On Monday, SanJose.com reported on Governor Jerry Brown signing Assemblywoman Nora Campos’s bill to fight cyber-bullying. The bill is already having an impact. This morning, Facebook and Time Warner issued a joint press release announcing the launch of “a wide-ranging, major cross-platform partnership initiative called Stop Bullying: Speak Up.” The new initiative, an extension of Time Warner’s current campaign on the Cartoon Network, will encompass print, broadcast, and of course, social media.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said that this collaborative was a long time in the works: “For the past two years, we’ve been working closely with Facebook to expand the bullying prevention campaign that was started by our own Cartoon Network, and includes several of our other leading brands. In partnering with Facebook for the next phase of our effort, we will now be able to communicate this important message to an even broader audience.”
Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg echoed this, saying, “We care deeply about the safety of our nation’s children and are proud to be partnering with Time Warner to raise awareness of bullying.” Sandberg herself has two young children under the age of 13 and has addressed issues relating to COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) and other matters pertaining to children in the past.
Among the activities planned to promote awareness of the problem are a new Facebook app on which children, parents and educators will pledge to take a stand against bullying, and a special Town Hall with CNN’s Anderson Cooper devoted to bullying issues facing children and how they can be confronted. The app is scheduled for release at the start of the 2011-2012 school year. The Town Hall will air about one month later, in October.