Samantha Hayes tackles cyber bullying

Samantha Hayes (SamHayes_/Twitter)
Samantha Hayes (SamHayes_/Twitter)

Newshub's Samantha Hayes is taking on a new role - she's part of a line-up at a conference aimed at increasing online safety.

The conference is set to help explain the new Harmful Digital Communications Act, which aims to better the response to harassment and bullying online.

NetSafe's new cyber bullying and online harassment service will officially launch later this month, and its team is a key agency aiming to better the response to harassment and bullying online.

"I'm MCing the NetSafe conference because I believe it's important to tackle online bullying and this is bringing together industry experts from all over the world to investigate how to best combat harmful online behaviour," says Hayes.

"Young people, but not just young people, adults too, are being confronted more and more by negativity online through Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms, and it's important to have a conversation about how to challenge and best cope with it." 

Chief executive Martin Cocker says there's a lot to get done if NetSafe's new scheme is to prove successful.

"In practical terms that means working with the parties to the disputes, the industry members, the content hosts like Facebook and Google, to get people a positive outcome when they're on the wrong end of harmful digital communication."

The organisation is taking on a whole load more work as it teams up with Facebook and Google to help abolish cyber bullying.

"NetSafe handles at the moment about 1000 cases of this type a year," Mr Cocker said.

"The expectation is that number will increase significantly when the new service is launched - we'd expect more like 10,000 cases each year."

Mr Cocker is helping lead day two of a conference in Auckland on Friday, where he says they're discussing what the new scheme entails.

"If you look at the speakers we have this morning from the UK and the US, if you took their accents away, they could easily be describing the same problems that we're seeing here in New Zealand," he said.

"There's no real difference between the problems that are faced by families in the US than by the families in New Zealand."


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