In First, Israeli App Helps Kids Beat Cyber-Bullies

June 18, 2015

Source: Times of Israel


The internet abounds with dangers for unwary users and is especially perilous for children whose inexperience renders them vulnerable to hackers, bullies, and pedophiles or worse. In response, an Israeli nonprofit called Red Button has produced the world’s first app that lets anyone, especially kids, easily report negative web behavior. The Red Button app installs itself as a service on Android devices, and there is also an add-on version for popular web browsers like Firefox and Chrome . If an individual comes across something or someone they are uncomfortable with – such as a person who is cursing, threatening, intimidating, or inappropriately discussing personal issues – all they have to do is press a button to begin a process that can lead to taking the offending site down or arresting the offending individual.


The data gathered by the app – web and IP address, site ownership, identifying information of the offending individual – is forwarded to a group of volunteers at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC), who collate the information and file complaints with the appropriate sites and/or authorities. Those can include website owners, ISPs, internet associations, and even police. The objective is to force sites to remove or ban users engaged in negative behavior, and, where possible, to track them down and make them own up to their behavior.


Currently the app works only in Israel, but Red Button is working to develop partnerships with volunteer groups in other countries to administer reports for users there, as well.


The Red Button Organization, which is sponsoring and funding the app, was established about a year and a half ago to deal with the increasing danger of cyber-bullying. Thousands of Israelis have joined since then, committing to report incidents of cyber-bullying, threats, cursing, and suspected pedophilia activities.


Several months ago, Facebook chose Red Button as a worldwide partner to encourage cyber-safety, with the Israeli group helping Facebook track down individual and group pages that spew hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, and other content Facebook doesn’t want to be associated with.

Read more at the Times of Israel

Updated: Jun. 24, 2015