The STOPit app is an app that can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet that helps those who are feeling victimized by cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is the act of the physical and emotional feelings of a person through using electronic media. According to Cappadocia et al, (2013) “cyberbullying involves harassing, insulting, physically threatening, socially excluding, and/or humiliating others using electronic media such as email, Internet sites, instant Internet messaging, and cell phone text messages (Chisholm, 2006)” (p. 172).
The app, that has already been a mandatory tool in many school in New Jersey, helps the victim report issues that are related to cyberbullying and harmful situations to trusted adults and report crimes to authorities. The app was developed by Todd Schobel, a father, who was effected by the 2012 story of a young girl, Amanda Todd, who killed herself after being cyberbullied for years. Schobel was deeply affected by it and thought it was in the public’s best interest to develop an app that “empowers the kids” to become aware of the situation that is cyberbullying (Giordono 2014). By having this app being a mandatory use in some schools, it successfully addressing cyberbullying because by reporting these situations, not only does it increase the knowledge of what the action is, but it also makes the children and adults aware that there are instances such as this, that truly do go on in their schools, whether they know it or not. According to Light and Luckin (2008), “justice requires us to enable people to engage in the activities necessary to achieve what they want, rather than to give them what they want” (pg. 9). When a victim is being cyberbullied, it is not always in their best interest to report it. When reporting it, the victim can feel like a “tattle-tale” and be ridiculed by peers or bullies because of reporting such instances. With the STOPit app, it is a simple touch of the finger on their smartphone or tablet, to report what the victim has encountered and the adults and authorities can take action however is necessary without the victim’s identity being exposed.
Although this is an app that reports issues and the reporter is anonymous and private, the app is an app that gets peoples attention and it is an attention-seeking content. This is a positive aspect in having this app providing anonymous reports, for Marwick (2012) argues that “people are very resourceful at combining information from disparate digital sources to create a ‘bigger picture’ (p. 390). With the app, it is easier for individuals to manage and it eliminates small factors that make this social justice issue the “big picture” that Marwick is saying it is.
The purpose of the app is to make people, especially students, aware of the social justice issue. By having this app a mandatory tool in schools prevents the actions of cyberbulling and hopefully will decrease the amount of issues in schools across the nation, as well as preventing instances such as Amanda Todd’s from happening again.
- [paranoidpap]. (2012, February 12). CyberBully Trailer. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk_YSO0py7s.
- Cappadocia, M., Craig, W., & Pepler, D. (2013). Cyberbullying: Prevalence, Stability, and Risk Factors During Adolescence. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 28(2), 171-192. Retrieved March 8, 2015, from SAGE Journals.
- Giordono, R. (2014, September 13). Haddonfield students get new tool against bullying. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from http://articles.philly.com/2014-09-13/news/53855454_1_app-haddonfield-students-haddonfield-memorial-high-school
- Light, A., & Luckin, R. (2008). Designing for Social Justice: People, Technology, Learning. Futurelab.
- Marwick, Alice. (2012). “Public Domain: Surveillance in everyday life.” Surveillance & Society. 9(4): 378-393.