September 05, 2018

Rep. Cárdenas: We must do more to prevent cyberbullying online

Washington, D.C. –  Rep. Tony Cárdenas has released the following statement in connection to today’s House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

“An appalling number of teens report being bullied.  Physical playground bullying is bad enough, but increasingly this cruelty is moving online, where one click of a button sends hateful words and images that can be seen by hundreds or thousands of people.  People – kids – are being targeted for being who they are—for being a certain race, a certain sexual orientation and so on. 

We know it’s a pervasive problem, so much so that the First Lady has made combatting cyberbullying a national priority.  At the same time, adults are not giving kids a great example to follow—public figures including President Trump spew inflammatory, hurtful words every day. These actions cannot be erased and may follow their victims and families forever. 

Cyberbullying can take different forms, including harmful words about a user’s appearance in a photo, private information or photos published without permission, or belittling posts or private messages. 

As very public examples, a number of celebrities— 14 year-old Millie Bobbie Brown, Kelly Marie Tran, Ariel Winter, and Ruby Rose—have stopped using Twitter or taken breaks from Twitter because of the intensity of the bullying they experienced on the platform.  If these tech companies can’t or won’t help these public figures, how does it deal with all the kids who aren’t famous?”

Our discussion below:


Video, Audio access: