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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 17, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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because you've come here, told your story. you're helping others. i've said for years that it's the student equation of this that's going to help us and move this forward. you're kind of proving that. years ago when we said some kind of crazy things about involving students in community activity. it wasn't seen as the thing to be done. and now it's commonplace. so what i'll give you, what i'll ask you to do is go back to your schools and dream big. and don't let anyone ever tell you something cannot be done. think outside that box or even better, throw that box away. come up with your own ideas of what works with you, what's going to engage your counterparts, because you guys are really the future of this movement. and in time, we're going to have to follow your lead. so you guys are great for being here, i wanted to step up and say thank you. >> and thank you to cameron. amy, anna, madison and oakley.
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and to all of you who have participated, thank you so much.
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this is the final portion of the national bullying prevention summit focusing on the issue of cyberbullying. according to a 2011 study, 16% of high school students experience bullying 0 online each year. the annual bullying prevention
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summit is part of an effort by the federal government to create a national strategy to address the problem. this is about 50 minutes. hi, everyone, thank you so much, sarah. i am co-director of connect safely.org in san jose, california. and i'm, i'm long-time blogger, since before they were blogs, on youth and technology at netfamilynews.org. so i'm in awe of those young people, i'm sure you are, too, but what really struck me about them and what struck me about the youth advisory board, of the born this way foundation when we heard their stories, too, is the courage to heal others while you're hearing yourself. and we're not linear any more these days. so that's kind of a remarkable act of courage, i feel to just get out there and heal. so i'd like to tell two quick
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stories that represent milestones for me. in working the problem of social cruelty. in social media. over the past eight to ten years. including three national task forces drawing from the work of so many people here. first i'll tell one on my friend justin patchen professor and co-founder of the cyberbullying research center. justin gives quite a lot of talks. and he tells of how when he gives talks to students, he usually asks them to shout out what they think is the percentage of teen who is have cyberbullied someone. and he typically gets someone shouting out 60 or 70%. so when he tells them that only about 10 to 12% of teams have cyberbullied someone in the past 30 days, it really surprised. they've been believing the worst. and that perception is based on all the misinformation they've been getting in the news and from adults in their lives, who believe the news.
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and that's not good. it's sad in fact, how many of you are parents? how many? yeah. like most of us, right? it's not -- only that young people deserve to hear the truth about themselves and their peers. they need to know the facts. because the social norms research shows that our behavior tends to confirm to our perception of what the behavioral norms are. i'm thinking of a three-year study in six new jersey middle schools by wesley perkins and david craig, at hobart and william smith colleges. a survey of students in each school, each year, finding that and then, disseminated throughout the school, through a poster campaign and other forms of communication. and in every case, when students internalize the fact that most kids are good to one another. most of the time, it went down
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even more. so the facts, cyberbullying has gone down. according to the data released in june by the centers for disease control. between 2011 and 2013, it's gone down a little. about 1.5 percentage points. not a lot. but it's not up. the cdc found that 14.8% of students had been electrically bullied in the past 12 months. 12 months prior to the survey. so 85.2% had not been. a huge majority of young people had not been cyberbullied in the past year. so as professor perkins found, the norm is positive protective behaviors. so if we want cyberbullying to go down, we've for the most part you know, pretty quickly here, need to start telling the truth
