Hello everyone smiley1.gif

First off I just want to say thank you to everyone who has joined the group, everyone who has spread awareness of the group, to everyone who has took part in the group forums and to the groups who proudly display the "Bully Free Zone" banner. Keep it up everybody!

The more awareness this group gets, the more apparent the cyber bullying problem is. I will be highlighting the following issues in the weeks to come, so hopefully we can try and stop the bullying and also support those who have experienced it:

- New members: Finding your place in the Rooster Teeth Community
I've been told by some new members that they find it hard to "find their place" within the community. We will try and think of easy ways to help newcomers feel more at home here.

- New members vs Veteran Members
New members have just as much right to be here and participate as much or as little as they please. I've had complaints that some "veteran" members of the community actively put down some new community members. We will find ways to help new community members and hopefully convince veteran members that there is room for everybody.

- Forums
Another reoccurring complaint. The forums are very hit and miss. You can have a really great forum, but cyber bullying is still present. We will be highlighting clear guidelines on forum etiquette and what to do if you think you are being bullied.

- Sponsor Chat Rooms
One that I have had personal experience of. We pay to be sponsors. So why can't we be made to feel welcome in our chat rooms? They have a stigma of being "a chat room for the elitists". We have to change the reputation of the Sponsor chat for the better. We should feel welcome there, not fear them.

- Site Admins/Forum Mods.
Rather worryingly, members feel they cannot talk to Site Admins or Forum Moderators as they come across as cold or unwelcoming. We need to let members know that Site Admins/Forum Mods are not to be feared. They are here for our safety.

- Down-votes or down-mods.
A feature of the site that can be used to highlight a genuine dislike to something offensive... But also can be misused so easily. We can't stop the down votes, but we can help people realise that there is so much more to the site than a down vote or two.

To help us with these issues, I will be keeping in regular contact with the cyber-bullying charity CyberSmile. If anyone knows how to deal with cyber bullying, it's them. They gave me these general tips that we can expand on in future:

1. Don’t retaliate. If victims are older it may be good to send a short statement along the lines of “Please do not contact me again†but generally any reaction can exacerbate the problem as cyberbullies want the emotional reaction from you.
2. Block and report. Don’t put up with the messages. If at all possible, block the user and report them to the site/app administrators.
3. Keep evidence. Record and keep screenshots or printouts of cyberbullying behaviour, in case you should need it in future action that must be taken.

If you have any other topics you want to be covered, please feel free to add them in the comments section.
Remember, you are not alone. smiley12.gif