the challenges and opportunities in preventing cyberbullying. In the months that followed our roundtable, we are pleased to report on two commitments in response to the White House’s “Call to Action”:
The MTV/MIT collaboration invites the wider research community to learn from this anonymized dataset and gain a deeper understanding of the digital behaviors youth feel “cross the line” from innocent to inappropriate – to help fuel innovation in the realm of cyberbullying prevention. For example, MIT’s Media Lab is using findings from the “Over the Line?” dataset – which contains no personally identifiable user information – to help drive rapid, effective responses to cyberbullying incidences and even stop them before they occur.
Where might innovation impact cyberbullying? For those subject to a cyberbullying incident, there might be comfort in learning from others experiencing a similar incident, with the possibility of personalized advice or access to resources. For social network platforms and other app developers, we envision new tools that help prioritize reports of abuse and corresponding interventions that might mitigate an escalating situation.
We understand that far more is needed to better understand root causes and innovative solutions that address cyberbullying, but we are grateful for leaders like Facebook, MTV, and MIT for moving the ball forward. We stand ready to assist in surfacing promising ideas, encouraging testing and validation, and scaling what works.
Aneesh Chopra is US Chief Technology Officer and Howard Schmidt is the President’s Cybersecurity Coordinator.