Phoenix tech firm hopes to curb cyberbullying

Technology | 25 Feb, 2016 |

While technology has opened many doors, it also opened the door to the epidemic of cyberbullying. RAADR gives parents a means to monitor their child’s social media accounts and prevent them from the harm of cyberbullying.

“[Bullying] happens daily and on all campuses,” said Jacob DiMartino founder and CEO of RAADR. “It’s gotten to the place where groups of kids are ganging up behind the computer to bully someone.”

RAADR was founded in 2012 and allows parents to choose from 22 topics ranging from sexual harassment to Islamic State group key words. Each topic is linked to detect specific words associated with the selected category. Upon recognizing one of the highlighted words, RAADR alerts the parent.

“After selecting a keyword, the website will scan for over 3,000 words related to the selected topic and give the parent real-time updates,” DiMartino said.

While applications such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are efficient platforms to stay connected they are also a platform for scrutiny, sexual harassment and teasing.

The 2013-2014 School Crime Supplement, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that 7 percent of students in grades six through 12 were victims of cyberbullying. Thirty-nine percent of students who were bullied in school notified an adult, while only 23 percent of students who were cyberbullied reached out for help.

“Kids are endorsing the website because of how we are bringing it in,” DiMartino said. “We are going into classrooms and showing students what bullying looks like.”

DiMartino travels to local schools and brings in ordinary students who have been victims of cyberbullying. DiMartino believes this shows the students that cyberbullying is real and can happen to anyone.

DiMartino’s next step is to expand the RAADR website to include an application for students to download on their phone.

“We’re trying to hit all the realms. This way, school administrations and law enforcement can follow things and be alerted by the students,” DiMartino said.

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