Cyberbullying is a complex problem without a simple solution, and knowing where and how to seek help can be challenging. Dark Cloud, a Telus Originals documentary from filmmakers Holly Dupej and Matthew Embry, tells the stories of those who have experienced cyberbullying and those who advocate for hope. Guided by the work and experiences of Carol Todd, in honour of her daughter Amanda, Dark Cloud brings together the expertise of those who research cyberbullying with those who have experienced it firsthand to examine the harms associated with cyberbullying and strategies for prevention.
Cyberbullying is widespread and experienced by many. Dark Cloud reports that 60% of Canadian youth have witnessed some form of cyberbullying in the last month, while over 1 million youth experienced cyberbullying firsthand. Further, according to Statistics Canada, 41% of youth who have experienced cyberbullying reported an emotional, psychological, or mental health condition (Hango, 2016). Unlike bullying that occurs in-person, cyberbullying can follow a victim throughout their daily life, with the potential to be widely seen and shared.
The emerging message of Dark Cloud is one of hope and leadership. When adults model kindness and respect, young people learn to become kind and respectful to their peers. When young people step in and support one another in standing against bullying, victims learn that they are not alone. Dark Cloud can be viewed here in English and here in French, and more information and resources on preventing cyberbullying can be found through the organizations below:
- Dark Cloud’s Tools & Tips for Taking Action
- Resources for parents, teachers, and students on how to support youth experiencing cyberbullying
- Amanda Todd Legacy Society
- Rise Against Bullying
- PREVNet, Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network
- Media Smarts, Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy
Hango, D. W. (2016). Cyberbullying and cyberstalking among Internet users aged 15 to 29 in Canada. Ottawa, Ontario: Statistics Canada.