Now, software to curb text bullying

Sunday, December 27, 2009

WELLINGTON - Worried that your child may become a victim of text bullying? Well, a software has been developed that will help parents to stop harassment via mobile phones.

The Bully Stop software, developed by Irish firm Virtual Mobile Application Development, allows parents to control who can call and text their children

It allows parents to create a list of numbers that will be blocked by their child’s phone, or an exclusive list of numbers that the phone can call and text and receive calls and texts from.

The anti-bullying software has a Call Log feature that can also record details of calls made and received by a phone, and the content of text messages sent to and from the phone, even if they are blocked.
hief executive Tony Cullen says it will help end bullying via mobile phones.

He says that child predators try to communicate with children via text rather than social networking sites such as Bebo, as mobile phones are more shielded from the watchful eye of their parents.

The software has been endorsed by the Trinity College Dublin University Anti-Bullying Centre, part of the European Safer Internet Programme.

However, Martin Cocker, executive director of New Zealand cyber watchdog Netsafe, says it is a “long bow to draw” to claim the software will prevent bullying on mobile phones, as cyber-bullying often occurs when a friendship or relationship turns sour.

“To limit someone’s cellphone usage to their friends to avoid cyber-bulling goes against how most cyber bullying plays out,” quoted Cocker as saying.

He said that there might be some safety gains in preventing strangers from contacting children on their mobiles.

“But the most danger to young people in terms of predatory danger is from people closer to them, not complete strangers, such as a football team coach or an uncle. These are the sorts of people you typically trust and therefore put their numbers in your phone,” Cocker added. (ANI)

Filed under: Social Networking, World

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