ASU students create app to stop cyber bullies

PHOENIX - A team of ASU students working on a research project have developed an app they say can tell parents if their child is being Cyberbullied.

The App is called BullyBlocker and ASU professor Dr. Yasin Silva says it works by monitoring Facebook pages.

Once uploaded, BullyBlocker monitors a user's activity for insulting phrases, and then weighs those attacks along with a child's age, gender, and other factors to come up with a bullying number.

"What we compute in the application is the bullying rank which is just a number that will represent how probable it is that minor is being cyberbullied on Facebook," said Silva.

"Parents can then decide how they want to be alerted. You could get a message every day, every week, or every month. It's just a great way for parents to make sure if their child is safe online."

Several students at ASU's West Campus have been working on BullyBlocker for more than a year.

Tara Tucker and Lisa Tsosie say they got involved because they believe BullyBlocker can make a difference.

"There's no other application from what we've seen that does what we are trying to do, keep kids safe online," said Tucker.

"You see all these horrible things on the news that happen because of bullying and you know kids can't handle it. If we can do something to at least identify it address it before it's too late, that's a huge motivation," said Tsosie.

ASU officials said they plan on making BullyBlocker free and available to the public, but before they can do that they need some help.

The BullyBlocker team is short on money needed for new computers and scholarships. To raise money app organizers have launched a campaign aimed at raising 10,000 dollars.

The BullyBlocker's funding website can be found here: https://asu.useed.net/projects/99/home .

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