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New Media Newsletter


October Newsletter

National Bullying Prevention Month:  How Social Platforms are Making a Difference

In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month this October, some of the world’s largest social networks are taking action to prevent cyber-bullying on their platforms.  By making updates to their help and safety centers and hosting online chats to discuss bullying prevention, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are making online harassment prevention a priority.  

FacebookOn September 25, Facebook published a new resource called, "Facebook for Educators and Community Leaders Guide," which provides tools to help prevent bullying online.  The manual explains how to use Facebook safely and gives instructions for reporting harassment and abuse to Facebook.

In its help center, Twitter also published an online safety section, which includes tips for parents, teachers, and teens.  The tips explain how Twitter works and describe ways to guide safe online behavior for teens.  The tips encourage parents and teachers to ask teens to “think before tweeting,” explaining that the nature of the Internet makes it difficult to erase offensive content.  In addition, Twitter offers information on how to report and address offensive tweets from another user.

Google+ is contributing to bullying prevention strategies through a partnership with PopSugar, a popular pop-culture website.  Google+ and PopSugar have committed to hosting a couple of Google Hangouts, or live group video chats, on the topics of cyber bullying, suicide prevention, and parent-teacher conferences throughout the month of October.  The first Google Hangout of the series, titled “Stop Bullying Now,” streamed live on October 17.

Find out how you and your organization can become involved in National Bullying Prevention Month.  You can also read more about how social platforms are participating in this year’s National Bullying Prevention Month on Mashable.

 

TIPS OF THE MONTH

This month, we look at how Google+ is joining the conversation in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month by hosting Google Hangouts throughout October that explore bullying prevention.  Hangouts allow you to connect with Google+ users and other organizations around the globe through video to discuss various topics and share stories in real time.  Below, we have provided a few tips on how to get started.  For more information, read the Google Hangouts Tip Sheet.

  1. Create a Google+ Account.  To participate, you need to have a Google+ account.  You can either sign into an existing Google account or create a new account here.  Set up your Google+ profile by providing some basic information about yourself.

  2. Download the required plug-in.  To participate in Hangouts, you must first download and install the free Google Hangout plugin, which is a piece of software that improves your web browser’s functionality.  This plugin only takes a few minutes to download and will allow you to join a Hangout from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

  3. Join a Hangout.  Hangouts can be spontaneous or scheduled and attended by you and up to 10 other Google users.  You also have the option of joining a Hangout on Air, a publicly broadcast chat where participants can join via video or by simply watching.  You can learn more about Hangouts on Air as well as find recent and upcoming Hangouts here.

  4. Learn and use the various features.  There are numerous features that can add to your Hangout experience.  For example, you can use the chat function to type messages to other participants while someone is speaking.  In addition, the mute feature allows you to silence your microphone when you are not speaking to reduce background noise.

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