Obamas Team Up With Facebook Against Bullying

Barack and Michelle Obama are addressing the topic of bullying, both cyber and otherwise, in a summit that will livestream on Facebook tomorrow at 12:20 pm Eastern Standard Time.

A teaser video about the livestream appears on the Facebook Safety page. The clip shows President and the First Lady announcing that they’re hosting a meeting at the White House tomorrow with teachers, parents, and students about “bullying prevention… and how we can all work together to make the Internet safer, and promote a culture of shared responsibility and of strong digital citizenship.”

Guest speakers will include Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan; Rosalind Wiseman, an internationally recognized expert on teens, parenting and bullying; and MTV Vice President of Public Affairs Jason Rzepka. We’ve also heard that the livestream might include some breaking news.

In the promotional video for the livestream, Barack Obama says, “I’m not here to ask you to accept my friend request… Bullying is not a normal part of growing up… For a long time bullying was treated as an unavoidable part of growing up, but more and more we are seeing how harmful it can be for kids, especially when it follows them from their school to their phone to their computer screen.”

Facebook has an event page where you can click to say you’re going to watch the livestream of the meeting. You can also submit a question that might be answered during the summit. So far, the page shows 835 people plan on watching the meeting.

The social network has already hosted anti-bullying content created by nonprofit organizations, but tomorrow’s White House summit elevates the issue to a new level of urgency. Let’s hope that the Obamas’ involvement gets through to the kids who need to hear this message the most.

Do you think the President and First Lady can help Facebook reduce instances of cyberbullying?

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