Date: 
Tuesday 20 August 2013

In an effort to help young people overcome cyberbullying, last year the Commission ran an online video competition for 13 to 17 year-olds, called BackMeUp, which was so successful that we are doing it again in 2013.

Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, launched BackMeUp 2013 at the Leichhardt campus of Sydney Secondary College with BackMeUp Ambassadors, Ruby Rose, Todd Nester and a group of young people who have experienced cyberbullying.

“BackMeUp has a very important and powerful message to send,” said Commissioner Mitchell. “The BackMeUp competition encourages young people to take positive and safe action if they witness cyberbullying and to support those whose rights have been violated.”

The competition, which opened on 20 August 2013 and closes on 20 October 2013 asks entrants to make a video up to 2 minutes long on how you would back someone up who has been cyberbullied. Once the entry period has ended, it is followed by a week of popular voting which commences on 16 October.

“Last year, more than 100 videos were uploaded to the BackMeUp competition website by approximately 200 entrants, there were 28 000 unique visits to the website during the film competition period, 55 000 views on the YouTube channel and over 800 media reports – all of which reached a cumulative audience of about 7.7million people,” Ms Mitchell said.

BackMeUp was inspired by Edith Cowan University research which found that cyberbullying affects 1 in 10 young Australians. This research also found that bystanders play an important role in addressing cyberbullying because they are often present online when bullying occurs and, when they take action to intervene, bullying becomes likely to stop.

“The bottom line is that, with BackMeUp, the Commission experienced significant success at increasing awareness and understanding of cyberbullying and the role bystanders could play within the 13-17 year old age group – and, with the help of our entrants, we hope to better that this year and send the message even wider,” Commissioner Mitchell said.

Prizes on offer include GoPro cameras and JB HiFi vouchers.

Further information and competition terms and conditions are available at www.somethingincommon.gov.au/backmeup and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFlDTZUH0VQ&list=UUE-uUt3MUJq71w7tTDaAn2A