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about what's really going on. and as mark bracket said this morning, children are wired for good. and i'll add that they need to know that. we need to tell them that. so the other story is even shorter, but a milestone for me. back in late 2011, social media researcher dana boyd asked a few of us to help ground the about to launch the born this way foundation in solid research about bullying online and offline. so sue swear at university of nebraska, lisa jones at the university of new hampshire, mia at the committee for children in seattle and i formed a curriculum working group. and as we went through our process of synthesizing the research to date and developing materials, i realized that what had emerged was that the major part, the lion's share of bullying prevention is social and emotional learning. we've got to get skills like
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learning self-management. self-awareness. social awareness. relationship skills and responsible decision-making into america's schools. and if we do, we can go even farther than we have gone in bringing down social cruelty, as well as improved school climate and support all of other learning that happens in school. and i'm convinced that every child deserves this. so that's a really good segue to introducing you to my panelists who are helping to reduce social cruelty in their own ways. in digital environments. my first panelist is going to be emily vasher, who is head of global safety in the policy area of facebook. a role that has her working with government representatives, child safety organizations and researchers to insure that
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facebook products and policies reflect child safety priorities. emily is also responsible for evaluating proposed child safety laws and regulations and analyzing new products and technologies from a child safety perspective. and then before joining facebook in 2011, she was a special agent with the fbi in the child protection area. and she holds ms, mpa and jd degrees from syracuse university and a bs from cornell university. and she did that, she went from there 42 private practice in new york city, that was her first job. then melanie rowe is a post doctorate research associate at yale university and she works with the yale center for emotional intelligence. her research focuses on the developmental imfact of interpersonal violence and aggression among adolescents. the progression of interpersonal violence and the promotion of
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positive youth development. she brings those interests to a collaborative project with facebook that she'll be talking about shortly. she holds ba and ma degrees from ferguson college in puna, india and earned her ms and ph.d. at the university of illinois, urbana, champaign. and because psychologists, researcher and author stan davis says youth are the primary experts on what is happening at school. and on what works best to prevent peer mistreatment. we have a student leader on our panel. will ash just graduated from thomas jefferson high school for science and technology. that's a mouthful, congratulations, will. and that's in annandale, virginia, our neighborhood here. where he was a member of school and county student government. he advised the school board, which is amazing. he served as the student representative to the fairfax county school board. and in just a few weeks he'll be attending the the university of virginia as a jefferson scholar.
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this past february he served on a panel of student leaders from around the country at the safer internet day event held here in washington by the organization i co-direct. i'm going to hand off to emily. and let you know in between talks maybe we'll try to get a little conversation going. so here's emily. >> thank you, anne. thank you, everybody. i know it's getting later in the afternoon, but we're really excited to be here this afternoon to talk about some of the things that we're doing at facebook to make our platform safer. one of those important pieces is research. but after hearing from the students today, we can't emphasize enough how much we need to listen to our youth when we're making decisions that will directly impact them. so i'm going to talk a little bit about what we do at facebook to make our platform safer. and the way that i think about it, i break it down into these four categories here. we look at policies, that are
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going to make people safer. we build products and tools that do the same. but education and partnerships are so critical to our success in this area. and i'm going to show you a couple of examples. the first one i'm going to show you here -- we'll talk about our policies. at facebook we have a set of community standards, we refer to it as our statement of rights and responsibilities. the first one i want to mention here, one of the things we don't allow on facebook is self-harm. facebook takes threats of self-harm very seriously. we remove any promotion or encouragement of self-mutilation, eating disorders or hard drug abuse. this is a policy that as a company we've decided this is not the kind of material that we want to appear on facebook. so when we learn of this or somebody reports this to us, we will take steps to remove that content. that's a policy in place to help keep people safer on facebook.
