"BullyBlocker" developed to prevent cyberbullying - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

"BullyBlocker" developed to prevent cyberbullying

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GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

Statistics suggest that more than half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online.  BullyBlocker is an app that catches concerning postings or photos on social media and assesses the likelihood that your child is, or will be cyber bullied.

 "We thought that we could make a difference, we could do something about it," said Dr. Yasin Silva, professor of applied computing at ASU West.

Under Silva's direction, students at ASU's School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences are developing BullyBlocker, which can identify potential instances of online bullying. The goal is to develop a free app by the end of the spring semester.

"A parent can download it, and then the application will monitor the interaction of the minors with the social networks," said Silva.

The purpose of the app is to empower parents and keep kids safe, while still honoring their child's privacy.

"I'm a mom, so I can see the benefit in a tool like this to use. It's something I would be interested in, as a parent," said student and app developer Tara Tucker.

Based on postings on a child's social media page, BullyBlocker uses a complex series of indicators and algorithms that will help you, the parent, determine if your child is being cyber-bullied.

"It computes a number, that represents the probability that this minor, this person, is experiencing a problem," Silva said.

And that number comes as a result of a model that the group uses to assess various risk factors.

"Everybody seems to think it's a wonderful tool to have out there," added Tucker.

Despite the widespread interest and support for the project, the group would like to raise additional funds to keep the project moving.

For more information on BullyBlocker, or to make a donation, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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