Skip to main content

Facebook 'Trusted Friend' Feature To Combat Cyber Bullying

Facebook has added a new feature to the platform that will make it easier for users who are bullied online to report the incident to their friends and platform moderators.

The 'trusted friend' feature, accessible from the platform's safety centre, will help people report bullying to one of their friends in order to get help. Facebook says that the feature will help people solve online problems 'face to face', BBC News reports.

The new Facebook feature was unveiled at an anti-bullying conference being hosted by US president Barack Obama and wife Michelle at the White House. "I have to say that with big ears and the name that I have, I wasn't immune," the President confided.

Children being exposed to cyber bullying will be able to contact a friend, teacher or parent directly from the website instead of going through an online process of reporting abuse.

The feature, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks, will also let people send emails to their confidants if they are not on Facebook.

“Taking down harassing online comments won't necessarily help people solve the underlying problem in the offline world. Safety and child psychology experts tell us that online issues are frequently a reflection of what is happening offline,” Facebook said in a statement.

The feature comes as a number of suicide cases related to bullying on the world's largest social networking platform have been reported in the past few months.