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related to this, we've created tools. we have a flow where if somebody sees somebody else making statements, suicidal threats or any other information that would seem that this person is engaging in self-harm, we make a simple way for people to report that directly to facebook. so if you see something on facebook, you don't even necessarily need to know the person who is saying this. you may see it from a random person on facebook. we make it very simple for you to report this to facebook. what's important about this is when you report it, we're going to send information to that person, we're never going to disclose who made the report. we're going to say somebody is concerned about you. and from what you've heard today, when somebody says -- that somebody else is concerned about them, that's a really big deal. that could be a life-changing moment. so not only do we provide materials for the person in need, things like resources on how to speak with a suicide
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prevention hotline or maybe some printed resources, or maybe somebody who makes a statement is a veteran, we'll direct them to resources specifically for veterans in need. this tool that we've designed in conjunction with our policy, is something that makes our platform safer. missed a slide here, hold on. >> we're not experts at everything at facebook. what's really important is that we partner ourselves with those who are experts. for example, at facebook, we have a safety advisory board. one of the groups i do lot of work with is the national network to end domestic violence, for example. i'm not an expert in that area. i don't know what kind of resources are going to be most needed by survivors of domestic violence. in our pairing we will put together educational materials, things like one-pagers or guides, information for victims of or survivors of domestic violence, learning how to use facebook safely is really
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important. learning how to use privacy settings. learning how to talk to your kids about what is appropriate to put on facebook is really important. so pairing with these organizations has changed everything for us. we learned so deeply about each population whether it's gay, lesbian, transgendered, questioning kids. whether it's victims and survivors of domestic violence. whether it's eating disorders, whatever it is. we learn as much as we can, so we can put that into actual practice. along with the tools that we develop, the policy we developed in the area of self-harm, we also put together a great deal of educational material that's available to everybody who uses facebook. so in the area of self-harm, i've mentioned our policy. we don't allow certain expressions of self-harm. we provide a tool where people can report it and get help. we've paired ourselves with the right organizations for people
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who are experts if suicide prevention. and we've provided educational materials to our users. so that's one example of a complete life cycle of all the resources for one issue. the issue that we're here today to talk about bullying, cyberbullying. i know the jury is still kind of out. some people are in the camp where they don't like to use the word "cyberbullying." bullying is bullying, whether it occurs on a playground or classroom or internet. what we're doing at facebook is we're pairing with the experts in this area. one of those in the house today, dr. barackman relani on social resolution. we aren't experts in this area. but we found the experts. and what the experts are helping us do is make our platform safer for kids. so i'm going to show you how this works today. we have two different flows, because obviously adults are different than teens. they use different language, they have different needs.
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here's an example. i make a comment on my friend rita's facebook page. because i'm having a bad day and maybe she said something to me that didn't make me feel very happy. i post on her wall, ugh, rita, stop being so annoying. when rita receives this message. this didn't make her feel good. she wasn't happy about this interaction. so what she -- what can she do? next to every single piece content you see on facebook, whether it's a picture or post you're going to see, it's the chevron, a little down arrow, you can click on that and report every piece of content you see on facebook. so when she clicks on that there, you see at the bottom where it says, i don't like this post. that's the first place you can go when you see something that affects you in a way that is not a positive experience, so when she clicks that, we follow up
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with why don't you want to see this? it's annoying, or not interesting. i think it shouldn't be on facebook for example. if you saw an image of self-harm or you saw some hate speech. something else that's against our terms that you don't think should be on facebook. this is how you would report it. in this case, she checked, it's about me and i don't like it. why doesn't she like it? you can see we're choosing words, because of the research done by yale. it's embarrassing, it insults me, it's threatening, it's something else. instead of just having a button that says, report. we want to get to the bottom of why is this content bothering, harassing or disturbing someone else. we want to get to the bottom and we do that by asking the appropriate questions. in a majority of cases when somebody sees something on facebook that they don't like that relates to them, they're actually friends with that person. how many times have you gone out, you take a group picture,
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when you take the group picture, who do you focus on before you post the picture? you're usually making sure you look pretty good. but you may not be focusing on everybody else in the picture. you post the picture and you think you look great and you think it's a fun picture. but what you might not realize is at the time, is somebody might not be feeling great about the way that they look in the picture. this is a friend of yours, when you see this, is your first instinct to hit a report button and report this person to facebook? probably not. what's so wonderful about social resolution is that it encourages conversations. when it comes down to it, safety is about a conversation. if you're not talking with kids, if you're not talking with each other, we're not going to be safe. and that's what this is all about. so once she checks that, what we do then is we give her all of the options that she has on
