BullyBlocker: Towards the Identification of Cyberbullying in Facebook

There is inevitably an epidemic of cyberbullying amongst adolescents. Unfortunately, we have not encountered sufficient research on the automatic identification of cyberbullying behavior in social networks, particularly in Facebook. BullyBlocker is a Facebook application designed to exploit social media data and, based off of a model built on previous research findings in areas of traditional and cyberbullying in adolescents, to then identify an instance of cyberbullying and notify the parents.


BullyBlocker 1.0 in Apple App Store! (September 2017)

We are happy to announce the public availability of the first version of the BullyBlocker app in the Apple App store. BullyBlocker 1.0 is a no-cost app designed and implemented by the BullyBlocker research group at Arizona State University. The goal of the app is to identify cyberbullying instances in social media networks by estimating the probability of a user experiencing cyberbullying. Currently, the app supports Facebook and implements an identification model based on previous psychology research findings about the nature and prevalence of cyberbullying in adolescents. BullyBlocker aims at informing parents when cyberbullying occurs and enables them to help their children in time to make a difference. Download the app. See the press release.


We received an NSF grant! (September 2017)

Our proposal EAGER: BullyBlocker – Identifying Cyberbullying in Social Networking Sites (PI: Silva, Co-PI: Hall) has received funding from the National Science Foundation under the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program.
The goal of the project is to advance the understanding of how cyberbullying, in particular, and behavioral issues, more broadly, can be effectively identified on social networking sites. The project integrates advances in computer sciences and key findings from psychological research on cyberbullying to (i) design and implement automated models for identifying cyberbullying on social networking platforms, and (ii) study usage patterns of automated tools based on these models and their utility for devising and testing new hypotheses about cyberbullying risk factors. You can learn more about the award following this link: NSF award website.


Team Members Receive Two NCUIRE Scholarship Awards (July 2017)

Rusty Conway and Tom Schenk, two of our team’s undergraduate research assistants, have recently received NCUIRE (New College Undergraduate Inquiry & Research Experiences) scholarship awards. These awards will support their research work in the BullyBlocker project during the 2017-2018 academic year. Congratulations Rusty and Tom!


Two Papers Accepted in the Int. Conf. on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM '16)! (Aug., 2016)

The system demonstration paper "BullyBlocker: An App to Identify Cyberbullying in Facebook", Y.N. Silva, C. Rich, J. Chon and L.M. Tsosie, and the poster paper "BullyBlocker: Towards the Identification of Cyberbullying in Social Networking Sites", Y.N. Silva, C. Rich, and D. Hall have been accepted in the 2016 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM 2016). ASONAM is regarded as one of the premier international conferences in the area of social network analysis.


ASU Senate Video Highlights the BullyBlocker Project! (Feb., 2016)

The work of Prof. Silva and Christopher Rich, one of the student researchers in our team, was highlighted in a video made by the ASU Senate for the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). Zoom to 2:45 if you want to skip straight to this section. Watch the video here.


NCUIRE Award Supports the BullyBlocker Project (May 2015)

Christopher Rich, one of our BullyBlocker team members, has received an NCUIRE Scholarship award to work with Prof. Silva in the BullyBlocker project during the 2015-2016 academic year. NCUIRE is a New College (ASU) program that supports meaningful research collaborations between faculty and undergraduates. Congratulations to Chris and Prof. Silva!


ASU Magazine Article (March, 2015)

Dr. Silva and his work in the BullyBlocker project were featured as part of the "Living our Lives Online" article in the March-2015 issue of the ASU Magazine. The article explores the perspectives of several ASU researchers about what balance means in a digital world. The PDF version of the magazine issue can be found here. The online version of the article is available here.


We Received a Research Grant from the Dion Initiative (Feb. 2015)

We recently received a research grant from the Dion Initiative for Child Well-Being and Bullying Prevention (www.dioninitiative.org). This grant will support our research work in the BullyBlocker project and will accelerate the implementation of our mobile app to identify instances of cyberbullying in Facebook. Thank you Dion Initiative!


BullyBlocker is one of the supported projects of the Dion Initiative

On October 6th, Phoenix's first lady, Nicole Stanton, and ASU president, Michael Crow, united forces to kick-off a state-wide child well-being and bullying prevention effort (The Dion Initiative). This initiative represents an innovative partnership between ASU and Stop Bullying AZ to promote environments that foster the health, well-being, and academic success of children. BullyBlocker is one of the three projects supported by the Dion Initiative. The initiative will offer interdisciplinary support and funding to advance the development of the BullyBlocker app and extend its capabilities. In the pictures, the current BullyBlocker team appears with President Crow, Mayor Stanton, and the first lady, Nicole Stanton.


