INDEPENDENT NEWS

New service shows cyberbullying not just a problem for kids

Published: Thu 22 Dec 2016 10:20 AM
22 DECEMBER 2016
New service shows cyberbullying not just a problem for kids
Netsafe’s free service to combat online bullying, abuse and harassment has helped nearly 50 people each week in its first month.
AUCKLAND, 22 December 2016 - Since its 21 November launch, Netsafe’s highly anticipated service has helped people throughout the country with complaints about harmful digital communications.
Netsafe, the online safety organisation that receives, assesses and investigates the complaints, says over 75% of the complaints involved people over 18 years of age, busting the myth that online bullying and abuse is a problem only associated with young people.
Netsafe Chief Executive, Martin Cocker says he is not surprised by the number of cases and suspects that only a fraction of incidents are being reported to them.
“The number of complaints we’ve received is in line with what we expected, but we know there are many incidents that still go unreported," says Cocker.
“We encourage anybody experiencing online bullying or abuse to contact Netsafe to discuss their options. They have no obligation to progress a complaint and all discussions are entirely confidential.”
Under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, Netsafe works as an impartial dispute resolution agency. It can advise if there is anything that can be done to stop the abuse, work with those involved to stop it and may liaise with online content hosts to remove harmful content. Netsafe can also inform those involved of the likely outcome if they were to proceed to the District Court with a civil complaint.
People experiencing online bullying, abuse or harassment can contact Netsafe toll-free seven days a week on 0508 NETSAFE for confidential advice or visit netsafe.org.nz/hdc for more information.
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