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Etisalat holds first cyberbullying awareness conference

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DUBAI: Etisalat held its first cyberbullying conference to highlight issues faced by children today in the cyberworld and create awareness on how parents can help them deal with and prevent cyberbullying.

The conference was held in partnership with Ministry of Education at Etisalat Academy in Dubai. The one-day event was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.

The event titled ‘Cyberbullying Awareness Conference’ – included a panel of renowned experts in the field of child education and internet security. Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Welfare and Activities sector from Ministry of Education and Abdul Aziz Al Zarooni, Chairman of the Working Group on Child Online Protection initiative of ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and Information Security Engineer at TRA were the main participants at the conference along with other cybersecurity and CSR experts from Etisalat. The other senior representatives included Faisal Mohammad Al Shimmari, Chairman of the board at the UAE Child Protection Association

The conference was held as part of the third annual nationwide ‘National Bullying Prevention Week’ activities and Etisalat’s first cyberbullying campaign aimed to spread awareness on the rising trend of bullying against children in the cyberworld.

As part of Etisalat’s commitment to the campaign, senior executives conducted demonstrations for parents to train them on the new bully bot driven by AI technology. This mimics online bullies and puts users on a simulated cyber bullying session to create awareness and shows how to protect a child in such a scenario. 

Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Welfare and Activities sector from Ministry of Education said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Etisalat to be part of this conference, which is line with UAE leadership’s directions to protect the children and youth with advanced educational, health and social welfare platforms to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

“This will be done with the development and implementation of specialised awareness programs aimed at schools, parents and the community to provide adequate protection to children from bullying and cyberbullying. The ultimate objective is to ensure that the next generation who represent the nation’s human capital will grow to be aware and are fully equipped to manage any kind of challenges in the internet world. I am thankful to Etisalat to make the best use of technology by launching the cyberbully chatbot that will easen the life of parents and children.”

Dr. Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat said: “Etisalat is honoured to hold the first cyberbullying conference under the patronage  of our ‘Mother of the Nation’ H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak in partnership with the Ministry of Education. With the launch of our countrywide campaign, we are looking forward to work with the community by empowering them with technology and tools that will increase awareness on this relevant topic and help parents and children to understand the consequences. The chatbot ‘Bully Bot’ will go a long way in a providing adequate information on how to deal with the issues and protecting our children as well.

The inaugural Cyberbullying Awareness Conference was attended by government officials, NGO representatives, Etisalat cyber protection experts, senior executives, as well as parents and various media entities. The chatbot provides three AI based cyberbullying simulations: Loser, Pizza Face & Cow. These scenarios were developed based on real cyberbullying examples that take place, and has been reviewed by experts on the topic. The chatbot shares information on general knowledge about cyberbullying, the symptoms and effects on children, how can parents help and actions parents can take. News Desk

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