Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Cyberbullies tracked and smashed with new tool

News Image

Nasty personal attacks on social media networks like Instagram can be tracked and smashed with a new digital tool.

Developed by CU Boulder's CyberSafety Research Center, the software combines several different computing tools to scan massive amounts of social media data, sending alerts to parents or network administrators that abuse has occurred.

The approach uses five times less computing resources than existing tools and that's efficient enough to monitor a network the size of Instagram for a modest investment in server power.

The group who produced the initiative have released a free app for Android phones that allows parents to receive alerts when their kids are the objects of bullying on Instagram called BullyAlert.

The team first employed real humans to teach a computer program how to separate harmless online comments from abuse and then designed a system that filters the benign from the mean.

When a user uploads a new post, the group's tools make a quick scan of the comments. If those comments look questionable, then that post gets high priority to receive further checks. But if the comments all seem charitable, then the system bumps the post to the bottom of its queue.

The approach was tested on real-world data from Vine, a now-defunct video-sharing platform, and Instagram because they make their data publicly available.

The toolset can monitor traffic on Vine and Instagram in real-time, detecting cyberbullying behavior with 70% accuracy.


13 Jun 2019 | International
16 year old UWA music prodigy best in the world News Image

Ready for a what am I doing with my life moment? Here you go; 16-year-old Shuan Hern Lee a student from The University of Western Australia has been named the best junior pianist in the world. Read More

13 Jun 2019 | Sydney
Vivid Sydney shared with students from regional Australia News Image

Students from Mount Burr in South Australia will get the opportunity to visit the emerald city and see the world-famous Vivid festival, evening up the disparity in experiences between city and regional students. Read More

13 Jun 2019 | National
Education hack attacks up and looking for money News Image

Education look out; there was a noticeable shift towards financially motivated cyber crime (80%) in educational services.
Read More

13 Jun 2019 | National
Jobs for teachers see most growth News Image

Jobs are down a bit from last year according to SEEK but the good news is that wages are up and it’s still great to be a teacher or in education.
Read More

13 Jun 2019
NESLI’s global experts to tackle education leadership in low GDP areas News Image

The National Excellence in Schools Leadership Institute (NESLI) have announced the ten global experts who will make up NESLI’s inaugural advisory board.
Read More