Press Statement: September 26, 2018
Contact: Meredith MacKenzie, West End Strategy Team,
202-412 4270, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – They Tyler Clementi Foundation today released a statement on Twitter’s decision to expand its hateful conduct policy to include content that dehumanizes others based on their membership in an identifiable group, even when the material doesn’t target a specific person.
“This policy change is a good start toward protecting vulnerable groups online and curbing cyberbullying,” said Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. “As Twitter noted in its announcement, dehumanizing language and the rhetoric of shame propagated online has the power to cause harm to real people offline. Preventing this kind of hateful, degrading speech from reaching its targets can, in some instances, save lives by protecting those at high risk of bullying and suicide, like LGBTQ kids.
“Having one of the world’s largest social media companies recognize that dehumanization of a single person or of a whole group is harmful and can lead to violence is a big step toward a world without bullying. We hope we will continue to see social media companies take steps like this to change our online conversations and create an environment where kindness, civility and respect can flourish.”
Clementi lost her son Tyler in 2010 to suicide after a vicious incident of cyberbullying. She and her family founded the Tyler Clementi Foundation to create a culture of acceptance and work toward a world without bullying. Learn more about the Foundation’s work to end online and offline bulling in schools, workplaces, and faith communities here.
The Tyler Clementi Foundation’s mission is to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces and faith communities. Founded in 2011 by the Clementi family in memory of Tyler – a son, brother and friend – the foundation’s flagship bullying-prevention and education program is #Day1. Other programs include the Upstander Pledge, Upstander Speaker Series, Tyler’s Suite, Workplace Training and True Faith Doesn’t Bully, a public education campaign that fights religious bullying. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, re-introduced in Congress in 2016, would require colleges and universities receiving federal funding to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.