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facebook. she could ask me to take it down. she could reach out to somebody to help her start that conversation. if she doesn't feel comfortable reaching out directly to me. certainly she can unfriend me on facebook. so we would no longer be facebook friends. she could also choose to block me on facebook. when you block somebody, they can't see you and you can't see them. in some cases, that may resolve the problem. although when you're talking about friends or schoolmates, you know who the person is. so even if you block them today, you may see them in school tomorrow. so it may not be an adequate solution. but what the solution really is is to communicate. she can also submit a report to facebook. in a lot of these cases, like the one i mentioned before, if you're having a bad hair day and somebody posts that photo, it's no going to violate our terms of service. so making a report to facebook would be a frustrating experience for that person. because we would say, that's not a violation, we're not going to
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take that down. with social resolution, it encourages a conversation between the person who posted it and the person who isn't feeling great about it. and that's where we see a lot of success. >> when you reach out to a friend, it's one of the unique things about social resolution, if she doesn't feel comfortable reaching out directly to me, what she can do is draw in a trusted third party into this conversation. so i may have a mutual friend, i may have a counselor, i may have somebody who knows her really well. you can just put their name in the two-line there. you can write what you want, and it will include the content, so there's some context to this. so maybe that person can encourage a conversation. like i said, you can unfriend of course or submit a report to facebook. and that's the social resolution flow for adults. for teens, it's a little
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different and it's different because of the work that yale has been doing. what's happening in this post? it's threatening, it's being used to constantly bother me. to be disrespectful. create a rumor, something else. these are words that teens are using to describe their experiences. if we just said here, what do you want to do at this content, report or not report? it would not encourage any conversations. and that's the problem. so it's a rumor about me. how does this make you feel? angry, sad, embarrassed, afraid. none of these. these are all the emotions that people are feeling when they see this content on facebook. it's important for us, to figure out what it is that this content is making them feel in order to help them best resolve it. and then on the scale, how is this making you feel, embarrassed, very embarrassed, extremely embarrassed. you can message the person.
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and what this does, is it actually helps start the conversation. yale helped us come up with the appropriate language that's prefilled, kids can always change it if they want to change it however they want, that's fine. but sometimes the conversation starters are the hardest things. and by giving them this information, we encourage them one to have this conversation and two, to deal with the situation. then we let them know that their message has been sent successfully. and we're sorry that they've had this experience on facebook. about 3.9 million people a week are using social resolution. and in 85% of those cases, a conversation is started because of the use of this tool. that is critical to the development and to the satisfaction that kids are having with their experience on
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facebook. if they can resolve their own problems, think about how empowering that is, not just saying i want to make a report. they're saying i want to resolve this situation and this tool encourages them to do so. as i mentioned before, one of the really important things we have is educational materials. so we have a bullying prevention hub. that's new to facebook. we have content that is designed specifically for teachers, for counselors, we have resources for parents, for teens, for teachers. we have great conversation-starters. tips for creating an action plan. tools and options to help you resolve situations. resource guides. if you can't see at the bottom there, the url that we have, facebook.com/safety that will take you right to our safety
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center. and if you add/bullying/educators, that will take you right to the materials that we've developed specifically for educators. we've created a, a safety guide in our safety center and then a guide specifically for teachers and community leaders. publicly available right on our website. fb.me/fbeducatorguide. this is what our family safety center looks like. facebook.com/safety. we have resources right here, parents, teens, teachers. we talk about our safety philosophy. our community and the tools and resources that we've developed to have people have the most positive experiences that they can on facebook. and why do we do this? at the end of the day, we think about all these kids who have had to navigate really tough situations, and a lot of these have had tragic outcomes. as anne said, bullying is not as
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prevalent as reported in the media but when it does happen, and it does happen to that child, it's very serious, and it's something that we take very seriously. we're very invested in figuring out how to get the most appropriate resources to the right people, at the right time. to help them resolve their conflicts. so i'm going to pass this over. we're going to talk about the research that's done at yale. and the work that they've done to help us, the why behind the decisions that we've made when we've created these flows for both adults and teens to help resolve their situations on facebook. so thank you very much for your time. >> so one of the things i'm hearing is, that facebook through the social resolution processes, actually teaching
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sel, right? >> right. absolutely. >> we've heard oftentimes there are some policy makers legislators, some of them want to us put a big red flashing report button on every page at facebook. and research is showing and we're going to talk about that in a minute, that will not encourage people to make reports, kids, like we heard in the last panel, they don't want to be seen as snitches, or especially telling on people when the people are their friends. so we needed to come up with another way to help them resolve their issues. and social resolution is our solution at facebook to encourage these conversations. >> now we're going to find out a little bit about the research behind all this. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm really excited to be sharing some of our findings from the collaboration with facebook.
