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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Social networking sites.
Billions of people use them to keep in touch...
..to share news, photos and to socialize.
But what happens when the words on the screen turn nasty?
You feel lonely. You don't know who your friends are.
Internet bullying has caused concern and shock...
..after a young girl from Leicestershire took her own life.
Her family say she was bullied on the social networking site...
Tonight we hear the experiences of young people of that website.
I don't know how people can write those things.
She's dead now and I'm just lucky I'm still here.
The Children's Commissioner also calls for specific laws...
..to protect young people online.
We're trying to run to catch up to something that's way out there...
..without very much regulation or control.
Do we need to wrestle back control so it's safe? Yes.
This programme contains some very strong language.
This programme contains scenes some viewers may find disturbing.
When the school term ended this summer...
..the death of a 14-year-old girl claimed the news headlines.
Hannah Smith from Leicestershire had committed suicide.
Her family say she was bullied by anonymous posters on Ask.fm.
The incident raised questions over the dangers of social sites.
We, as members of the public, have got to stop using these sites.
'Who are your friends?'
One person who's on the internet for at least three hours a day...
..is 15-year-old Olivia Edwards, who lives near Treorchy.
I go on Facebook, Instagram, I look at things on the web...
..I go on YouTube and things like that.
But there is one website Olivia Edwards no longer uses.
It's a social networking site...
..which encourages posters to ask and answer questions.
There are 60 million users...
..with over half of them under the age of 18.
Olivia had an account last year...
..but she became a target for bullies.
They said I should kill myself...
..and that I'm anorexic and not pretty...
..and that I look like a monkey and a rat and things like that.
How did that make you feel?
It made my self-confidence go right down...
..because I started to believe them, which wasn't good at all.
Users can post anonymously on the site.
I didn't know who it was and that upset me even more...
..not knowing who it was.
The situation got so bad that her mother had to contact the police.
I was quite upset for two months...
..and then I just wondered why I was upset.
Other people go through it and they're fine. I should be fine.
The internet has become part of all our lives...
..but especially for young people.
93% of people between 16 and 24 years of age...
..use social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook...
..and, in general, over half of us use these sites.
But how many of us really know what's hiding behind the screen?
One school hoping to tackle the problem of a lack of information...
..is Ysgol y Cymer in the Rhondda.
I went there to see the school's plans in action.
If they tell you they're online and people are coming on to Ask.fm...
..and they're saying cruel things to them, what might help?
It's the first day of the Cymer Ofal scheme, which gives...
..pupils an opportunity to volunteer as counsellors.
Siriol Burford is the senior assistant head at the school.
She's responsible for the welfare of the pupils and the scheme.
The aim of the scheme is to enable pupils to advise others about...
..cyberbullying and bullying in general.
That's vital because I don't know whether they think we're old...
..but they certainly understand more about technology than I would.
They're more likely to go to pupils their own age...
..for advice when things go wrong.
She says internet bullying is a huge problem for schools...
..and is increasing.
If someone is unhappy, if something has happened on the internet...
..the previous night or continues during the day...
..that child will not concentrate.
This is brought to my attention and the attention of others...
..on the welfare team...
..who spend a large part of their day trying to solve the problem.
Sometimes they have to ask the police to come in...
..to deal with the situation.
One of the counsellors will be 14-year-old Kelsey Searle.
To be someone they can come to and tell their problems...
..and I can be there to listen to them.
I might be able to advise them if they need it...
..but I'm someone to talk to.
Online bullying isn't new to her.
She's been a target herself, through the app Kik Messenger...
..where users can send messages for free over the internet.
One of the boys I was in a class with...
..was constantly saying things...
..and saying really inappropriate things...
..which were really nasty.
So... I didn't take it, like, heart to heart.
I was laughing about it because I thought, how pathetic is that?
But it was a bit, you know, "Oh, my god."
But things went too far and Kelsey told her mother.
The bullying has stopped.
By being part of the Cymer Ofal scheme...
..she feels that she'll be able to empathise.
You do feel as if you're on your own, so...
..I can tell them to tell someone because they won't do anything.
16-year-old Lowri Mitchinson has also experienced cyberbullying.
Ask.fm was once again the source of the nasty comments.
People called me anorexic and things. I wasn't anorexic.
That could have hurt me a lot...
..and caused me to put weight on or lose weight.
It could happen to anyone, not just me.
I still don't know who it was, to this day.
You feel very lonely.
You don't know who your friends are.
Someone very close to you could be saying those things...
..and you get really paranoid.
She says there's a painful, public element to cyberbullying.
There internet is everywhere you go.
It's at school and on our phones and who doesn't carry their phone?
