ReThink - Stop Cyberbullying
By Patricia Monticello Kievlan,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Prevention-focused add-on stops cyberbullying at its source.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn that they need to stop and think before sending or posting potentially hurtful words. Though some teens won't opt in, will find the pop-up messages intrusive, or will ignore the messages when the novelty wears off, the ones who do use it have the opportunity to put the brakes on before writing something they might regret. For kids who don't intend to hurt anyone, the stop-and-think nature of the app might ensure that they truly say what they mean. If kids are writing something iffy in the heat of the moment, the pop-up message may help them calm down. Especially when used within a community, ReThink - Stop Cyberbullying can be one important element of several prevention strategies to stop hurt feelings before they start.
Ease of Play
Easy to use: Just install the keyboard and type away.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that ReThink - Stop Cyberbullying is an app developed by teenage entrepreneur and activist Trisha Prabhu. Once downloaded and enabled, the app monitors users' typing and displays a pop-up alert if the user types a word or phrase that might be cyberbullying, providing an opportunity to potentially put the brakes on a bad decision.
Where to Download
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ReThink - Stop Cyberbullying
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What’s It About?
RETHINK - STOP CYBERBULLYING is a tool created by a teen girl that sets out to stop cyberbullying before it starts. Users download and enable it as a keyboard option. Then, when users type in any app on the device, a pop-up will appear if they type profanity or words that have been pre-identified as abusive, hateful, or otherwise hurtful. The pop-up message changes with each appearance; one example is, "Would you like to re-word this? Remember, you are what you type!" Users can then tap "clear" to delete the hateful word or phrase or tap "OK" to let the words stand.
Is It Any Good?
A stop-it-at-the-source tool, this installed keyboard is a prevention-minded approach to addressing online cruelty -- but only if users choose to opt in. Unlike other attempts to stop cyberbullying, this app cuts to the cause, which is a moment of impulsivity. Giving a teen another chance to make a better choice might not be foolproof, but it potentially catches a problem before it starts. One of the best features is that the app lets you choose whether to delete your words or not: That single feature takes this app from feeling like outright censorship to an active experience where users have to grapple with their words' implications. Even though it's mostly unobtrusive, it still might feel intrusive to some users, and if it pops up too frequently, teens might begin to ignore it. However, when used in a community committed to confronting cyberbullying, with users encouraged by its creation by a teenager, this tool could be a game- changer.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about cyberbullying. What is it? How can it get out of control? How do you think it makes people feel when they read unkind words online?
Talk about ways to talk with people when you've had a disagreement or when you're upset with someone. Talk about how to verbalize feelings without being hurtful and how to show empathy when another person is hurting.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: writing clearly
- Skills: Self-Direction: personal growth, self-assessment, self-reflection, Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions, perspective taking, self-awareness, Responsibility & Ethics: honoring the community, learning from consequences, making wise decisions, respect for others
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: September 15, 2015
- Category: Education
- Topics: Activism
- Character Strengths: Empathy
- Publisher: Trisha Prabhu
- Version: 2.3
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 2.1 and up
- Last updated: March 12, 2019
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