New weapon for parents in the war on cyber-bullying

Ιndependent, 27 April 2015

Parents may soon be able to spot whether their child is being bullied on social media sites thanks to a new programme being devised by an Irish cyber expert.

Mary Aiken, a cyber psychologist - who is the inspiration behind 'CSI: Cyber', the latest spin-off of the hugely popular American crime drama franchise - revealed that she is currently working with a tech company in Silicon Valley to write an algorithm aimed at spotting warning words such as "hate".

She believes it would be an "elegant solution" which would allow parents to get an alert about a potential problem with cyber-bullying without them actually having to breach their child's privacy by reading their communications. She was speaking at a Law Reform Commission seminar on cyber-bullying.

Former Justice Minister Michael McDowell warned we should be "very circumspect" in bringing in new criminal offences related to the internet because of limited resources. The focus should be on rights sustained by duties, he said.