More and more kids are involved in digital networking, to the point where mastery of this is a crucial 21st century skill. Which means more and more kids online are being exposed to cyberbullying – with, according to PEW Internet’s August 2011 Tracking Survey, 21 percent even admitting to joining in. While younger children, our usually audience, are protected by the age guidelines of most social media platforms, tweens, teens and young adults are all at risk to be potentially affected by cyberbullying.
During SXSW, Inspire USA Foundation launched a Teen Facebook App Developer Competition – Don’t Just Stand By. This competition calls on teens 13-17 to create a Facebook app that will help inform and empower potential bystanders of cyberbullying to take action.
Cyberbullying continues to be a challenging issue for teens and young adults happening through email, chat rooms, online social networking, instant messaging and web pages. Cyberbullying can happen to anyone, and the bully can act anonymously. People can also be bullied online by groups of people, such as classmates or members of an online community.
Through May 25, Don’t Just Stand By challenges young developers between the ages of 13-17 to help young people speak out against cyberbullying through a Facebook App. Each entry must:
• Focus on people aged 16-24 who would be potential bystanders to cyberbullying in online spaces/communities
• Increase understanding of what cyberbullying is and the role of bystanders
• Empower young people to want to make online spaces/communities more positive and safe for everyone
• Include a specific call-to-action for potential bystanders
• Focus on the positive, do not use negative language or triggering images depicting cyberbullying, self harm or suicide that could re-traumatize victims/survivors
Don’t Just Stand By Teen Facebook App Developer Competition will award three prizes:
• First Place = $2,000 plus five hours of virtual mentorship from an adult programmer
• Second Place = $1500 and one hour of virtual mentorship from an adult programmer
• Third Place = $500 and one hour of virtual mentorship from an adult programmer
Programmers will be matched with mentors according to the type of app they develop. Inspire USA has partnered with Teens in Tech Labs, which provides tools and resources to young entrepreneurs world-wide to help encourage entrepreneurship at a young age, to help promote the competition.
For more information and rules about Reach Out’s National “Don’t Just Stand By” Teen Facebook App Developer Competition please visit http://www.reachout.com/contest. Tweet about the contest at #dontjuststandby.