Dark Cloud: The High Cost of Cyberbullying, a TELUS Original documentary
Almost everyone has heard the term “cyberbullying,” but few understand the myriad of forms it takes, the pervasiveness of aggression online, and the devastating toll social media has on young people. Dark Cloud will change that.
The documentary premieres on October 10, in support of World Mental Health Day, and will be available for free on TELUS.com/darkcloud, TELUS Optik TV on channel 707, and the TELUS Youtube channel. This 45-minute documentary examines a growing epidemic deeply affecting the mental, emotional, and even physical well-being of today’s youth — the toll of cyberbullying and digital antagonism — through the eyes of Carol Todd. Carol is the mother of Amanda Todd, the B.C. teen whose suicide after two years of bullying, exacerbated by a cyberstalker, became a flashpoint for global action and gained her the label “The Girl Who Woke Up the World.”
Dark Cloud follows Carol’s ongoing fight for cyberbullying awareness, unfolding the much larger story, introducing us to families who have endured similar experiences and some of the most important anti-cyberbullying experts in Canada. Weaving their expertise and experience together, Dark Cloud illuminates the statistics, clarifies the long consequences of cyberbullying, and shares insights into both cyberbullying’s causes and its prevention.
The alarming truth about cyberbullying in Canada
- 60 percent of Canadian youth report seeing cyberbullying or online abusive behaviour within a four week period1
- 41 percent of young internet users who experienced cyberbullying reported an emotional, psychological, or mental health condition2
- 49 percent of LGBTQ+ students have experienced cyberbullying3
Cyberbullying can have devastating consequences. Technology allows for cyberbullying to take place on a much larger and more public scale than “traditional” bullying, with the potential for numerous witnesses, greater humiliation, and possibly even more instigators. With its extended reach and around-the-clock nature, youth who are victimized by cyberbullying can feel like there is no escape.
Cyberbullying isn’t just sending mean messages; it’s being cruel or intentionally embarrassing someone online, sharing or liking humiliating or intimate photos, spreading rumours, excluding someone, and many more.
We hope that Dark Cloud will drive critical conversation and awareness about cyberbullying, encourage Canadians to be kind and inclusive online, equip parents with the insights they need to support youth when dealing with cyberbullying, and ultimately help make our digital space a friendlier, safer place.
(1) MediaSmarts, Young Canadians’ Experience with Electronic Bullying. Link.
(2) Statistics Canada, Study: Cyberbullying and cyberstalking among Internet users aged 15 to 29 in Canada. Link.
(3) GLAAD. Link.
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