15/10/2013 Taro Naw


15/10/2013

Taro 9 sy’n clywed profiadau pobl ifanc o fwlio ar y we. This week Taro 9 hears from young victims of Cyberbullying.


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Transcript


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Social networking sites.

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Billions of people use them to keep in touch...

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..to share news, photos and to socialize.

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But what happens when the words on the screen turn nasty?

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You feel lonely. You don't know who your friends are.

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Internet bullying has caused concern and shock...

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..after a young girl from Leicestershire took her own life.

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Her family say she was bullied on the social networking site...

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..Ask.fm.

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Tonight we hear the experiences of young people of that website.

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I don't know how people can write those things.

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She's dead now and I'm just lucky I'm still here.

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The Children's Commissioner also calls for specific laws...

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..to protect young people online.

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We're trying to run to catch up to something that's way out there...

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..without very much regulation or control.

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Do we need to wrestle back control so it's safe? Yes.

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This programme contains some very strong language.

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This programme contains scenes some viewers may find disturbing.

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When the school term ended this summer...

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..the death of a 14-year-old girl claimed the news headlines.

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Hannah Smith from Leicestershire had committed suicide.

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Her family say she was bullied by anonymous posters on Ask.fm.

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The incident raised questions over the dangers of social sites.

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We, as members of the public, have got to stop using these sites.

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'Who are your friends?'

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One person who's on the internet for at least three hours a day...

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..is 15-year-old Olivia Edwards, who lives near Treorchy.

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I go on Facebook, Instagram, I look at things on the web...

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..I go on YouTube and things like that.

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But there is one website Olivia Edwards no longer uses.

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Ask.fm.

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It's a social networking site...

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..which encourages posters to ask and answer questions.

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There are 60 million users...

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..with over half of them under the age of 18.

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Olivia had an account last year...

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..but she became a target for bullies.

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They said I should kill myself...

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..and that I'm anorexic and not pretty...

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..and that I look like a monkey and a rat and things like that.

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How did that make you feel?

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It made my self-confidence go right down...

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..because I started to believe them, which wasn't good at all.

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Users can post anonymously on the site.

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I didn't know who it was and that upset me even more...

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..not knowing who it was.

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The situation got so bad that her mother had to contact the police.

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I was quite upset for two months...

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..and then I just wondered why I was upset.

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Other people go through it and they're fine. I should be fine.

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The internet has become part of all our lives...

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..but especially for young people.

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93% of people between 16 and 24 years of age...

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..use social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook...

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..and, in general, over half of us use these sites.

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But how many of us really know what's hiding behind the screen?

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One school hoping to tackle the problem of a lack of information...

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..is Ysgol y Cymer in the Rhondda.

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I went there to see the school's plans in action.

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If they tell you they're online and people are coming on to Ask.fm...

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..and they're saying cruel things to them, what might help?

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It's the first day of the Cymer Ofal scheme, which gives...

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..pupils an opportunity to volunteer as counsellors.

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Siriol Burford is the senior assistant head at the school.

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She's responsible for the welfare of the pupils and the scheme.

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The aim of the scheme is to enable pupils to advise others about...

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..cyberbullying and bullying in general.

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That's vital because I don't know whether they think we're old...

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..but they certainly understand more about technology than I would.

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They're more likely to go to pupils their own age...

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..for advice when things go wrong.

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She says internet bullying is a huge problem for schools...

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..and is increasing.

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If someone is unhappy, if something has happened on the internet...

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..the previous night or continues during the day...

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..that child will not concentrate.

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This is brought to my attention and the attention of others...

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..on the welfare team...

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..who spend a large part of their day trying to solve the problem.

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Sometimes they have to ask the police to come in...

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..to deal with the situation.

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One of the counsellors will be 14-year-old Kelsey Searle.

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To be someone they can come to and tell their problems...

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..and I can be there to listen to them.

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I might be able to advise them if they need it...

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..but I'm someone to talk to.

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Online bullying isn't new to her.

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She's been a target herself, through the app Kik Messenger...

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..where users can send messages for free over the internet.