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so as we all know, technology and the internet is changing the way adolescents navigate and experience. teens today in the u.s. have really not known a world without computers and the internet and smartphones and social networking sites like facebook. so these are really becoming developmental contexts in which typical developmental lessons are unfolding and explored. one of the key developmental tasks in adolescence is positive peer relations. facebook offers teens and other social networking sites, offers teens a unique opportunity to explore their peer relations, they can connect with others, interact with them. they can probably explore where they fit in their social world. but healthy relationships don't come to us naturally. as dr. bracket said this morning, few of us have had a
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sophisticated education in social and emotional skills. so much like their experiences offline, teenagers online, too, are navigating complicated interpersonal interactions. and much like our attempts at addressing bullying offline. teaching teens social and emotional skills in online spaces such as facebook seems like a good first step in addressing cyberbullying. so keeping this in mind, our team at facebook, the compassion team, hi, guys, and our team at yale at the yale center for emotional intelligence and mark bracket and robin stern worked together first to understand the kinds of unwanted experiences that teens have on a site like facebook and then to develop tools and resources for them to learn to imagine these experiences appropriately. they use psychological science,
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to meet teens where they were developmentally. for example we used language that teens use in their everyday lives, rather than use the word "report" they say something like i don't with want to see this. we also want to make sure that the resolution process was more like a conversation. so that teens felt heard. and so that they were able to if he cuss more on their experience and understanding what was going on so they could take an appropriate action. we integrated emotional intelligence skills such as identifying their emotion. which we know sort of the first step in correct appraisal of a situation so you can then take an appropriate action that is meaningful both to you and the other person. we also provided ways for teens to take positive actions. we gave them guidelines for what they could do based on what they told us what happened and how they felt. we also created the prefill messages that emily talked about. that sort of model for teens how to proactively and positively
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address conflict with their peers. ? we worked on the bullying hup or center where we provided resources for all stake holders in the process of keeping kids safe online. so all of this resulted in the social resolution flows that emily showed us and i'm going to go through them quickly. so we first as she said, offered teens an opportunity to tell us what is happening and then to tell us how they feel about the post and how much and then we give them options based on what they said. and the logic focus of this is to move kids away from the emotional reaction they're having and move them to a cognitive space where they're thinking more critically about what happened and how they're reacting and how it might impact everyone in their social group. so what i want to do is show you
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a bit of what we learned from how teens have been using these tools. so all teens in the u.s. see these flows that emily showed. and of the billions of pieces of content, we found that about 17.5 million pieces of content were curated. teens collect on i don't want to see this, about 1.17.5 million times. we started with who are the kids who are in the study? we found it's predominantly girls and older girls and they were represented both in people who were using the tools and also they were more represented in the people creating the content that the tools were used for. we then wanted to look at what
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what was being curated on these pages. on facebook you can do many things. can you post a picture. you can post a status update, which is sort of to give a general announcement to everyone in your community or you can say something particular to someone. and it's almost in a public space, even if i write it on that person's space, it's promoted on other people's news feed, for example. and different pieces, different types of content are likely to elicit different types of reactions. while the texts for example, it's pretty clear to understand what is being said, you may not understand the intention, but you understand what is being said. photos are a little more ambiguous and slightly harder to interpret. we were interested in whether different types of content had different impacts on how teens were responding. we found 60% of the content that teens were curating on their pages were, photos and about 40% were texts.
