How to combat viral bullying videos online

News 22/11/2019

A violent video of a schoolyard attack on a Waikato teen has been shared over Facebook.

The teen who shared the video said she wanted to highlight the violent bullying happening at schools. The video has since been removed.

NZ has one of the worst records in the world around school bullying but is spreading videos on social media the best way of getting the message out?

Netsafe Director of Education & Engagement Sean Lyons joins Magic Talk Drive to discuss with host Leah Panapa.

Leah begins the interview by asking Sean if there any benefits in posting the video such as this, Sean agrees that while people's intentions may be good, they need to give more thought to “unintended consequences”.

By sharing it, we could also be doing some indirect harm to the people that are subject to it.

Sean explains that when posts like this go viral they create a risk that both the original victim of bullying and the bullies themselves might in reaction suffer “nasty consequences”.

"As an organisation we don’t support the idea of any kind of vigilante action at all."

Sean describes how posting the video online can inspire and trigger dangerous vigilante actions, such as people posting private information of the people involved which could put them in danger.

Sean advises listeners that if they do see videos similar to this one that they should report it to be flagged for removal saying, “that kind of content should not exist online”.

You can watch the full interview above