#StopCyberbullyingDay: How users can have a safer online experience

June 17, 2021 - 7:04 PM
People using smartphones
People using smartphones. (Pexels/Stock photo)

In honor of the “Stop Cyberbullying Day” on Thursday, microblogging platform Twitter shared some tips on how users can feel safe and in control while they participate in online conversations.

Twitter Philippines acknowledged that the platform is a host to countless communities where people can meet like-minded individuals who share their own interests and hobbies, from air fryer recipes to local art.

“While participating in these conversations, it is important that you feel safe and in control,” it said on a release.

The platform said that there are four ways on how Twitter users can prevent online harassment.

For one, users have the ability to limit who can reply to their posts. They can modify the feature so that only people they follow or only people they mention can respond to their tweets.

Users also have the option to filter their messages so that only those they follow can slide into their DMs (direct messages).

Users also have the power to block and report accounts that they feel are bothering them on the platform. This option completely removes online attackers from one’s timeline.

“You won’t be able to see any of their interactions on Twitter, effectively allowing you to ignore them,” the platform said.

In addition, conversation starters have the ability to mute certain words or phrases they feel could trigger certain emotions or experiences.

The “Stop Cyberbullying Day” is commemorated every third Friday of June to encourage and empower people around the world to show their commitment towards an inclusive and diverse internet space.

It is founded in 2012 and coordinated each year by The Cybersmile Foundation in which internet users, academics, educators, media outlets, non-profits, governments and public figures demonstrate or renew their commitment to a kinder and more inclusive internet.

Last year, UNESCO reported that cyberbullying was on the rise and attributed it to the COVID-19 pandemic wherein students and young people are “living, learning and socializing online.”

The situation has led to an “unprecedented increase in screen time and the merging of online and offline worlds,” heightening youngsters’ vulnerability to bullying and cyberbullying, the United Nations agency said.