Tweeting Away Bullying
While stories of online bullying make headlines almost weekly, some teens are combating the cyber abuse by using social media to encourage their peers and highlight others' strengths.
This summer, high-school football captain Kevin Curwick anonymously started targeting bullied teens with kindness on Twitter.
And now another student's kind tweets are in the news.
In late 2011, Jeremiah Anthony, an Iowa City teen, read a story about cyber-bullying and decided to take action. He created a Twitter account to compliment his peers at West High School.
"You shouldn’t be such a coward you have to hide behind a screen and say bad things to people," Anthony told USA TODAY.
Anthony and two friends have tweeted more than 3,000 compliments so far since they began their compliment campaign.
"We just send compliments to people who we think are feeling bad a certain day or who have done something really good, like winning a state title," Anthony said. "I believe that showing the goodness in people is very integral to our account, because so many people on Twitter and Facebook get cyberbullied because they’re less than perfect."
"What (Jeremiah) is doing, complimenting people... and one compliment can change their entire life," one student said of the uplifting tweets.
SOME EXAMPLES OF THE TWEETS:
"Probably one of the most chill guys at west, you are a killer musician too! One of the funniest dudes out there! Keep it up!" one tweet, directed at a West High student, read.
"Your sense of humour can brighten anyone's day. Never lose your caring personality and ability to stay positive."