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One of the boys I was in a class with...

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..was constantly saying things...

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..and saying really inappropriate things...

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..which were really nasty.

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So... I didn't take it, like, heart to heart.

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I was laughing about it because I thought, how pathetic is that?

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But it was a bit, you know, "Oh, my god."

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But things went too far and Kelsey told her mother.

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The bullying has stopped.

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By being part of the Cymer Ofal scheme...

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..she feels that she'll be able to empathise.

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You do feel as if you're on your own, so...

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..I can tell them to tell someone because they won't do anything.

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They can't.

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16-year-old Lowri Mitchinson has also experienced cyberbullying.

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Ask.fm was once again the source of the nasty comments.

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People called me anorexic and things. I wasn't anorexic.

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That could have hurt me a lot...

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..and caused me to put weight on or lose weight.

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It could happen to anyone, not just me.

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I still don't know who it was, to this day.

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You feel very lonely.

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You don't know who your friends are.

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Someone very close to you could be saying those things...

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..and you get really paranoid.

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She says there's a painful, public element to cyberbullying.

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There internet is everywhere you go.

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It's at school and on our phones and who doesn't carry their phone?

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The world can see what people think about you...

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..and they could get ideas about you without knowing you.

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It's really horrible.

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So what's the situation across Wales?

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Taro 9 has seen new figures...

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..which give an idea of the size of this problem.

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Almost a thousand people aged between 11 and 17...

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..were questioned in a recent survey...

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..by the Funky Dragon organisation.

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47.2% said they've been bullied...

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..and 37% of those said they've suffered from cyberbullying.

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It seems cyberbullying is more of a problem for girls than boys...

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..with the percentage of girls almost double that of the boys.

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Gwersyllt Primary School near Wrexham.

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Charles Conway is a consultant on internet safety...

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..and works with the local council to educate parents and children.

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Can anybody tell me what the age limit is for Facebook?

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He showed me the sort of comments young people in Wales face online.

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What we've got here is homophobic comments...

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..we've got somebody being told to keep cutting themselves.

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"Maybe one day you'll kill yourself. Fingers crossed."

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Educating parents about the latest technology is vital...

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..according to the consultant.

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This is the first generation of young people...

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..that are growing up always on internet access on Smartphones...

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..laptops, games consoles, tablet PCs - all these portable devices...

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..where the old advice of keep your computer in your living room...

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..and you can see what's happening goes out the window.

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Parents have to understand that where kids have 24/7 access to...

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..the internet, bullies have 24/7 access to their children.

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This isn't the first time stories have emerged...

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..of young people killing themselves due to cyberbullying.

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This time last year, Amanda Todd from Canada died...

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..just weeks after posting this video on YouTube.

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We've already seen cases of suicide in England and in Scotland...

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..and in America and Canada and all over the world...

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..relating to online bullying.

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Unfortunately, I feel it's a matter of time before we see it in Wales.

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A regular user of social networking sites is Nigel Owens.

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He's a familiar face as an international rugby referee.

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Almost 60,000 people follow him on his Twitter account.

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Although he acknowledges there are big advantages to the internet...

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..he's experienced the dark side as well.

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You can accept, in a way...

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..when somebody talks about a decision in a game...

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..or doesn't like the way you refereed.

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Fine, I can accept that, in a way...

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..although you don't want to hear that.

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But sometimes you get things which are more personal.

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Things about my sexuality.

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Things about being Welsh if they come from other countries.

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There are things that can be below the belt, I'd say.

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I can deal with it, not that I accept it...

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..because there are some things no-one should accept.

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But that's my nature as a referee.

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You have to deal with that side of things.

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Having been bullied at school...

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..he understands how damaging it can be.

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It's odd. You feel like it's your fault.

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It's not your fault at all that you're being bullied.

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The person who should feel guilty is the person bullying you.

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But you feel ashamed and that's why I think so many people...

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..find it difficult to talk about it.

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And he has advice for those suffering online.

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It's not your fault at all and it's wrong to say...

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..that you shouldn't...

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..go on there because you're being bullied.

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You're not doing anything wrong.

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But, if you're on these sites and you're being bullied...

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..come off those sites.

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Back at Ysgol y Cymer...

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..that's exactly what Lowri Mitchinson did.

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Mam spoke to me about it...

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..and said I'm far better off just getting rid of it.

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That's what I did and it never bothered me again.

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Some people can't because they want to know what people think of them.

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If one person does, everyone else might think that.

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After the break, the experience of one family from Anglesey...

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..at the hands of an anonymous bully.

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I was angry, upset, I started crying.

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I was basically running around frantic, not knowing what to do.

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What if it happens to someone who already feels depressed?

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.

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Llannerch-y-medd, a rural village on Anglesey.

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But nowhere is free from the dark influence of the web.

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In August, Ashley and Shiree Webb were targeted by a troll...

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..which is an anonymous person...

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..who deliberately makes offensive remarks on websites to hurt people.

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Look at him. He's doing it again. You'd think he'd get a life.

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Unbelievable.

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Go away!

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Shiree Webb complained on the Facebook website...

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..about a photo of dead animals.

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This was picked up upon by someone using the fake name Jamie Card.

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He used a photo of the couple's son from the mother's Facebook page.

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He saw that and downloaded the photo to a computer.

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Then he posted it with some terrible comments.

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"Down's syndrome", "abused" and other nonsense.

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I was angry, upset, I started crying.

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I was basically running around frantic, not knowing what to do.

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But the troll didn't stop there.

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The couple say he hacked into Shiree Webb's account...

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..took some photos and posted them on other public pages...

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..and added offensive comments.

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Calling me a "fat f***".

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"C***"

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Um.

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"A b****".

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That I'm "fat and ugly".

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Yeah, he seems to be able to get away with it.

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Good boy. Go!

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This isn't the first family targeted by troll 'Jamie Card'.

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There are other, similar reports from young mothers in England.

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Although they have contacted the police and Facebook...

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..the couple say there is little support.

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They are concerned about the effect on vulnerable youngsters.

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What if the same thing happens to someone who is depressed?

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It's just a small thing for us.

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It might have a greater impact for someone in a different situation.

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The Parc and Dare Theatre, Treorchy, three weeks ago.

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Olivia Edwards is involved in rehearsals.

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It's a show called Ton-y-pandemonium.

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It's a show by the National Theatre of Wales.

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Nine of us have been selected to take part in it.

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Last Christmas, bullies targeted her...

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..on the Ask.fm social website.

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When I was being bullied...

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..everything went down and I lost some of my confidence.

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Then, when I went back to acting, it made me feel more confident.

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It helps a lot.

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The social website has been severely criticised...

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..following Hannah Smith's death this summer.

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Like Hannah, Olivia received anonymous comments.

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I don't know how people can write such things.

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She is dead because of it.

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I feel really lucky that I haven't fallen into that situation.

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She's dead now...

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..and I feel very lucky that I'm still here.

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Ask.fm is a company from Latvia.

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Since the summer, they have introduced new security features.

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These include appointing a security officer...

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..creating of a category to draw attention to bullying...

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..and making a button to ignore anonymous questions more prominent.

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But some say the changes don't go far enough.

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Young people should never be exposed to that level...

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..of vitriol and nastiness.

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Ask.fm could apply measures...

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..that could filter that stuff at source...

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..to make sure it never appeared on anybody's screen.

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Don't use it at all because...

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..there are people on it who want to make you feel small.

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It's not nice to feel like that.

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Taro 9 received a statement from Ask.fm.

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They say they are doing everything possible...

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..to protect users from bullying on the web.

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They say they are working with a child safety expert...

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..to create the most effective policies.

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They also encourage victims of bullying to contact them.

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They insist they will deal with such complaints immediately.

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Keith Towler, the Children's Commissioner for Wales...

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..says social websites need to wake up to their responsibilities.

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I think there's an absence of responsibility which shocks me.

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They've got to think that children will access their services.

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If children are accessing those services, how should we behave?

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There aren't currently specific laws in place...

