New website aims to help prevent cyber-bullying, promote digital citizenship

A McGill University research team led by Prof. Shaheen Shariff is launching a new website that will help define and discourage cyber-bullying, while encouraging socially responsible digital citizenship.

The site promises to become a valuable resource for youth, parents and educators across North America, providing advice from leading experts in a user-friendly format. will, for example, help stakeholders define the lines at which:

  • joking and teasing become criminal harassment and criminal threats;
  • regulations, laws and policies turn into limits on free expression ;
  • rumours, lies or demeaning images posted on social media can ruin a peer or teacher’s reputation and become cyber-libel.

The bilingual (English/French) site features video vignettes for youth, teachers and parents to review together. The aim is to develop standards to reduce and prevent negative forms of expression such as cyber-bullying, cyber-libel and cyber-harassment.

Dr. Shariff, Associate Professor at McGill and Affiliate Scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society leads a project team composed of graduate research assistants from McGill’s Faculties of Law and Education. The team has undertaken extensive analysis of current legal, educational and policy issues on emerging and established laws, policies and studies across Canada and the U.S.

The website will regularly invite input from psychologists, criminologists, legal practitioners and academics, judges and educational policy-makers through video-blogs, interviews and research studies.

On the web:

A video about the website: