11/16/2012 07:50 EST | Updated 01/16/2013 05:12 EST

The Power of Friendship Can Put an End to Bullying


People come to Facebook to connect with the people and things they care about. Friends coming together can be a powerful way to address issues that we all care about. Bullying is certainly one of these issues.

Over the past eight years we have been amazed by how people share and connect on Facebook to raise awareness of issues and challenges in their communities. This week we are working with Family Channel, PREVNet, Concerned Children's Advertisers, Kids Help Phone, MediaSmarts, Free The Children and, to introduce the Be Bold: Stop Bullying campaign during Bullying Awareness Week in Canada.

Simply put, bullying makes kids feel invisible, unimportant and afraid to go to school. Whether it's occurring on the playground or online, bullying in any form is unacceptable and must be stopped. As adults, we can show them through our actions that they can count on us to make their lives better.

The Be Bold Stop Bullying campaign centres around an interactive social media pledge app that enables teens, parents and educators to make a personal commitment to help stop bullying and recruit their friends to join them in this commitment. With over 18-million Canadians active on Facebook each month, the new social pledge app hopes to inspire millions of bystanders to take action by speaking up when they see bullying occur and help grow a community committed to stopping bullying.

An important step in addressing the issue of bullying is to create a culture of respect and accountability, where people treat each other with kindness and are committed to standing up for each other. At Facebook, we have built a network based on authentic identity, which makes

people accountable for what they say to each other and express to the world on our service.

We work very hard to keep people safe on Facebook, and offer reporting tools where people can report harassing, threatening or otherwise inappropriate content or comments. Facebook's Family Safety Centre also provides resources that enable parents and teachers to talk to young people about online safety and good digital citizenship.

Remember, bullying won't stop until we join together to make it stop. Starting this week, let's use the power of friendship to become more aware, to be more accountable, and to start sticking up for our friends when they need it the most.