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..which deal with cyberbullying.

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Tonight, the commissioner is calling for a change.

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We're trying to run to catch up to something that's way out there.

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It's out there without much regulation or control.

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Do we need to rest back some control so it's safe? Yes, we do.

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We need to think about legislation, guidance...

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..and the role of schools and parents and carers...

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..and enable children and young people to empower themselves...

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..to take some responsibility for their own safety.

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Gareth Jones is a lawyer.

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Although there isn't a cyberbullying law...

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..some offensive comments can be prosecuted...

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..by using the Harassment Act, the Public Order Act...

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..and recently, the Defamation Act.

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You don't see that many cases in the courts at the moment...

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..involving sites like Twitter and Facebook.

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But when they do come to court, there's a lot of press.

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He is speaks from experience.

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He was the defence lawyer in one of the best-known court cases...

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..when Liam Stacey from Swansea was jailed...

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..after making racist comments about Fabrice Muamba on Twitter.

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He admitted from the start that he shouldn't have said what he did.

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I'm certain he wouldn't have said these things...

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..if he understood what could happen by saying these things.

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Things are changing with the Defamation Act.

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People are much more careful.

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They have to be these days about what they say...

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..compared to what they might have said a year or two ago.

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But is it possible to be too careful?

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Yes, according to Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group.

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The group campaigns for people's rights on the internet.

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If we're expecting the large companies to do all the work...

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..people won't get justice.

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Instead, companies will stop people saying things...

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..whenever anyone complains.

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That will affect our freedom of speech.

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He says the police and not the companies...

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..should be responsible for taking action.

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Facebook isn't the police. They can't put people in prison.

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If you are really serious about sorting these problems out...

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..the police must take action where it's important...

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..when something has gone wrong.

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Cyberbullying can seriously affect an individual.

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But beyond the courts, the companies and prisons...

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..what more can be done?

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'Feeling sad :('

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Siriol Burford believes the school curriculum needs to be re-examined.

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We need to teach about self-confidence.

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We need to teach about self-value.

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All these things, despite having had attention in the curriculum...

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..perhaps it doesn't currently have enough.

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The Cymer Ofal scheme will start giving support next month.

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The future counsellors have advice for victims of cyberbullying.

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I would say that you should just ignore it.

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If you react to it, that is what they want.

0:23:190:23:23

It is just like a game for them.

0:23:230:23:26

That is what they want.

0:23:260:23:27

They want you to react.

0:23:280:23:30

Sharing the problem is also crucial.

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It doesn't have to be your parents, if you're embarrassed.

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It could be a teacher or someone you trust...

0:23:380:23:41

..like a cousin, your parents or friends.

0:23:410:23:45

Someone cares about you.

0:23:450:23:49

Someone will tell someone and they will be able to help you.

0:23:490:23:54

Olivia Edwards' experience isn't an exception.

0:23:560:24:00

Now, she's speaking out in order to help others.

0:24:000:24:03

She has moved on since the bullying...

0:24:030:24:05

..and hopes to follow her dream and become an actress.

0:24:060:24:09

When it comes to the future of Ask.fm...

0:24:090:24:11

..she says there's only one answer.

0:24:120:24:14

They should just close it down.

0:24:140:24:16

I think more people are going to die...

0:24:160:24:19

..because the bullies don't realise what they're doing.

0:24:190:24:23

'Who are your friends?'

0:24:260:24:28

S4C subtitles by Red Bee Media

0:24:510:24:54

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Yr wythnos hon mae Taro 9 yn clywed profiadau rai pobl ifanc yng Nghymru o fwlio ar y we. Bydd y rhaglen yn clywed gan ddwy ferch ifanc cafodd eu bwlio ar wefan Ask.fm. Cawn glywed hefyd manylion arolwg diweddar sy’n rhoi syniad o maint y broblem yn Nghymru. This week Taro 9 hears from young welsh victims of Cyberbullying. The programme will hear from two who have been bullied on the social network site Ask.fm. We also reveal details of a recent Wales wide survey which gives an indication of the scale of the problem in Wales.


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