EU MEP Urges Stronger Action Against Cyberbullying as New Survey Reveals Disturbing Numbers, Ireland

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EU MEP Urges Stronger Action Against Cyberbullying as New Survey Reveals Disturbing Numbers

An Irish member of the European Parliament (MEP) has joined the call for stronger action against cyberbullying and online abuse. Seán Kelly, an MEP from Ireland South, supports the EPP Group’s push to criminalize cyberbullying and is concerned by the alarming findings of a new survey. The survey, conducted by CyberSafeKids, discovered that over a quarter of primary school children and 40 percent of secondary school students in Ireland have experienced cyberbullying.

Speaking about the issue, MEP Kelly expressed his deep concern, stating that cyberbullying has become an unfortunate part of growing up for many young people. He stressed the need for stronger EU action to prevent online abuse and emphasized the importance of educational initiatives to empower individuals while using messaging apps and social platforms. Kelly, a former teacher, believes that when online service providers fail to protect children, legislators and police authorities must step in to address the problem.

One of the most troubling aspects of cyberbullying is its constant and relentless nature. Bullies can target their victims 24/7 online, making the experience overwhelming for young people who lack the necessary support. MEP Kelly highlighted the importance of education as the first line of defense against cyberbullying. He stressed the need for comprehensive digital literacy programs in schools to teach young people how to use the internet responsibly and safely. In particular, social media platforms and the risks they pose demand special attention, especially with the rise of artificial intelligence and anonymous accounts.

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MEP Kelly fully supports the EPP Group’s campaign to criminalize cyberbullying across the EU. He cited the example of Ireland’s legislation known as Coco’s Law, named after Nicole Fox, who tragically took her own life after being subjected to three years of bullying online and in person. Coco’s Law imposes a prison sentence of up to seven years for individuals found guilty of distributing or publishing intimate images without the consent of the person involved.

Recognizing the urgency of the issue, MEP Kelly has previously written to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, advocating for the EU to take a leading role in combating cyberbullying. He proposed the creation of an EU anti-cyberbullying day to raise awareness, share best practices, and provide resources for teenagers, parents, and teachers. In his view, increased EU funding should be allocated to online campaigns throughout the EU to ensure that young people understand they are not alone and can seek help when needed.

MEP Kelly stressed that cyberbullying has already caused significant distress and tragic consequences for young people in Ireland and across Europe. He emphasized that this crime cannot be tolerated and called for all possible measures to protect young people online and ensure they have access to the help they need.

The issue of cyberbullying requires immediate attention, and the support of lawmakers, educators, and communities is crucial in addressing this pervasive problem. By working together, we can create a safer online environment for young people and prevent the devastating impact of cyberbullying.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying refers to the act of using digital platforms, such as social media or messaging apps, to harass, intimidate, or humiliate someone. It involves repetitive and often malicious behavior that can cause emotional distress and harm to the victim.

What did the survey conducted by CyberSafeKids reveal?

The survey conducted by CyberSafeKids found that over a quarter of primary school children and 40 percent of secondary school students in Ireland have experienced cyberbullying. These numbers highlight the concerning prevalence of this issue among young people.

What is the stance of MEP Seán Kelly regarding cyberbullying?

MEP Seán Kelly supports the push to criminalize cyberbullying and online abuse. He believes that stronger EU action is needed to prevent online abuse and that educational initiatives are crucial to empower individuals to navigate messaging apps and social platforms responsibly.

What measures does MEP Kelly propose to combat cyberbullying?

MEP Kelly proposed the creation of an EU anti-cyberbullying day to raise awareness, share best practices, and provide resources for teenagers, parents, and teachers. He also called for increased EU funding for online campaigns to ensure that young people understand they can seek help and are not alone.

What special attention does MEP Kelly believe social media platforms should receive?

MEP Kelly believes that social media platforms, particularly with the rise of artificial intelligence and anonymous accounts, require special attention. He emphasizes the need to educate young people about the risks associated with these platforms and how to use them safely.

What is Coco's Law, and why does MEP Kelly cite it as an example?

Coco's Law is an Irish legislation named after Nicole Fox, who tragically took her own life after experiencing three years of bullying online and in person. This law imposes a prison sentence of up to seven years for individuals found guilty of distributing or publishing intimate images without consent. MEP Kelly cites it to emphasize the severity of cyberbullying and the need for strong legal measures.

What are some of the consequences of cyberbullying mentioned by MEP Kelly?

MEP Kelly highlights that cyberbullying has caused significant distress and tragic consequences for young people, not only in Ireland but also across Europe. This includes emotional harm, mental health issues, and in extreme cases, even suicide. It is a crime that cannot be tolerated, and measures must be taken to protect young people online.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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