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Facebook and BeLonG To Youth Services Launch Online Guide to be Kinder Online

Facebook and BeLonG To Youth Services Launch Online Guide to be Kinder Online

Wednesday 14 November 2018: Today, Facebook and BeLonG To Youth Services have launched a guide to tackle the abuse of young LGBTI+ people online entitled, ‘End Bullying, Be Kind Online’.

The online guide is launched as part of BeLonG To’s Stand Up Awareness Week during which all second-level schools in Ireland are encouraged to take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, making their school a safe and supportive place for LGBTI+ students.

The ‘End Bullying, Be Kind Online’ guide provides practical advice and tips on how to react best when you see bullying online; the language that can be used to diffuse a situation; how to support someone being abused online; where online users can seek help; and practical steps to combat online abuse and stay safe on Facebook.

The guide is a response to recent Irish research which reveals that:

  • 50% of LGBTI+ secondary school students are bullied;
  • 67% of students are witnessing bullying of LGBTI+ students at school;
  • 60% of students said that if someone comes out as LGBTI+ in their school, they will be bullied; and
  • One in four LGBTI+ young people have missed school to avoid negative treatment as a result of being LGBTI+

This resource provides information on how to best use Facebook’s safety policies and tools to help keep you safe online including how to report content, select your audience, be aware of who you are friending and unfriending and blocking people on Facebook.

Facebook is working hard to tackle bullying online, having recently announced a partnership with the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at DCU to deliver anti-bullying training to teachers and parents in every secondary school in the country, beginning in January 2019. This programme will create an all-of-school community approach to tackling online bullying.

Commenting on the launch of the guide, Amy McArdle, Facebook’s Safety Policy Manager for EMEA said, “We are delighted to partner with BeLonG To Youth Services on this guide to help tackle LGBTI+ bullying online. BeLonG To does tremendous work supporting LGBTI+ young people in Ireland and through this partnership, we wanted to create a practical resource that will help young people to connect and communicate safely online.

We take safety on Facebook very seriously and want everyone on our platforms to have a positive experience but we also know that bad things can happen online. This guide will help those experiencing bullying or witnessing it online to take positive and practical action to either tackle or diffuse the situation and comfort those who need it.”

Moninne Griffith, Executive Director of BeLonG To Youth Services added “Our mission is to create a world where LGBTI+ youth can express who they are, and who they love, without experiencing hate and discrimination. We are delighted to partner with Facebook with this initiative to tackle the abuse of young LGBTI+ people online. By being kind, empathic, and accepting online, we have the power to change the conversation, and create a world where all of our young people feel safe, valued, and equal in their identities and experiences.”


Notes to Editor:

‘End Bullying, Be Kind Online’ Guide

How You Can Make A Positive Difference Online:

Hear it, Stop It, Don’t Be a Bystander: Stand up for others if you see them being targeted online, don’t be a bystander- support your friends, demonstrate that you’re by their side.

Keep It Positive: If you think a photo is nice, make sure to ‘like’ it, or leave a supportive comment or emoji if you like an article your friend has shared. Diffuse negative posts with positive language or images or humour.

Think Twice: Think twice before posting and consider how your own behaviour might harm others, even if unintentionally. Before you post a comment or a photo, be mindful and ask yourself if it could embarrass or hurt someone. If in doubt, don’t post it – be kind


Want to Know More About Staying Safe on Facebook?

Reach Out and Report– There is a report button on every piece of content on Facebook, meaning that you can report anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. When something gets reported to Facebook, a global team reviews it and removes anything that violates these terms.

Know Your Audience- Facebook allows you to control exactly who sees what on your profile and who you share things with. The Privacy Basics and Privacy Checkup tools talk you through the steps to control the information you share on your profile, whilst the audience selector tool allows you to control who sees what you share.

Friend and Connect with People You Know and Trust– Facebook is a place for connecting with people you know personally, like your friends, family and classmates. Facebook is based on authentic identities, where people represent who they are in the real world. This helps you know with whom you’re connecting. Some individuals may set up fake profiles or impersonate friends but fake profiles will be quickly removed if reported.

Unfriending– To unfriend someone, go to that person’s profile, hover over the Friends button at the top of their profile and select Unfriend. If you choose to unfriend someone, Facebook will not notify the person but you’ll be removed from that person’s friends list. If you want to be friends with this person again, you’ll need to send a new friend request.

Blocking- Blocking a person automatically unfriends them, and also blocks them so they can no longer see things you post on your profile, tag you, invite you to events or groups, start a conversation with you, or add you as a friend. Blocking is reciprocal, so you also won’t be able to do things like start a conversation with them or add them as a friend. When you block some- one, we do not notify them that you have blocked them.

Know Where You Can Get Help– Get help if you feel overwhelmed. Report to Facebook or speak to someone you trust – a friend, parent or guardian or teacher. Remember BeLonG To Youth Services provides support, information, and advice for LGBTI+ young people across Ireland.


For further information, contact:

Ken Waters/ Catherine Dunne

Hume Brophy
+353 (0)86 790 9915 / +353 (0) 86 400 2985