Human cost of cyberbullying
Today, Wednesday, a new video has been released where the Duke of Cambridge discusses his
motivation for wanting to tackle cyberbullying. His Royal Highness invited Lucy Alexander and Chloe Hine to Kensington Palace to hear more about how cyberbullying has affected their lives, and to thank them for their contributions to the Royal Foundation’s Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying.
Shortly after the birth of his son, The Duke of Cambridge learned of a young boy who had killed himself following a vicious campaign of online bullying. As he looked into the issue further it was soon clear there were many similar stories from the UK and around the world.
Last year Lucy wrote movingly about the loss of her son, Felix, who took his own life. She began her own campaign to raise awareness of the issues, to ensure no other parents would suffer the heartbreak of losing a child to online bullies. The Duke read Lucy’s story and asked her to be one of the parents to help the Taskforce better understand the impact of cyberbullying.
Chloe was a member of the Taskforce Youth Panel. At the age of 13, she attempted to take her own life after being attacked online. While writing a suicide note about how she felt, she found comfort in the ability to explain in writing what she had been unable to say in person. She decided that her life was worth fighting for and continued to write down her feelings. She eventually turned these words into music and then used song writing as a therapy to make herself feel better.
Inspired by stories like these, His Royal Highness brought together some of the world’s most
recognisable names in media and tech, as well as children’s charities and parents, to work alongsid the panel of young people to find ways to tackle cyberbullying.
In the video, Chloe says: “On social media you can’t escape it, you’re constantly with that bully.” Talking about her own experience, she says: “People just turned against me because they thought ‘she said this one thing this one time so let’s all hate her for that’, and it just spiralled out of control from there.”
Lucy said: “It’s written down, so it’s there to look back at, time and time again. And if you’re in a negative space, that’s all you can see. You look for the negativity and you look for the cruel things”
Working to stop cyberbullying
Talking about her role in raising this issue Lucy added: “I sort of feel that Felix has given me a job to do – and my job is to make sure that we try and help as many other people like him.”
Tomorrow, Thursday, the Duke of Cambridge is set to unveil the results of the Taskforce. Chaired by tech entrepreneur Brent Hoberman CBE, the Taskforce members include: The Anti-Bullying Alliance; Apple; BT; The Diana Award; EE; Facebook; Google; Internet Matters; NSPCC; O2; Sky; Snapchat; Supercell; TalkTalk; Twitter; Vodafone and Virgin Media.