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Report: Training computers to spot cyber-bullying

The father of a boy who killed himself because of online bullying has welcomed new moves to tackle the problem.

Researchers at the University of Wolverhampton are developing technology to deal with so-called internet trolls.

Academics are teaching computers to recognise abusive online activity and send out warning messages before things get out of hand.

Keith Wilkinson reports.

Cyber bullying highlighted in new film

A new anti-bullying documentary has been launched by a Midlands man who says he has fallen victim to cyber bullies in the past.

Kevin Healey, who is autistic, created the short film to highlight the growing issue and help those affected.

The film screened in Stoke-on-Trent on Monday for the first time. In it, he urges people to report anyone sending abusive messages.

It comes as ex-footballer Stan Collymore urged Twitter to take a stand against online bullies after he was bombarded with abuse.


'69% of young' experience cyberbullying

Research has shown an overwhelming number of youngsters will experience cyberbullying.

Liam Hackett, founder of anti-bullying charity, Ditch the Label, said 69% of young people had experienced online intimidation and over 30,000 young people were visiting their bullying support centre every week.

We found that cyberbullying was a growing trend within the sphere of bullying and we were naturally inclined to investigate further.

We found that 69% of young people had experienced cyberbullying and that 20% of those said it had been very extreme.

We asked people to rate the impact cyberbullying had on their lives on a scale of one to 10, with one being not severe and 10 being incredibly severe.

On average, the effect on their self-esteem was 7.5 out of 10, which can go on to affect their social lives and their optimism for the future. It's having a massive impact on young people.

  1. Jane Hesketh

Funeral of cyber-bullying victim - full report

The friends of a teenager who took her own life after being bullied online wore bright coloured clothes today at her funeral.

Hundreds turned out to say goodbye to 14-year-old Hannah Smith who was targeted by cyber bullies on the social networking site Ask FM. Her father David said he wanted today's service to be a celebration of her life.

Jane Hesketh reports


  1. National

Hannah funeral 'a fitting tribute'

The vicar who led the funeral of 14-year-old cyberbullying victim Hannah Smith called the service "a fitting tribute".

Rev Charlie Styles said: "There were obvious tears and it was quite heartbreaking really to hear, especially some of the younger people, some of Hannah's friends sobbing.

"But the overall tone of the service, and the tone really of today, was a feeling of celebration and laughter even amidst the tears.

"It was a fitting tribute to Hannah - the music choices were the sort of thing that she loved, that she liked to dance to or sing in the shower, which was just wonderful to be able to do and I think, as well, we managed to express some of the sadness that we're all feeling."

  1. Jane Hesketh

Coffin carried into church by Hannah Smith's father

Hannah Smith's purple coffin was carried into St Mary's Church in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, by her father.

It was covered in a plastic sheet as the rain fell relentlessly.

Dave Smith carries his daughter's coffin into the church Credit: ITV News Central

Reverend Charlie Styles read extracts from a book of remembrance to Hannah, in which the 14-year-old was described as kind, loving and a good friend to all.

He said she warmed everyone's hearts and will be missed.

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