Meet The 20-Year-Old Entrepreneur Who Created a Massively Popular Cyberbullying Prevention App

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A new article on Forbes reports that Trisha Prabhu created her App after becoming aware of the death of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick in 2013, when Trisha herself was just thirteen.

Rebecca Sedwick was cyberbullied before she tragically scaled an abandoned cement factory silo and jumped off, falling to her death. Prabhu identified with the deceased girl, not just because they were very similar ages, but also because she had experienced her fair share of mean online messages and often felt marginalized as a first-generation immigrant. She describes reading about Rebecca-s death at the time and how she felt that adult approaches to preventing similar outcomes for even more young people were missing the point:

"They were encouraging young people to report the cyberbullying and taking all these reactive approaches. As a young person as a member of Generation Z who had spent a lot of time on the phone who knew what it meant to be harassed I knew those approaches weren't gonna work -- they were fundamentally flawed."
That's when Prabhu developed an idea that turned such approaches on their head - stopping instances of bullying before they started rather than reacting after events - when the damage had already been done to victims. The resulting project formed her eighth-grade science fair entry, canvassing 1,500 people about how they used platforms and interacted with others:

"I would take these people who were saying something offensive who maybe don't even realize what they were saying was offensive or thinking it would impress people online, and give them a chance to pause and think about what they were thinking about saying."
93% of the young people canvassed didn't proceed to insult once the intervention had been made - it was a real breakthrough moment for Prabhu. She went about assembling a team made up of people she knew, including her teachers, other young entrepreneurs, as well as friends and family. She used her coding experience and the team's input to create ReThink, which as of 2021, has been downloaded more than 500,000 times in six different languages. Prabhu thinks that while Melania Trump's recent comments about cyberbullying have been immensely helpful - her husband, the President of the United States, is sending a far more counter-productive message to younger people:

"I think it's great that a public figure decided to make cyberbullying the focal part of a campaign. Of course, it was just difficult because some of the language that her husband models on social media can be hard to reconcile with those efforts. It's the kind of behavior I'm trying to teach young people every day not to engage in."
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  • Profile picture of the author Magic Tym
    Bullying are done by those who are afraid of everything. Just to feel stronger they bully others. Cowardly act.
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