New app fights cyber-bullying
Parents worried about cyber-bullying, so software programmers came up with a solution- or at least a semi-solution. Word Bully lets parents know what texts their kids are receiving... and sending.
Posted October 12, 2011
By HOLLY JENNINGS, EVERGEEK MEDIA
On September 18, Buffalo, NY high school student and victim of cyber-bullying, Jamey Rodemeyer, took his own life during National Suicide Prevention Week.
Cyber-bullying refers to bullying that takes place when tormentors taunt victims online or through text messages. Aside from conventional moral guidance if not simply banning children and teens from the internet, parents had little in the way of tools to control online bullying.
Enter Iconosys Inc. and its brand of anti-bullying computer software and now, an anti-bullying smartphone app, Word Bully.
Available for Android-based phones, Word Bully is a parent-controlled application that filters profanity and threatening language from the child's phone while also redirecting the communication to the parent's phone. In and of itself, Word Bully monitors for around 3600 words and phrases, but it also allows parents to create a customized list of words to trigger an alert.
Questionable communication is forwarded to the parent's phone and is identified as either "sent to" or "sent from" the child. The parent can also choose to monitor all text communications and blacklist undesirable communicants.
There are several similar child-safety programs and apps in the Iconosys catalogue, including the timely Trick or Tracker child location retrieval app, just in time for Halloween.