The Chronicle-Express is joining its news partner, News 10NBC, in the social media campaign it has launched — an initiative to promote civility and combat bullying — and you’re invited to take part.
It’s called #BeNicer. Everyone is asked to be a little more kind on social media.
This initiative is aimed at combating a dramatic increase in cyberbullying. While there is no concrete evidence yet, researchers and mental health experts worry it contributes to a high number of teen suicides in this area.
Newscaster Pat Taney says news outlets such as News 10NBC are often targeted.
“For instance, this comment was made recently about anchor Nikki Rudd:
‘Why do you even let Nikki Rudd on the news? I can’t stand her. She laughs too much and could lose a few pounds. Did that blonde bimbo even go to college?’
“Deanna Dewberry, who chronicles her battle with cancer in ‘Deanna’s Discoveries,’ received this Facebook message: ‘Blows my mind that you as a media figure think it’s right to make a friggin’ news story out of it. Keep it up, Channel 10. You’ve lost my viewership and my family’s as well. You found your fame, huh? Zero sympathy to you!’
“Aren’t we better than this? Can’t we be nicer?
“It doesn’t matter if you support President Donald Trump or Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders; if you’re left, right, or center: By all means, defend your beliefs, but words have more power than you know. They impact adults and especially kids.”
“There’s a variety of social, emotional and behavioral impact for youth who experience cyberbullying,’” said Cassandra Berbary, a licensed psychologist for Rochester Regional Health. “You’ll notice symptoms of depression, anxiety, and those kids are at risk of poor school performance.”
The bullies themselves are also at risk.
“Cyberbullies can experience aggression or violence later on in adulthood,” Berbary told Taney.
News 10NBC, Messenger Post Media, and The Chronicle-Express are asking you to join the #BeNicer campaign.
″#BeNicer really just enforces the idea that we need to really think before we post on social media,” Berbary said.
How can you take part in the #BeNicer campaign? You can post a photo of you holding a #BeNicer sign on social media using the hashtag #BeNicer. Print out a #BeNicer sign from the link that’s posted at www.whec.com
You will join several lawmakers and members of local law enforcement who are doing the same thing.