Protecting Our Children Online: An App Against Cyberbullying

A team of computer scientists that are affiliated with the Aston University, located in Birmingham, England, have just put a promising app on the market. This app promises to use artificial intelligence, also abbreviated as AI, to fight against trolling and bullying online.

The App

The app is called Bullstop and it can be downloaded. So far, Bullstop is the only anti-cyberbullying app out there that promises to protect users via direct integration with various social media platforms. The app was developed by a doctoral researcher named Semiu Salawu. He is affiliated with the College of Engineering and Physiscal Sciences. His application was made with a precise target market: teens aged 13 and older.

The Young Ones

The app was not just made by a crazy IT guy. It was designed in a collaboration with various young people, thus improving its chances of being used. The app can also be used by adults that spend a lot of time on platforms such as Twitter, which are known for the enormous amounts of cyberbullying. There are some high profile examples of trolling on the internet, which do nothing but prove that abuse of this sort is at home online.

Now Is the Time

Ever since the global pandemic started, young people and adults have slowly started to move their existence online. Their screen time has risen by a lot and reports of cyberbullying have followed them proportionally. Just this April, the government of the United Kingdom has introduced a safety guideline for parents with children that navigate the web.

The Research Says It All, a survey company, has collected the data of over 1000 parents all over the globe, eventually finding out that, between 2018 and 2020, 20% of all bullying out there took place through social media. 11%, on the other hand, was done through text messages. According to the Israeli startup, reports of cyberbullying have gone up by about 70%.

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