Cyber crusader calls for action  

A GRIFFITH man has launched an anticyber bullying campaign following the tragic death of celebrity Charlotte Dawson.

Frustrated by “keyboard warriors” Alan Barton, who owns The Bounce Technology shop, has called for locals to get behind his “Bullying is Bullshit” campaign.

“What happened with Charlotte Dawson has been a flashpoint for me and I feel someone needs to take a leadership role. I had a situation last week where someone posted on Facebook on my news feed, ‘why should we care about her’,” he said.

“I think a lot of people have missed the point. The core of this campaign is that everyone has a right to live their life and be a human.

“I’ve had people come to me to ask what they can do about cyber-bullies and I refer them to the police – but there isn’t a lot that can be done.”

In recent weeks, Mr Barton has had two firsthand accounts involving 14-old-girls in Griffith.

“I had one grandmother come to me, who had care of her granddaughter, and a girl she knew was making vicious physical threats through a private message. It was an 11-year-old who said she was going to kill the girl and tear her uterus out,” he said.

“It’s insane. All I could do was send her to the police.

“The second was last week. It involved the daughter of a friend. She had abuse posted to her Facebook wall.

“The thing these people don’t realise is that anything you put on the internet is a permanent record regardless of if you delete it or not. It is totally traceable.”

Mr Barton is keen to establish a local support network that would include a cross-section of the community.

“I want to see some change in Griffith. We need an advocacy role in place, where people who know how it works can share their knowledge,” he said.

“It could be a team of people, someone with a background in law, education, technology and other young people.

“I need real people to stand up who have been through it and survived and willing to offer advice.

“In the meantime, there are rules I use on Facebook that might help. The first thing to do is block troublemakers. The second is to change security settings. There is a function where you can mark ‘don’t allow friends of friends’ and the third thing is that it is totally cool to tell someone if you are being bullied.”

For support and information about suicide prevention, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

To find out more about the campaign call into The Bounce Technology shop in Griffith Central.

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