The world can see what people think about you...
..and they could get ideas about you without knowing you.
It's really horrible.
So what's the situation across Wales?
Taro 9 has seen new figures...
..which give an idea of the size of this problem.
Almost a thousand people aged between 11 and 17...
..were questioned in a recent survey...
..by the Funky Dragon organisation.
47.2% said they've been bullied...
..and 37% of those said they've suffered from cyberbullying.
It seems cyberbullying is more of a problem for girls than boys...
..with the percentage of girls almost double that of the boys.
Gwersyllt Primary School near Wrexham.
Charles Conway is a consultant on internet safety...
..and works with the local council to educate parents and children.
Can anybody tell me what the age limit is for Facebook?
He showed me the sort of comments young people in Wales face online.
What we've got here is homophobic comments...
..we've got somebody being told to keep cutting themselves.
"Maybe one day you'll kill yourself. Fingers crossed."
Educating parents about the latest technology is vital...
..according to the consultant.
This is the first generation of young people...
..that are growing up always on internet access on Smartphones...
..laptops, games consoles, tablet PCs - all these portable devices...
..where the old advice of keep your computer in your living room...
..and you can see what's happening goes out the window.
Parents have to understand that where kids have 24/7 access to...
..the internet, bullies have 24/7 access to their children.
This isn't the first time stories have emerged...
..of young people killing themselves due to cyberbullying.
This time last year, Amanda Todd from Canada died...
..just weeks after posting this video on YouTube.
We've already seen cases of suicide in England and in Scotland...
..and in America and Canada and all over the world...
..relating to online bullying.
Unfortunately, I feel it's a matter of time before we see it in Wales.
A regular user of social networking sites is Nigel Owens.
He's a familiar face as an international rugby referee.
Almost 60,000 people follow him on his Twitter account.
Although he acknowledges there are big advantages to the internet...
..he's experienced the dark side as well.
You can accept, in a way...
..when somebody talks about a decision in a game...
..or doesn't like the way you refereed.
Fine, I can accept that, in a way...
..although you don't want to hear that.
But sometimes you get things which are more personal.
Things about my sexuality.
Things about being Welsh if they come from other countries.
There are things that can be below the belt, I'd say.
I can deal with it, not that I accept it...
..because there are some things no-one should accept.
But that's my nature as a referee.
You have to deal with that side of things.
Having been bullied at school...
..he understands how damaging it can be.
It's odd. You feel like it's your fault.
It's not your fault at all that you're being bullied.
The person who should feel guilty is the person bullying you.
But you feel ashamed and that's why I think so many people...
..find it difficult to talk about it.
And he has advice for those suffering online.
It's not your fault at all and it's wrong to say...
..that you shouldn't...
..go on there because you're being bullied.
You're not doing anything wrong.
But, if you're on these sites and you're being bullied...
..come off those sites.
Back at Ysgol y Cymer...
..that's exactly what Lowri Mitchinson did.
Mam spoke to me about it...
..and said I'm far better off just getting rid of it.
That's what I did and it never bothered me again.
Some people can't because they want to know what people think of them.
If one person does, everyone else might think that.
After the break, the experience of one family from Anglesey...
..at the hands of an anonymous bully.
I was angry, upset, I started crying.
I was basically running around frantic, not knowing what to do.
What if it happens to someone who already feels depressed?
Llannerch-y-medd, a rural village on Anglesey.
But nowhere is free from the dark influence of the web.
In August, Ashley and Shiree Webb were targeted by a troll...
..which is an anonymous person...
..who deliberately makes offensive remarks on websites to hurt people.
Look at him. He's doing it again. You'd think he'd get a life.
Shiree Webb complained on the Facebook website...
..about a photo of dead animals.
This was picked up upon by someone using the fake name Jamie Card.
He used a photo of the couple's son from the mother's Facebook page.
He saw that and downloaded the photo to a computer.
Then he posted it with some terrible comments.
"Down's syndrome", "abused" and other nonsense.
I was angry, upset, I started crying.
I was basically running around frantic, not knowing what to do.
But the troll didn't stop there.
The couple say he hacked into Shiree Webb's account...
..took some photos and posted them on other public pages...
..and added offensive comments.
Calling me a "fat f***".
That I'm "fat and ugly".
Yeah, he seems to be able to get away with it.
Good boy. Go!
This isn't the first family targeted by troll 'Jamie Card'.
There are other, similar reports from young mothers in England.
Although they have contacted the police and Facebook...
..the couple say there is little support.
They are concerned about the effect on vulnerable youngsters.
What if the same thing happens to someone who is depressed?
It's just a small thing for us.
