While celebrity mean tweets make for great late night comedy, real life cyber bullying is reaching epidemic proportions. With parents – and the law – unable to keep pace with ever-evolving social media channels, Canadians are fighting a losing battle to stop cyber bullying among children and teens. A new partnership between the Canadian Safe Schools Network and Toronto advertising agency john st. is taking an unusual approach to stem the tide and get put an end to the practice.
The team is taking a novel approach, using a crowd-funding campaign to raise the money for media buys, hoping to raise enough to buy ad space during the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs; the video they hope to air is a heart-wrenching spin on the popular “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” bit featured on the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“We wanted to use the ‘Mean Tweets’ model because in a way, those videos give the message that cyber bullying is ok – even funny,” said Stu Auty, President of the Canadian Safe School Network. “But adult celebrities have the maturity and confidence to overcome these hurtful words. Children don’t. For regular kids, words can cut like a knife. Cyber-bullying is an epidemic that invades their lives and leaves many feeling like there’s no way out.”
It’s a growing problem; while only eight percent* of Canadian teens admit to being bullied online, 18 per cent of Canadian parents say they have a child who has experienced cyber bullying.
Some additional stats:
• 14 per cent of Canadian teen say they have seen mean or inappropriate comments about themselves on social networks.
• 31 per cent of parents say they know a child in their community who has experienced cyber-bullying.
“From these stats, it’s clear children are reluctant to admit to being bullied,” added Auty. “It’s time to take away the stigma, get people talking, and eliminate this problem once and for all.”
The Indiegogo campaign has been set up to raise funds for media to help the Canadian Safe Schools Network reach more people with this message. To help fund the project, and to view the video, click HERE
*Statistics courtesy of getcybersafe.gc.ca