Today, Friday 21 March 2014, is the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.
Here at Microsoft, we have already strongly pledged to be a bullystopper!
We aim to stop cyber-bullying in our services, and we seek to support children, parents, carers and teachers to deal with cyber-bullying and have a safe and fulfilling online experience.
Microsoft, along with other leading technology providers, is leading industry initiatives to protect children online.
In 2013, Microsoft appointed a global Chief Online Safety Officer to oversee all of our cyber-safety initiatives.
We support international best practice and Australian research which confirms that prevention, education and empowerment are the most powerful policy levers for producing optimal cyber-safety outcomes. More importantly it is this focus that prevents incidences of bullying before they occur which should be the aim of Government and industry.
Microsoft Australia is also a proud partner in the ThinkUKnow program - delivering interactive training to parents, caregivers and teachers through schools and community organisations across Australia.
ThinkUKnow Australia is partnership between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Microsoft Australia, and is now proudly supported by ninemsn and DATACOM; aimed at empowering teachers, carers and parents to prevent cyber-bullying and help protect children online.
If you have concerns around cyber-bullying and cyber-safety, the ThinkUKnow team would be more than happy to come to your school. Training can be organised through the website: www.thinkuknow.org.au
Finally, we know that online gaming can get heated, but we put our foot down when it comes to offensive behaviour and cyberbullying on Xbox Live.
There are clear codes of conduct for playing games on Xbox Live and bullying is not acceptable.
We encourage players to report violations of the code using the report abuse tools. We actively monitor public activities and interactions among customers, and address user complaints, including unsportsmanlike game-play, "griefing," questionable gamer tags or profile pictures. Microsoft takes such reports very seriously, investigates in a timely manner, and takes appropriate action, as necessary.
We believe strongly that people shouldn’t be bullied or abused when playing games online.
So on this National Day of Action, we’re pleased to say “Bullying, No Way”.
Pip Marlow is Managing Director of Microsoft Australia