New Service to Help Combat Anti-Gay Harassment Among Teens
Bullying by peers, not online predators, is the real threat facing teens online today. TrueCare, a provider of Internet monitoring services for parents, has recently announced an innovative social media monitoring service that automatically tracks a child’s use of today’s most popular social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter for anti-gay and lesbian related content.
TrueCare helps stem the wave of potential anti gay cyber-attacks by monitoring a child’s pages 24/7 and notifying parents with alerts anytime questionable content is found, via an email containing the full content and context of the post, plus a link to the page if parents want to investigate further. Parents can then discuss these potentially disturbing remarks with their children and work together on a resolution.
Recent data from GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) which surveyed 7,261 middle and high school students indicates the following:
• 84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
• 72.4% heard homophobic remarks, such as "faggot" or "dyke," frequently or often at school.
• Nearly two-thirds (61.1%) of students reported that they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third (39.9%) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.
• 29.1% of LGBT students missed a class at least once and 30.0% missed at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns, compared to only 8.0% and 6.7%, respectively, of a national sample of secondary school students.
• The reported grade point average of students who were more frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was almost half a grade lower than for students who were less often harassed (2.7 vs. 3.1).
“There are many negative effects for victims, with many developing low self-esteem and some become self-hating. In extreme cases, a young person might consider suicide,” states David Barker, Vice President for TrueCare. “Additionally, if it happens at school, as is often the case, learning can be seriously affected.”
TrueCare is a premier, subscription-based monitoring service and is available exclusively through the company’s secure website by registering online. Once enrolled members will immediately start benefitting from the intuitive features. Cost for the service is $9.99 a month and features include:
• Fully customizable reports to evaluate a child’s social networking activities
• Identifying patterns of inappropriate or improper postings
• One-click access in locating registered sex offenders in the users area
• Determining who a child’s online friends are with the Friends Network and Investigate Friend tools
• Easy access to news articles & resources to educate parents and children on Internet safety, its risks and more
• An online reference dictionary of hundreds of commonly used terms, slang and acronyms
TrueCare monitors a child’s social media activity no matter where they access the Internet from; home, a friend’s house, school or even their cell phone. TrueCare features a range of user-focused security options including searching the child’s social media accounts for keywords that may indicate potentially dangerous posts from a customizable database of more than 500+ key terms, with categories including: Sex, Depression, Bullying, Suicide, Drugs, Alcohol and Racism.