Luke Culhane pictured above in a scene from his powerful video about cyberbullying.
Safer Internet Day is a EU wide initiative to promote a safer internet for all users, especially young people and was celebrated in Ireland on Tuesday February 9 2016. The call to action is to “Play your part for a better internet” and the hashtags used to promote the day are #SID2016 and #Up2Us.
In honour of the day a 13-year-old Limerick filmmaker/vlogger Luke Culhane produced a short film entitled ‘Cyberbullying – Create No Hate’, which has amassed over 150,000 views on YouTube and another 200,000 views and counting on Facebook.
Since the launch of the Luke has been interviewed by Sky News, Fox News, RTE, TV3, Ryan Tubridy, Ray Darcy and countless others and has become a global internet sensation.
Aided by his father Dermot Culhane and his cousin and godfather, videographer Diarmuid Greene, Luke spent over 40 hours planning, filming and editing the video in time for Safe Internet Day, “I have been cyberbullied myself so that inspired me to make this video to help raise awareness for other people about how to handle cyberbullying. I wanted to show that it doesn’t have to be physical bullying to hurt someone so that’s why I showed the likeness between the two types of bullying. I felt that “Safer Internet Day” was an appropriate time to release this video to create discussion around the issue.”
Luke is from Limerick and is a 1st year student of Castletroy College with a very keen interest in filmmaking. Luke tells me, “I have been cyberbullied myself and understand first hand the impact it can have on a young persons self esteem. I wanted to do something to speak out against it and I wanted to use a medium that I am passionate about such as filmmaking. I felt the Safer Internet Day was an appropriate time to do it to it and create discussion around the issue. I am fortunate that I have my dad Dermot and my cousin Diarmuid to train and mentor me. I am so grateful and lucky.
You can visit the #CreateNoHate Facebook page here.
To become safer on the internet the website, ‘Safe Internet Day’ has issued a series of hints and tips! These tips for being safe on the internet include, ‘become selective with who you are friends with on the internet,’ this is so important especially for younger teens so that they do not become friends with people who are dangerous to them. When it comes to Facebook, the website encourages that you ‘think before you share’, do not share unnecessary information or photos as well as, taking time to understand the privacy settings of your account.
The key rule of whether to share things on the internet is ‘The Granny Rule’, if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see the photo or post then it shouldn’t be posted online. The golden rules are simple and easy to follow to keep us all safer on the internet :
Follow these steps from StopCyberbullying.org:
The first step is to stop the content coming into your phone or computer. If a child feels something is not right – even if they are not sure why – the first step is always to stop it. That means not replying to a post, not sharing a post, comment or photo. It also means not writing something like “go away” or “leave me alone”.
Every child who is using Snapchat, Facebook (yes we know it’s for over 13s but that doesn’t stop primary school children using it), or Instagram should know how to block a user who is bothering them. It’s an easy thing to do, and a child who knows how to do this is being empowered to take care of themselves, an important part of the Zeeko approach to internet security. Blocking a user means they can no longer contact you, and there is also a facility to report a user. We believe that reporting should be a last resort, such as persistent unsolicited contact from a stranger. Our Zeeko guide to Internet Security includes a section showing you how to block users if you wish to.
The third step we teach a child is to tell someone if you are worried or upset about anything you have seen on the Internet, including social media. That person can be a member of your family, but ideally an adult or trusted person who will take action for you. This might be a website with inappropriate material, or – more likely – a comment or photograph on social media that has upset the child. So showing someone not only means you are sharing the worry it might have caused you, it also means someone can reassure you and protect you. Being a victim of cyberbullying can sometimes mean you are afraid to speak out; but telling someone is the first step to solving the problem. We encourage adults to help children to discuss with their child how he or she feels about a negative online experience.