Facebook and Time Warner have announced that they are combining and expanding their anti-bullying efforts into a wide-ranging, cross-platform campaign called Stop Bullying: Speak Up.
The initiative will integrate social media, broadcast, print and online efforts to help educate kids, parents and teachers about how to protect young people from bullying.
As part of the campaign, Facebook and Time Warner will use the full reach, depth and social connections of their properties. The initiative will include:
- CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° Town Hall — In partnership with Facebook and Time Warner, Anderson Cooper will host a townhall that will discuss bullying issues facing kids today. It will also include discussions with experts to help inform adults how to cope with this issue. The townhall is set to air on CNN in October as part of Bullying Prevention Month and other reports will air in the lead up to the townhall.
- Facebook’s Social Media Pledge — The social network will be launching a Stop Bullying: Speak Up Social Pledge app that will allow kids, parents and teachers to make a commitment to help stop bullying. You will be able to invite your Facebook friends to make the pledge too. The app is slated to launch ahead of the fall 2011 back-to-school season.
- Cartoon Network Multi-Platform Resources — Integration of Cartoon Network’s bullying prevention platform with Facebook’s Family Safety Center.
- Time Inc. Expansive Coverage — Popular publications People, Sports Illustrated and Time have given significant coverage to bullying over the last few years. In October, these 3 Time Inc. brands and their websites will feature content that focuses on the problem of bullying, along with the programs and measures that are being taken to fight it. These 3 brands have a combined reach of 91 million monthly readers and will place a spotlight on one of the most important issues that young people are facing.
Earlier this year, Facebook launched its redesigned Family Safety Center and a social reporting tool that allows people to report bullying on the social network to their parents, teachers or friends that they trust. The social network also teamed up with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama to promote an anti-bullying message ahead of a conference on bullying prevention at the White House.
“We care deeply about the safety of our nation’s children and are proud to be partnering with Time Warner to raise awareness of bullying,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. “We believe that by working together with parents and teachers, we can teach young people to speak up and stop bullying.”
This is an initiative that has to be applauded. Any efforts to combat bullying can only be a good thing and by combining their resources to present a unified anti-bullying message, Facebook and Time Warner will help to inform people — whether they are kids, teachers, parents or anyone else who knows someone being affected by bullying — on what they can do to combat the bullying epidemic.