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we asked kids why they don't want to see this why are you managing this content on your page? the first thing we noticed that most kids seem to want to hide the content. they of the 17.5 million that clicked on i don't want to see this, only about 900,000, about 5% used the resolution tools that were also provided for them. we provide them with all the options and we found that annoying was the most common reason that teens were curating content. they were annoyed by it, they didn't want to see it, they click i don't want to see it. and they reporting inappropriate for facebook. they thought it violated the terms of service. bullying was about 6% of all content that was stated like for which we had the reasons. so of the teens who said i don't want to see this, and then, enter the resolution, about 6%
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were telling us that they felt that someone was bothering or bullying them. we can see the photos and texts are differently represented. but both of them are evident. in why teens are reporting content. or hiding content. if a teen clicks someone is bothering or billying me. we ask them what is happening. you can't see what that says. the first one is pestering. the second one is mean. someone is being mean to me. the third one is someone is spreading a rumor about me. the fourth one is feeling they are being threatened and the fifth one is something else. we found that most teens felt that someone was being mean to them on facebook. that's why they were telling us that they felt that someone was bother organize bullying them. there was gender differences, girls felt that someone was being mean to them more so than boys and boys felt they were being pestered more so than girls. and here you can see that photos
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and texts are similarly represented. even though photos may not be so explicit, they can be used to create similar negative experiences, as the text content. when they told us they were being bullied and what was happening. we wanted to know how it made them feel. as you can see, being angry and feeling embarrassed were most represented. an that in some ways makes sense for photos you're more embarrassed and that texts. you may not like emily give an example of a bad hair day. you may not want that online, but you may feel like someone posted that intentionally. again, photos and texts are creating different sorts of reactions, but also covering the range of emotions. we found that boys reported being angry most of them girls and girls reported feeling sad more so than boys, that reflects off-line samples and larger gender socialization norms about what emotions are appropriate to be expressed. we're finding that the online
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spaces are reflecting offline behaviors as well. le larger take-home message is feeling bullied on a space like facebook elicits a wide range of emotions. it. >> each child experiences differently. and so moving towards providing skills with the social and emotional regulation skills to navigate these experiences might be a more appropriate or me meaningful response. having said that, what happens next? what do teens do when they are provided with the tools? as i said earlier, they're provided with a range of options, often based on what they told us.
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they can message things that we have provided. they can get help from someone that they trust. they can unfriend the person. one option that's not here is unfollow. you're not unfriending the person. but you just don't actively see their content. and in addition to this, you can submit it to facebook. if you think this is not appropriate for the site. >> as we said earlier, most teens seem to go through this and just be happy with hiding. only about 14% message but 14%, are taking the toefrts reach out to someone and say, hey that post was embarrassing, would you please take it down? the default almost just stop interacting with, if they don't like what they're doing. and now we find that when given the tools and the opportunity, only about .6% of the teens choose to unfriend the person. when they're given a choice,
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they seem to rather maintain the relationship or message the person. but not as many are ending their relationships with their peers. we found that the kinds of experiences in these decisions, so if someone felt that someone is being mean to them, they were most likely to message the person. if they felt embarrassed, they would really comfortable messaging the person. if they felt angry, they were less likely to be messaging. which is fine by us, we don't want angry messages going back and forth. if they were afraid, they were the least likely, it seems unlikely that you would reach out to a person who is making you feel afraid. and unfriend was similar things, if you felt sad or embarrassed by what happened, you were most likely to unfriend the person. who created the content. so to summarize, most of the teens that have been using these tools seem to just want to hide the content that is unwanted to them.
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about 4% of teens who tell us what is going on, are saying it's because of bullying. but even if these numbers are small, it's really important that we support these kids and give them the emotional support and the resources to learn to navigate these experiences. we find that girls more so than boys are acting in these spaces. pictures most of the time. created by the teens. there's a range of emotions that are elicited by these experiences. and these vary by teens' interpretations of what happen and the emotional reactions that they have. we find that the teens seem to want to resolve things, they're not interested in ending these relationships, they're finding ways and we're providing them with the tools and support, they seem to be taking them. so in conclusion, it seems that technology offers teens both opportunities and challenges.
