Kidscape film warns young people about the dangers of cyber bullying

The bullying prevention charity has launched a hard-hitting video to warn young people against sending abusive online messages, as part of its Don't Say, Don't Send campaign

Kidscape's #DontSayDontSend video
Kidscape's #DontSayDontSend video

What is it?

Kidscape has launched a new video to raise awareness among young people that the things they say in cyberspace can have consequences in the real world. Called #DontSayDontSend, the video shows a series of young people reading out texts and online messages they have sent, which include increasingly aggressive name-calling and threats of violence. When spoken out loud, the anger of the messages is at odds with the speakers' uncomfortable and worried expressions.

The same young people are then shown to be crying, and the camera pans out to reveal that they are at a funeral. They express their regret, saying "we didn’t mean it" and "it was just banter". The video ends with the message "If you wouldn’t say it, don’t send it", and a request to donate.

Why is the charity doing it?

The video has been launched in the run-up to anti-bullying week, which runs from 17 to 21 November. Information shown at the end of the video says that 69 per cent of young people experience cyber bullying before their 18th birthdays, and each year cyber bullying results in between 10 and 14 youth suicides.

What the charity says

Claude Knights, chief executive of Kidscape, says that cyber bullying can seem like "an unavoidable part of life" for some young people. Through the #DontSayDontSend video, she says that the charity wants to reach out to young people who might find themselves in cyber bullying situations and ask their contemporaries to "take account of their own behaviour and realise that behind every single screen there is a human being".

How has it been received so far?

The video has had more than 1,500 views onYouTube in the first four days since it was launched on 10 November. The charity has been promoting the video on Twitter using the hashtag #DontSayDontSend, where it has recieved some positive feedback from other charities.

Third Sector verdict

This is a moving video with a hard-hitting message that will resonate with its young audience. Instead of demonising young people, the video cleverly acknowledges that they might not realise the consequences of their actions and encourages them to change their behaviour. It's a shame that the video hasn't attracted more attention on social media, because it is a well-produced and interesting film that could rival those produced by larger charities.

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