The Duke will today launch a guide for children who feel at a loss with a ‘banter escalation scenario’. The royal will announce a ‘green cross code’ for the 21st century, teaching teens what to do if they fall victim to ‘really dangerous’ anonymous bullying online.
A video, entitled ‘what to do in a banter escalation scenario’ will be used to launch the advice, encouraging children to ‘stop, speak support’ when the ‘banter turns bad’.
The National Action Plan, launched by Prince William, will see the UK become the ‘first country in the world to launch a national, youth-led, code of conduct for the internet’.
It will see social media giants Facebook and Snapchat work with the NSPCC to create new functions to protect users against bullying.
The 35-year-old Duke is dad to four-year-old Prince George and two-year-old Princess Charlotte, and admits that his interest in the problem began shortly after the birth of his own son, Prince George, when he heard the story of a boy who killed himself as a result of online abuse.
A moving clip, released by Kensington Palace, shows the Duke listening intently to Lucy Alexander, whose son Felix killed himself as a result of bullying, and cyberbullying victim Chloe Hine who attempted to take her own life at the tender age of 13.
After listening to their experiences, the Duke said: ‘I think it is worth reminding everyone that the human tragedy of what we are talking about here isn’t just about companies and online stuff – it’s actually real lives that get affected.’
He added: ‘And the consequences, that is the big thing, the consequences of what happens if things are not kept in check in terms of what we say and what we do.
‘We are still responsible for our own actions online – this anonymity, as you were saying, is really, really dangerous.’
The Duke went on to say: ‘It is one thing when it happens in the playground and it’s visible there and parents and teachers and other children can see it.
‘Online, you’re the only one who sees it, and it’s so personal, isn’t it? Really it goes straight to your bedroom.’
After hearing their stories, William thanked the pair for speaking to him, describing them both as ‘brave’.
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‘It is so brave of you both to speak so honestly about it. I know it can’t have been easy, but I can’t thank you enough,’ he said.
‘I only wish that neither of you had gone through what you’ve gone through.’
Prince William has brought together the world’s biggest internet firms, children’s charities and parents, to work alongside the panel of young people to find ways to tackle cyberbullying.