India At Large staff
Trisha Prabhu says 52% of adolescents online in the US alone have been cyber bullied. She told Mail Online: “In the spur of the moment or under peer pressure, many kids post offensive messages online without realising the extent of the damage they are causing. But, as my research shows, if they are provided a chance to pause, review and ‘ReThink’ their decision to post this message, kids change their minds and decide to not post a hurtful message.”
Fifteen-year-old Prabhu is an innovator, social entrepreneur, advocate and inventor of ReThink — an app that attempts to stop cyberbullying. She is currently attending Neuqua Valley High School as a sophomore in Naperville, Illinois, US. Deeply moved by the silent pandemic of cyberbullying and passionate to stop it in adolescents, Prabhu created the patented technology product ‘ReThink’ that stops cyberbullying at the source, before the bullying occurs, before the damage is done. Her research has found that with ReThink, adolescents change their mind 93% of the time and decide not to post an offensive message.
“ReThink is a simple, innovative, transformational solution that changes bulIies’ behaviour and helps develop sound decision-making skills on and off internet,” says Prabhu, who invented ReThink when she was just 13 years old.
The alert appears as a pop-up window on the screen. “We’re giving them a chance to rethink their decision, at which point they can either hit clear, ‘Maybe I do want to think about this,’ or they can go ahead and decide that they want to post the message,” Prabhu told ABC News.
The app is built with a growing database of trigger words and phrases that could be offensive and the sophisticated program is intuitive.
The idea for ReThink was born when she learned about 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, who committed suicide after allegedly being cyberbullied by two classmates.
The research won her a coveted spot as a Google Science Fair 2014 Global Finalist.
Prabhu was also invited to the White House Science Fair to be a featured exhibitor of ReThink. She was selected as Global Teen Leader 2015 by the We Are Family Foundation and was awarded the ‘Global Anti-Bullying Hero’ award from Auburn University, ‘Anti-Bullying Champion’ award by the Princess Diana Awards, UK, and Upstander Legacy Celebration award from Tyler Clementi Foundation. She is also a proud recipient of several other awards including the ‘Daily Points of Light’ awarded by the George H W Bush Foundation for extraordinary social volunteering and service.
Pic courtesy: cyberbullying.org