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and rather than restrict how teens use this technology, it seems more valuable to teach them the skills and equip them to navigate these spaces in positive and healthy ways. and that's largely what this work is. and this is the first step in that direction. and in addition to these flows, we've also since we have a website more clearly, we have this resource, which is a bullying prevention center. where someone who has been through these flows, if they want to learn more about what's going on, they can go there and learn how to start a conversation with their friend if a parent feels something is happening, with their chirld, they can go and learn how to talk to their children about these difficult experiences. so i would encourage you to use some of these resources. a lot of hard work has gone into them and we think they're really great. so yes that has been our work so far and we're excited to see what happens next. thank you. [ applause ]
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>> i will now pass it off to will. sorry. the time has gone fast as you said it works ingrid. a quick question while will is setting up. social resolution is kind of a metta moment. kind of a giving people a chance so if very few take this opportunity, correct? a fairly low bridge to go through the process. >> we can have a chance to think things through is what i'm hearing. >> right and in some ways, a space like facebook, is a really great opportunity to do that. in an interpersonal, interactions face to face if
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something happens. there's not much time to think about what's going on. here we can actually give pause and we can have them walk them through these steps in a more thoughtful way. some of the things that are part of as disadvantages of technology. can be turned around to use in a positive way. because now we can get kids to do what we want them to do and then they can, make more informed choices. >> will, please go ahead. >> thank you. well first, first off, thanks to ann and ingrid for inviting me to speak today. during my talk i'm going to try to give a view of what digital bullying looks like in the life of a high schooler. so first a bit about me. as anne said i just graduated from high school this past june. i represent 184,000 students at fairfax county school and i made an active effort to take an interest in the online happening of other schools so i could best represent my constituents at
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board meetings and other meetings throughout the school year. for me personally, during middle school there were about three or four bullies and hosts of bystanders who bothered me most days. these guys laughed at me and bothered me. but thi didn't have to take it online. it could have been even worse had they chose ton extend it to the online arena. i had a form spring page at the time where people could anonymously ask questions. but the worst thing i ever got was, an awkward question about middle school crushes and so all in all, not too bad. for me personally. but i've also had the experience of watching other of my friends at my school and their schools around the county, arafat r and
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consequences. with kids in the internet. is that they feel a new sense of control. when you open up the great tool to them. they can create a fake email and suddenly become someone else. when whatever existing social pressures against bullying that we've managed to establish in our society today, disappear under online, under anonymity or false identities. sunts will likely not be held accountable for what they say with these fake personas. some use the opportunity to bring others down. >> an example of a site solicit anonymous questions or a person's home page and right around asking you questions. now this isn't intentionally malicious. but kids under the guise of
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anonymity, feel this sense of power. where they can just ask whatever they want. they can, even, they don't even have to be questions. they can just make mean statements, for one specific friend of mine, she put out her page and got a particularly nasty remark saying she should have gone with her father who had passed away five years earlier. she managed to shrug it off with a very strong response. which is incredible. i don't think i could have done the same in her position. but not everyone can. you don't have to post every comment. but the very same time, you've still, the kid is still seeing that comment and it's still does some emotional damage. however what i found interesting was upon seeing that, others also under the guise of anonymity, posted reporting my friend and actually calling out
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the bully, saying that things they were saying were ridiculous. and more people did this, significantly more than had done any bullying on her page so far. >> so will in a way anonymity helped there, because people felt that they could stand up for the person, because they could do it under the veil of anonymity? >> yeah, they didn't have to attach their social reputation. it's not like they were standing watching it happen in person in front of them. instead, they didn't have to worry about risking any social reputation, being bullied themselves. they could anonymously stand up. on twitter and facebook for instance, people can also create accounts without their names, pages or even fake accounts with fake emails and instead of putting in an actual name. you put in something random. so these pages can range in
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intense, one particularly nasty one i saw was a countywide confessions page. instead of being confessions, it ended up just being countywide gossip. so students would anonymously post to a google forum and then whoever was running this page would take the answers, the answers from the google form and just post them as messages. it became anonymous forum to post about anyone or anything. didn't have to be true, it wasn't vetted by anyone. but at the same time, it broadcasted to a countywide audience. so that means people were seeing it, people didn't know who they were, who these people were, they were just seeing sometimes if it was a twitter page, it was as little as 140 characters. about this person. and it has to make an impression. all right. and so now no longer.
