Facebook Launches Be Bold: Stop Bullying Campaign During Bullying Awareness Week in Canada

Awareness campaign encourages teens, parents and educators to make a personal commitment to help stop bullying

TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Facebook in partnership with Family Channel, PREVNet, Concerned Children's Advertisers, Kids Help Phone, MediaSmarts, Free The Children and STOPcyberbullying.org announced today the launch of the Be Bold: Stop Bullying campaign during Bullying Awareness Week in Canada. The campaign centres around an interactive social media pledge app that enables teens, parents and educators to make a personal commitment to help stop bullying and recruit their friends to join them in this commitment.

The new social pledge app, accessible at facebook.com/beboldstopbullyingca, represents the latest development in Facebook's long-term commitment to partner with leading organizations to inspire thoughtful conversation and share useful information and resources about bullying prevention. It is aimed specifically at inspiring bystanders who are witnesses to bullying. The campaign enables teens, parents and educators to take a pledge to specific actions that will help stop bullying, share their pledge and stories with friends and family, recruit others to join them in this commitment, and start their own school-based bullying prevention groups on Facebook.

"Promoting safety, online and off, is a top priority for Facebook," said Jordan Banks, Managing Director, Facebook Canada. "Our goal with Be Bold: Stop Bullying is to raise awareness of the simple, yet powerful, actions that teens, parents and educators can take to prevent bullying. With over 18 million Canadians active on Facebook each month, we hope to inspire millions of bystanders to take action by speaking up when they see bullying occur and help grow a community committed to stopping bullying."

Other elements of the campaign - available on the campaign's Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/beboldstopbullyingca) include:

  • A heat map that enables people to see how many others have taken the pledge in their Province.
  • A resource centre that provides additional support and information for teens, parents and educators on ways to prevent bullying.
  • An easy-to-use widget that enables people to embed the pledge on their websites.
  • Information on creating groups within a school community to share information about how to promote safety and stand up against bullying.

"Bullying is a relationship problem and those who stand by and watch or listen are part of the problem -- we need them all to be part of the solution," said Debra Pepler, Co-Scientific Director, PREVNet. "The Be Bold: Stop Bullying campaign provides both youth and adults with resources, as well as strategies to become part of the solution by speaking up, advocating, being a positive role model, and letting others know about their commitment to stop bullying. Partnering with Facebook on this campaign is a very positive step in our efforts to prevent bullying and promote healthy relationships in Canada."

In September 2011, Facebook and Time Warner joined forces to raise awareness for bullying prevention in the US, launching a similar campaign that saw more than one million people like the Page. The campaign has since launched in Latin America and Australia.

The Toronto Raptors, Rick Mercer, Craig Kielburger and Family Channel's Lindsay Hamilton have been among the first Canadians to officially take the pledge to speak up against bullying and are asking others to follow their lead. These celebrities are sharing what we can do to prevent bullying through videos airing on the page: http://www.facebook.com/beboldstopbullyingca. Students and adults can take the pledge on the campaign's page for Canada:  http://www.facebook.com/beboldstopbullyingca.

Additional quotes supporting Facebook's Be Bold: Stop Bullying campaign:

Mrs. Laureen Harper, Prime Minister's Office, said, "What recent incidents have highlighted for us, is that we are losing too many children to bullying. Bullying is a serious issue - it is very complicated and if good intentions could solve the problem it would be fixed. Facebook's Be Bold:Stop Bullying program is an important part of anti-bullying campaigns that will help raise awareness and open the lines of communication with anyone who is being bullied and those who want to help. I encourage anyone who feels victimized by bullying to talk to an adult or to call Kids Help Phone, and to remember that they are not alone."

Hon. Laurel Broten, Ontario Minister of Education, said, "We all have a role to play to make our schools and communities free from bullying and accepting places for everyone. When we act together, we can send a strong message that bullying is not ok - wherever it happens - whether at school, in the community or online. That's why I'm so proud to join Facebook's "Be Bold Stop Bullying" campaign and to take the pledge to take a stand against bullying. Because by working together we can make it better."


Paul Taillefer, President, Canadian Teachers Federation, said, "educators deal with the after-effects of bullying every day. We regularly see kids who are often already struggling on the social margins and even more emotionally vulnerable than most, wrestle with plummeting self-esteem, failing grades, and depression. Sadly, some of them lose the battle. As educators, we believe that the welfare of vulnerable students in every community warrants collaborative and pro-active effort on their behalf. That is why we applaud Facebook for launching this campaign and we encourage teachers, parents and students to sign the social pledge and take a stand against bullying."

About Facebook
Founded in 2004, Facebook's mission is to make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.  All other brand or product names mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. 

About PREVNet
PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network) is Canada's authority on research and resources for bullying prevention. PREVNet is an umbrella network of 65 leading Canadian research scientists, more than 90 graduate students, and 52 youth-serving organizations. Launched in 2006 with the Networks of Centres of Excellence, PREVNet's mission is to stop bullying in Canada and to promote safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian children and youth. Led by Scientific Co-directors Dr. Debra Pepler of York University and Dr. Wendy Craig of Queen's University, this national network is the first of its kind in Canada, providing an unprecedented national opportunity for social-cultural change. For more information, tips on bullying prevention and resources visit www.prevnet.ca. You can find PREVNet on Twitter: @prevnet and Facebook.

About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is a Canadian and world leader, known for our expertise in providing vital, innovative, and professional counselling services to children and youth. Since 1989 we have offered children, teens and young adults in Canada a critical lifeline of hope and support, through our free, anonymous and confidential service. Our professional counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people ages five to 20, in urban, rural, and remote communities, by providing one-on-one counselling, information and resources online and by phone. Our internationally recognized, award-winning websites are considered a model of child-focused interactive design, and offer online counseling forums and engaging, therapeutic games, tools and information to encourage resilience and self-care. A community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone receives no core government funding and relies on community and corporate support to keep our essential service available. We're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English and in French.

About MediaSmarts
MediaSmarts (formerly known as Media Awareness Network) is a Canadian not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy. Its vision is that young people have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens. MediaSmarts offers hundreds of digital and media literacy resources for librarians, parents and educators on its website www.mediasmarts.ca.

About Concerned Children's Advertisers
Concerned Children's Advertisers (CCA) is a unique non-profit organization and model of corporate social responsibility. Our 19 Canadian member companies are committed to understanding and contributing solutions to challenging issues that impact children, including bullying prevention, self-esteem, healthy active living, and media literacy. The organization is also supported by numerous partners, including child-centred advertisers, broadcasters and issue experts. As a committed group of Canadian advertisers, CCA's mission is to be the credible, caring and authoritative voice of responsible children's advertising and communications.
www.cca-arpe.ca

About STOPcyberbullying.org
Home of "Don't Stand By, Stand Up," StopCyberbullying was the first cyberbullying prevention program in North America. Its specially trained young volunteers design and deliver community programs to help their peers address cyberbullying. StopCyberbullying's founder, Parry Aftab, calls them her "cyberarmy" empowered to tackle this important issue. These teens and tweens staff their own text messaging support line for other young people, build apps to promote kindness,  and provide student peer support in their schools. The free StopCyberbullying Toolkit is packed with $1.5 million of resources for K-12 students and parents to learn how to prevent, address and stop cyberbullying. Learn more at StopCyberbullying.ca.

About Family Channel
Family Channel is a premium, commercial-free network offering the best in family television entertainment in over 6 million homes across Canada. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a fun experience for all, Family airs a unique mix of series, movies and specials, with a large portion of programming supplied by Disney. Family Channel also offers Family OnDemand, a television-based Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) service and Family OnLine, an Internet-based, broadband service. Both of these services offer hit Disney movies and series, top-rated Canadian series to subscribers when they want it, where they want it. Visit us at Family.ca

Family Channel is a member of the Astral family. Astral Media Inc. (TSX : ACM.A/ACM.B) is one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates several of the country's most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and interactive media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit astral.com.


SOURCE: Facebook® Canada

For further information:

Press Contacts

Facebook
Claire LaRocca, High Road Communications on behalf of Facebook Canada: claire.larocca@highroad.com / (416) 368-8348 ext. 207

PREVNet
Karen Richardson, Communications:
karen.richardson@queensu.ca / (613) 533-6000, ext. 75014

Kids Help Phone
Pascale Guillotte, Director Communications: pascale.guillotte@kidshelpphone.ca / (416) 581-8974

MediaSmarts
Maya Shoucair, Communications Officer: MShoucair@mediasmarts.ca / (613) 224-7721 ext. 231

Concerned Children's Advertisers
Bev Deeth, President: bdeeth@cca-arpe.ca / (416) 484-0871 ext. 1

STOPCyberbullying.org
Parry Aftab, parry@aftab.com/ (902) 316-3355 / (902) 370-1234

Family Channel
Jaime Werby, Communications Manager, Kids: JWerby@astral.com / (416) 956-8584