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New App Designed to Combat Bullying

March 27th, 2014 at 7:00 am

combat online bullying, CombatHate App, cyberbullying, Simon Wiesenthal Center, empower adolescents, bullying, online bullying, combat bullying The issue of bullying and cyberbullying has increasingly become a hot topic of discussion among members of the public. And while technology has become so ingrained in our everyday lives, it also plays a huge part in making young people the victims of bullying. However, as reported recently by the Chicago Tribune, technology is now being employed to combat bullying as well.

CombatHate App

Chicago officials recently encouraged the use of a new app that could be used to combat online bullying. The app is called CombatHate, and is available for teens to install on their cell phones. It allows the user to take photos or write descriptions of hate speech they find online and send the information anonymously to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is an international Jewish human rights organization. The Center then takes the lead in reporting any information to law enforcement that could be the basis of an online crime. The app also enables patterns of hate that appear online to be tracked, whether the actions rise to the criminal level or not.

The Center’s Associate Dean praised the app, saying it was a way to empower adolescents who are exposed to this type of behavior online every day. Other proponents say the app is especially effective because it works with teens within the world of technology as a way to address the problem of online bullying. It is a means of hope for victims and witnesses to hate crimes.

CombatHate in Chicago

Although the app was introduced in other cities in the past, a news conference was held in Chicago specifically to push its use within the city. This is likely due in part to the use of another app, Yik Yak, which allows teenagers to anonymously post statements to other nearby users of the app. Chicago-area school leaders and educators warned of the use of the app, and said that some students have used it to threaten others. This caused many schools to block the app on their networks and schools also encouraged parents to uninstall the app from their child’s mobile device.

Other Features

CombatHate does more than just curb the incidence of cyberbullying. The app offers tips to victims on how to deal with bullying and get help, and also features recent examples of hate speech and other incidents that users can see within the app. It lists online sites and games which encourage hate, and suggests users avoid them. In addition, the app only encourages teens to use it in serious cases. Users are instructed to upload information only if they believe the incident rises to level of hate speech or terrorism.

Bullying is a serious issue faced by teens today. While not all bullying rises to the level of criminal behavior, it is important to understand your rights if you are accused of such conduct. If you or someone you know has been charged with an incident involving bullying, you should consult with an attorney in the Chicago area who is experienced in juvenile matters. Contact an Illinois juvenile crime attorney today and schedule a consultation to discuss your rights.

 

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