To assist in efforts to stop anti-LGBT bullying, Facebook has teamed up with LGBT organizations to form the Network of Support. The Network of Support is comprised of MTV's A Thin Line campaign; the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); the Human Rights Campaign (HRC); the Trevor Project; the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); and Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
"In light of recent tragedies involving youth who have taken their own lives as a result of anti-LGBT bullying, we felt it necessary to form a "Network of Support" to help us effectively address issues faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community."
Facebook also released the following to help protect users:
We look forward to working with these organizations [Network of Support] on an educational initiative to provide better resources for LGBT teens and everyone who wants to keep the Internet a safe place. To start, here are six things to remember on Facebook:
Block bullies. When you use the "Block" feature on Facebook, any ties you currently have with the person you've blocked will be broken and they won't be able to see your profile or contact you. You can block people by clicking on the Account link and then selecting Privacy settings where you'll see Block Lists at the bottom, or by clicking the 'Block' link at the bottom of any profile.
Report harassment. Facebook has report links throughout the site, on virtually every page, and all reports are anonymous. We rely on everyone who uses Facebook to be an extra set of eyes and ears and to report content that may violate our policies.
Stick up for others. Don't let anyone you know be victimized by ignorance. Reach out and offer a word of support, and remember to report the bully to Facebook.
Think twice before posting. It's also important to be aware of how your own behavior can harm others, even unintentionally. Before you post a comment or a photo that you think is funny, ask yourself it could embarrass or hurt someone. If in doubt, don't post it.
Get help if you feel overwhelmed. Facebook has relationships with organizations that can help if you or someone you know is in danger of self-harm. Also check out signs to watch out for at the Trevor Project site.
Know you're never alone. The Network of Support is comprised of people and organizations that understand the unique challenges that LGBT teens face and have tons of ideas, resources, and stories of hope for you to tap into. Read about each organization below and check out their websites for more information.
Until better solutions are in place to stop cyber-bullying and hate speech, I encourage all to ensure that when you see that someone is being bullied online, please report it. Also, talk to young ones (or anyone for that matter) around you about their Facebook experiences, how they use Facebook and who they're talking to online. Engage them in conversation about how they feel they are being treated on Facebook and how their friends are being treated. Don't wait another moment - have the conversation today!
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