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rumor mill. but it actually broadcasted it to thousands and thousands of students across the county. >> so there's this social pettiness to thousands of kids across the county. >> it isn't technically bullying, but it's this sort of backdrop, in the air, kind of social nastiness because people for fear of missing out, feel like they have to expose themselves and they have to know what's going on. that's just sort of a take away i have had from other people and from will, it's not adult modeling nasty, cruel behavior or peers, it's hard to pin down.
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>> these pages essentially become entertainment value, they have no idea who these people are, but they're still interested because it's just the thing to do. if it were someone they knew, it would be very interesting, but it's someone they have no idea who it is or anything about the story besides what's posted and people are still very interested. on the other hand, responses also pop-up on these pages, so instead of confessions pages, there's complements pages, where a student can through the exactly same process, anonymous through a google for rum, posting complements about a specific person. usually these don't tend to be as broad as the county wide page, but they're more heart felt, usually restricted to a school and actually allow
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students to connect or say things they might not other weiss say, because it's sometimes awkward to walk up to someone you barely know and say, you look really, really good today. it comes off as kind of strange, kind of weird, and no one wants to do that under a social setting. but on anonymous page, people don't hesitate. but sometimes students don't even bother with anonymity. i have scene public statements, usually on twitter but not exclusively, where students call out another student, sometimes referred to as sub tweeting, if the name isn't used in the post people will basically write a post, no name is mentioned in it. there are also certain hash
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tags, #letsmakeitawkward. students tend to bring up mean-spirited issues just for entertainment value. and what ends up happening is more achkd more people use these hash tags and it ends up spreading and more and more students are affected by it, after maybe a couple of kids starting a "funny" trend. but the -- in reality, it's only a couple of people. if it was face to face, there may be ten by standers in a two-person argument. but this is online, this is public, that means it's broadcast to thousands and thousands of bystanders, so i think this is where we really need to focus our efforts. it's how to convert those bystand bystanders, how to get them to click i don't like what i see on
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facebook. but kids don't realize that things are permanent on facebook. i know my dad often used to remind me, even if you delete it, people still saw it, they might have taken screen shots, and it's still out there. and people understand that it's broadcast to a wide audience. now students don't hear about a fight that went on down the hallway, they see it in real time on twitter. and fights don't start in the cafeteria, it starts the night before and continues in the cafeteria. i know a principal that tries to pre-empt fights because he knows they're going to be coming from twist. but we need to get across to
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these by standers and because kids know that and understand that, they're les likely to -- i heard this person might have said something, there is definitive proof, there's a screen shot that that person stood up and that attracts even more bullying. so how can we convert these bystanders? my anecdotal assessment of anonymous pages is students aren't looking for a reason to be mean, they're looking for a reason to be positive. there's a lot more positivity when there's anonymous forum. encourage that positive spirit that people are willing to put forward if you give them a positive environment to do it in. make social media a positive place to be. focus on learning how to use reporting tools to improve and
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actually encouraging kids to use these reporting tools just to create a safer more positive environment jauchb line. finally, adults can't sol the digital bullying issue alone. most adults aren't privy to the so-called twitter fights that go on every single evening. adults need teens and students keb connected who are in to let them know when something is going wrong. adults and students need to be in constant communication, so principals know when a fight is coming or a principal can help students who are constantly being bullied and torn down in an effort to ending digital bullying is where i think we'll
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make the most head way. thank you very much. >> i just want to say, will, il and all of you, thank you so much. it's just important to note here that young people really want to emphasize the positive. i'm hearing that from a lot of people not just will, and it's happening, it's actually happening. and sherry at mit said, social media is in its infant stage. we're just beginning to bring in the social norms that have protected us for thousands of years into a new space, it's in process, i think, but we need to encourage that behavior too in a very general way. so thanks a lot.
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this weekend on the cspan networks, tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on cspan, from the texas tribune festival. saturday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern, a town hall meeting on the events in ferguson university. and sunday evening at 8:00, a biography of nelson rockefeller. and author roger whittle on drones and how they transform the american military. and author and commentator jake halpern, and on sunday at 2:00 p.m., the 2014 southern festival of books.
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