City Spotlight: Anti-Cyberbullying
Surrey Youth Create Campaign to Stop Online Bullying
#BlockEmDontShareEm Campaign includes a short video that youth are sharing online to help each other stay safe
March 1, 2021
Youth are more connected than ever, with the pandemic driving teens online for their education, and connection with family and friends. While these digital tools have kept us connected, they have also increased cyberbullying and online exploitation cases.
According to Canada’s Centre for Child Protection, reports of online and digital exploitation have increased 88% since April 2020.
For this year’s Pink T-shirt Day, Surrey’s Community Safety team worked in collaboration with Surrey RCMP and local youth to create a campaign to stop non-consensual distribution of intimate images online, one of the most common forms of cyberbullying.
“While technology has kept us connected to our work, school, family and friends during this pandemic, it is important that both youth and parents are aware of the potential dangers of sharing information digitally,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “I want to commend Surrey’s youth and our partners for stepping up to develop this campaign for this year’s Pink T-shirt Day. We must all work together to stop bullying of all types, including those that occur commonly online.”
This youth-led awareness project conducted focus groups with over 30 professionals, teachers, counsellors, youth workers and principals, to gauge what issues and gaps still exist. Together with Surrey youth, the #BlockEmDontShareEm Campaign was created, which included a short video that youth could share online to help each other stay safe.
Most youth understand that non-consensual sharing of intimate images can cause serious harm to the subject; however, they may not fully understand the potentially lifelong social, emotional, and legal consequences that can affect them when they re-share image to others.
Watch the #BlockEmDontShareEm video.
Tips for Youth:
- If you receive an image that was not intended for you, DELETE it.
- Stop the spread of images and break the chain.
- If you know of other people spreading images, be an ambassador and ask them to stop as well.
- Don’t fall prey to peer pressure and own the power you have.
- Be the first person who does not share the image and stop the spread.
Tips for Parents:
- Start the conversation with your kids about “sexting” and digital exploitation. Educate them on what to do if they are sent or asked for intimate images online.
- Explain the legal implications of their actions and the possible consequences.
- Discuss consent, and how sharing an image without consent is against the law.
- Tell them that if they receive an image that was not intended for them, they should delete it right away and never share.
For more information and resources for parents and youth, visit our Community Safety section.