Cyberbullying Short Film Project

Cyberbullying is bullying which takes place online or through smartphones and tablets. Social networking sites, messaging apps, gaming sites and chat rooms such as Facebook, Xbox Live, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat can be great a fun and positive experience. Almost anyone with an internet connection or mobile phone can cyberbully someone else, often without having to reveal their identity.

When a young person is targeted, they can feel overwhelmed and are at a much higher risk of developing mental health problems. We have witnessed bullying that has caused anxiety and depression. Often, the young people involved have consciously avoided social situations and even school. The stark reality of cyberbullying, however, is that it can happen at any time and no child is safe whilst being online.

Key Aims:
  • Cyberbullying awareness for, not only young people, but their community also.
  • Equipping with the tools and support to avoid/deal with cyberbullying.
  • Increasing confidence.
  • Providing a safe space to share and explore own ideas.
The Challenge

2engage approached ten young people from Catch22 Ellesmere Port and asked them what issue was most affecting them and their peers. They unanimously identified cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is still a prevalent issue today as there are more social media platforms in use. The NSPCC state that cyberbullying can include excluding from online games/group chats, sending threatening or abusive messages, sharing malicious/embarrassing images or videos, ‘trolling’, setting up hate pages, creating fake accounts and catfishing. This leads the victim to have a complete lack of self-esteem and often mental health problems such as depression and anxiety; many wanting to harm themselves. According to Bullying UK (2014-2016 UK National Survey), 56% of young people said they have seen others bullied online and 42% have felt unsafe online.

Catch22 is a local charity dedicated to helping young people out of difficult situations, giving them the chance to achieve their dreams. They were keen to work alongside us to help young people deal with cyberbullying and to encourage safe use of the internet. Carrie Fisher, Project Coordinator at Catch22 said “traditional forms of bullying are usually confined to schools, so when a child returns home after school, the bullying stops. However, with the progression of technology and social networking, cyberbullying is a form of bullying that can happen everywhere and at any time”.

The Project

Funded by the Youth Opportunities Fund, 2engage created a series of drama workshops which explored the issue of cyberbullying. After discussion, activities and research, the young people decided they wanted to create a documentary to help other young people. The documentary highlights what cyberbullying is, the effects and what to do if it happens. It is a resource made by young people for young people.

The Outcome:
  • Young people had the chance to use film-making equipment and learn new techniques.
  • We helped to increase their confidence in their own ideas.
  • They became advocates for their peers.
  • It was a chance for them to explore their creativity, especially in drama and film-making.
  • They met other peers from other schools and made friends.

This experience inspired us to take this project further and led to the creation of ‘The Snap Trap’- an e-safety show for primary schools.