Earlier this week a new cyberbullying educational campaign titled Cyber Bullying Affects Real Lives was launched. The  interactive multimedia campaign aims to raise awareness of cyberbullying and the impact it can have. Featuring a two-minute YouTube video and an interactive online game called Web Warriors, the campaign hopes to engage with and educate children on a medium they are familiar with. Students, teachers and parents are urged to watch and share the video and check out the site.

The campaign is part of the anti-cyberbullying initiative Smart Online, Safe Offline (SOSO) run by a number of organisations including the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN).

Maree Faulkner, CEO of NAPCAN, emphasised that the difference between the SOSO campaign and previous campaigns is the direct communication with the children on a interactive medium. “The success of the first SOSO campaign, which focused on online predatory behaviour, showed that online interactive games are a really effective way of engaging with young people in this age group. We believe that the SOSO cyber bullying campaign will be successful in helping change online cyber bullying behaviour,” she said. “The aim of SOSO is to get young people to think twice before hitting ‘send’ and forwarding degrading content to share a laugh with friends at the expense of others,” Ms Faulkner said.”

Dr Toni Noble, senior lecturer in Education and Psychology at the Australian Catholic University, said that the SOSO campaign will help to reduce cyberbullying. “The SOSO campaign puts the tools in young people’s hands, helping them relate to the harm associated with cyber bullying,” she said.

Watch the YouTube video here. The Smart Online, Safe Offline site can be found here.

Writer Tristan Boyd, Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.