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Facebook launches Canada-wide anti-bullying campaign

Flowers and candles are seen as people gather at a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Todd who was a victim of bullying took her own life. .
Flowers and candles are seen as people gather at a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Todd who was a victim of bullying took her own life. . Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Facebook has officially launched a new national awareness campaign for bullying prevention in Canada.

The “Be Bold, Stop Bullying Canada” was launched during national Bullying Awareness Week. It features an interactive app where adults and children alike pledge to stand against bullying and can share their status to encourage friends and family to do the same.

The page will also act as a resource centre and encourages people to share their stories.

“Our goal is to raise awareness of the simple, yet powerful actions that parents, kids, and educators can take to prevent bullying,” said organizers on the campaign’s Facebook page. “We hope to inspire millions of bystanders to take action by speaking up when they see bullying and to grow a community committed to ending bullying.”

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Similar campaigns already exist in Australia and the United States, and several prominent Canadian figures have already made the pledge against bullying.

On Wednesday, several Toronto Raptors players made the pledge on Facebook as did Rick Mercer from CBC’s Rick Mercer Report, who stressed the importance of joining forces to put an end to bullying. 

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors read the Be Bold: Stop Bullying Pledge

VIDEO: Rick Mercer on Being Bold 

Bullying and cyber-bullying has garnered headlines across Canada in recent months.

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On Tuesday, an anti-bullying conference on how to cope with bullying and its impact was held in Vancouver, just over a month after 15-year-old Amanda Todd’s suicide.

Todd’s death gained national attention after the teen posted a YouTube video documenting what happened after she was sexually exploited on the Internet and then bullied.

In September, an exclusive Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Global News found that a staggering 88 per cent of Canadians say they’re worried about youth bullying.

The ‘Be Bold, Stop Bullying Canada’ campaign was developed in partnership with Family Channel, Channel, PREVnet, Concerned Children’s Advertisers, Kids Help Phone, STOPCyberbullying.orgFree The Children and MediaSmarts.