It might have a greater impact for someone in a different situation.
The Parc and Dare Theatre, Treorchy, three weeks ago.
Olivia Edwards is involved in rehearsals.
It's a show called Ton-y-pandemonium.
It's a show by the National Theatre of Wales.
Nine of us have been selected to take part in it.
Last Christmas, bullies targeted her...
..on the Ask.fm social website.
When I was being bullied...
..everything went down and I lost some of my confidence.
Then, when I went back to acting, it made me feel more confident.
It helps a lot.
The social website has been severely criticised...
..following Hannah Smith's death this summer.
Like Hannah, Olivia received anonymous comments.
I don't know how people can write such things.
She is dead because of it.
I feel really lucky that I haven't fallen into that situation.
She's dead now...
..and I feel very lucky that I'm still here.
Ask.fm is a company from Latvia.
Since the summer, they have introduced new security features.
These include appointing a security officer...
..creating of a category to draw attention to bullying...
..and making a button to ignore anonymous questions more prominent.
But some say the changes don't go far enough.
Young people should never be exposed to that level...
..of vitriol and nastiness.
Ask.fm could apply measures...
..that could filter that stuff at source...
..to make sure it never appeared on anybody's screen.
Don't use it at all because...
..there are people on it who want to make you feel small.
It's not nice to feel like that.
Taro 9 received a statement from Ask.fm.
They say they are doing everything possible...
..to protect users from bullying on the web.
They say they are working with a child safety expert...
..to create the most effective policies.
They also encourage victims of bullying to contact them.
They insist they will deal with such complaints immediately.
Keith Towler, the Children's Commissioner for Wales...
..says social websites need to wake up to their responsibilities.
I think there's an absence of responsibility which shocks me.
They've got to think that children will access their services.
If children are accessing those services, how should we behave?
There aren't currently specific laws in place...
..which deal with cyberbullying.
Tonight, the commissioner is calling for a change.
We're trying to run to catch up to something that's way out there.
It's out there without much regulation or control.
Do we need to rest back some control so it's safe? Yes, we do.
We need to think about legislation, guidance...
..and the role of schools and parents and carers...
..and enable children and young people to empower themselves...
..to take some responsibility for their own safety.
Gareth Jones is a lawyer.
Although there isn't a cyberbullying law...
..some offensive comments can be prosecuted...
..by using the Harassment Act, the Public Order Act...
..and recently, the Defamation Act.
You don't see that many cases in the courts at the moment...
..involving sites like Twitter and Facebook.
But when they do come to court, there's a lot of press.
He is speaks from experience.
He was the defence lawyer in one of the best-known court cases...
..when Liam Stacey from Swansea was jailed...
..after making racist comments about Fabrice Muamba on Twitter.
He admitted from the start that he shouldn't have said what he did.
I'm certain he wouldn't have said these things...
..if he understood what could happen by saying these things.
Things are changing with the Defamation Act.
People are much more careful.
They have to be these days about what they say...
..compared to what they might have said a year or two ago.
But is it possible to be too careful?
Yes, according to Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group.
The group campaigns for people's rights on the internet.
If we're expecting the large companies to do all the work...
..people won't get justice.
Instead, companies will stop people saying things...
..whenever anyone complains.
That will affect our freedom of speech.
He says the police and not the companies...
..should be responsible for taking action.
Facebook isn't the police. They can't put people in prison.
If you are really serious about sorting these problems out...
..the police must take action where it's important...
..when something has gone wrong.
Cyberbullying can seriously affect an individual.
But beyond the courts, the companies and prisons...
..what more can be done?
'Feeling sad :('
Siriol Burford believes the school curriculum needs to be re-examined.
We need to teach about self-confidence.
We need to teach about self-value.
All these things, despite having had attention in the curriculum...
..perhaps it doesn't currently have enough.
The Cymer Ofal scheme will start giving support next month.
The future counsellors have advice for victims of cyberbullying.
I would say that you should just ignore it.
If you react to it, that is what they want.
It is just like a game for them.
That is what they want.
They want you to react.
Sharing the problem is also crucial.
It doesn't have to be your parents, if you're embarrassed.
It could be a teacher or someone you trust...
..like a cousin, your parents or friends.
Someone cares about you.
Someone will tell someone and they will be able to help you.
Olivia Edwards' experience isn't an exception.
Now, she's speaking out in order to help others.
She has moved on since the bullying...
..and hopes to follow her dream and become an actress.
When it comes to the future of Ask.fm...
..she says there's only one answer.
They should just close it down.
I think more people are going to die...
..because the bullies don't realise what they're doing.
'Who are your friends?'
S4C subtitles by Red Bee Media
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.