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Prince William in anti-bullying plan to combat abuse

The Duke of Cambridge will announce a code of conduct for the internet.

The Duke warned that online anonymity can be
The Duke warned that online anonymity can be PA

Facebook and Snapchat are to trial a new service that offers direct support to victims of cyberbullying. The move is part of a campaign led by the Duke of Cambridge aiming to tackle online abuse with the support of a taskforce made up of tech firms and charities.

The Duke will announce a code of conduct for the internet, urging young people to "stop, speak, support" in the hope of creating a safer space online.

Kensington Palace said the new service would be trialled among groups of young people ahead of a broader rollout.

The code of conduct, part of the Royal Foundation's Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, encourages young people to consider how they behave online, and to speak to an adult, or report any abuse.

Google, Apple, EE and Twitter have all been involved in the project.

Speaking in a video released on Wednesday, the Duke warned that online anonymity can be "really dangerous" as it allows bullies to ignore the impact of their actions.

The film shows William meeting Lucy Alexander, whose son Felix killed himself after online abuse, and cyberbullying victim Chloe Hine, who attempted to take her own life at the age of 13 following internet bullying.

"I think it is worth reminding everyone what the human tragedy of what we are talking about here isn't just about companies and about online stuff - it's actually real lives that get affected," William said.

"And the consequences, that is the big thing, the consequences of what happens if things are not kept in check in terms of what we say and what we do.

"We are still responsible for our own actions online - this anonymity, as you were saying, is really, really dangerous."

Alexander spoke of her son's depression after he was targeted on social media.

She said: "It just ate away at him inside, I think, but I had no idea of the depth of his despair at all."

The Duke told her: "It is one thing when it happens in the playground and it's visible there and parents and teachers and other children can see it.

"Online, you're the only one who sees it, and it's so personal, isn't it? Really it goes straight to your bedroom."

Hine spoke about how she escaped her own personal torment by turning to writing to help her process her feelings.

The Taskforce, chaired by the founder of travel website lastminute.com, Brent Hoberman, includes The Anti-Bullying Alliance, BT, The Diana Award, Internet Matters, O2, Sky, Supercell, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Virgin Media.

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