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AT&T Launches New Program To Help Parents, Kids Deal With Cyberbullying

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A new program to help victims of cyberbullying - especially young gay, lesbian and transgender people - was rolled out Thursday morning in the Boystown neighborhood.

An estimated 42 percent of LGBT youth have been harassed online, three times the rate of others.

AT&T's new "Digital You" program aims to instruct people how to avoid trolls and bullies online.

Kashmiere, a homeless transgender woman, said she sees mean or negative posts on her Facebook page about five times a day.

"People have haters, and you have people that do not like you, or … who are homophobic, and so they'll say meanful and hurtful things, or they send you meanful and hurtful things to bring you down," she said.


She sat through a session on the new program at the Center on Halsted to learn some new ways to avoid such bullies and trolls.

"More ways on how to stop cyberbullying, and how to help my friends face it," she said.

While designed for all groups, AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza said Digital You can really help young members of the LBGT community.

"Helping people understand how to deal with it; like being an upstander, rather than a bystander," he said.

The program encourages people who witness cyberbullying to stand up against it, rather than doing nothing.

"Say, 'Look, that's not right. I know this person. I want to stand up for that person, I can post things positive about this person, I can post positive tweets about that person, and I can call out the offender," LaSchiazza said.

You can find out more about Digital You by clicking here.

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