On June 27, the Ethics Center was honored to host a group of emerging leaders from around the world and nominated by the U.S. Department of State, to participate in its premier professional exchange program: the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The group was sponsored locally by Global Ties San Francisco. Ethics Center staff including Senior Director of Leadership Ethics Ann Skeet, Director of Character Education Yael Kidron, and Director of Internet Ethics Irina Raicu, led a roundtable discussion focused on strategies for combatting cyberbullying.
The discussion illuminated the fact that cyberbullying is a global challenge requiring a global solution, providing common ground among a diverse group representing over a dozen countries, with the goal of innovating solutions. Other themes from the discussion included:
- It takes a village to counteract cyberbullying. Principals, teachers, students, high tech companies, and the press, should all understand they have a shared responsibility to identify, report, and block cyberbullying.
- Cyberbullying is nuanced and as AI evolves, it will become increasingly difficult to detect and fight.
- Social, emotional, and character development are essential for counteracting bullying, particularly when the private and public sectors are reluctant to censor free speech.
- Focusing on adolescence, a time when bullying behavior typically peaks, may have long-term benefits to improving online civility, particularly on social media.