Crowdfunding Campaign Closed, Donations Still Welcome

KTAR 92.3 Telemundo AZ Fox 10 KSAZ - TV ABC 15 CBS 5 AZ - KPHO Wisconsin Teen Connection WMBF News Pink Shirt Day ETCB Organization Campus Technology Hawaii News Now Our 30-day crowdfunding campaign has come to an end, and throughout those four weeks of fundraising, we’ve received outstanding media exposure through televised interviews, web-based news outlets, and social communities. Our lead researcher, Professor Yasin Silva, was interviewed by the 92.3 KTAR-FM radio station the morning of December 17th, 2013 and also made an appearance on Telemundo Arizona at 5pm that same day! The research team was also showcased on ABC 15 Arizona the morning of December 18th and was featured on CBS 5 AZ – KPHO that evening. Our funding endeavors have also been featured in an article by public relations manager, Matt Crum, published in ASU News, and our campaign was mentioned in the article covering all the research projects involved in ASU’s crowdfunding pilot as well. The State Press also published a feature article, following up on the BullyBocker campaign, in the print edition of the paper January 15th 2014.

Fox 10 - KSAZ-TV dedicated a segment of their broadcast to the BullyBlocker project on January 15th – the night of the premiere episode of American Idol and typically the night of their highest rated newscasts – showcasing the details of the progress and future goals. NBC 12, WMBF News, Hawaii News Now, Pink Shirt Day, ETCB (End to Cyberbullying) Organization, Wisconsin Teen Connection, and Campus Technology have all contributed to expanding our visibility by featuring the BullyBlocker application in a story, on their website, or on their official Facebook page.

We are so grateful that the media deems our project worthy of all the publicity we’ve received, and hope that this coverage will attract more supporters of every type as we continue implementation of BullyBlocker 1.0. We are extremely thankful for our BullyBlocker fans for joining our Facebook community, believing in this initiative, promoting the campaign with their personal network, and donating to this project. With their unfailing support and the support of our dedicated champions, we’ve collected $3,125 from both local and international supporters! With $3K, we’ll be able to purchase 3 MacBooks for our ASU undergraduate researchers to develop the BullyBlocker 1.0 app for iOS devices. While the official crowdfunding campaign has ended, the ASU Foundation has created a landing page for additional donations that may roll in. Those interested in providing continued financial support for BullyBlocker may do so online here. For future progress, campaign details, additional project photos, images of behind-the-scenes news coverage, and a compilation of contributors we’ve publicly recognized, you can follow us on our official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thebullyblocker.


Help us build a tool to stop Cyberbullying

BullyBlocker is participating in a crowdfunding program at ASU. The crowdfunding campaign will provide the project with needed resources including scholarships to support the research work of talented undergraduate students and computing resources required to complete the project. Our campaign will run from Dec. 11, 2013 to Jan. 9, 2014 and aim to raise $10K. I hope you will join in supporting this cause and sharing this information. You can find our fundraising page at https://asu.useed.net/projects/99/home.

Thanks so much for your support!


Crowdfunding Pilot Program

Our project has been recently accepted to be part of a crowdfunding pilot program at ASU in partnership with USEED. The goal is to raise funds from the public to support scholarships and other resources required for our project. Keep posted for updates on our campaign!


GHC 2013 Poster Presented

GHC 2013The presentation went well! Lisa had very interesting conversations and is particularly excited about the positive feedback and support she had received from several women in the industry. See our Publications & Posters page for details of the presentation. GHC 2013 Image GHC 2013 Image


More Media Coverage

State Press Navajo Times Online After the article by media relations manager Matt Crum, other articles have been published in the State Press, in a blog post by an undergraduate student at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, and in the printed edition of the Navajo Times (Oct. 24, 2013). We're grateful for the positive attention, and hope it brings additional interest to our project and our purpose. We're looking forward to the conference!


Featured in ASU News

ASU News Navajo-Hopi Observer An ASU News article highlighted the expected participation of undergraduate student Lisa Tsosie and the travel scholarship she was awarded. The story was featured in ASU News university and in Volume 34 of ASU's insight. It was also published in AZ Central, Your West Valley, The Navajo-Hopi Observer, and the printed edition of the Arizona Republic newspaper (Sept. 29, 2013). Be sure to keep posted for more BullyBlocker news!


Google Scholarship Awarded to Lisa

GHC Great news! Lisa's submission for the travel scholarship was accepted! Lisa and other recipients were selected from a highly competitive pool of over 900 applicants for the Google Women of Color Scholarship. This scholarship will virtually cover all of her travel expenses. Congratulations!


GHC 2013 Abstract Accepted

GHC Our submitted abstract has just been accepted to be presented at the 2013 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference! This is the largest gathering of technical women in computing and provides great technical and professional development sessions for attendees. This year, the conference will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Keep posted for more details!


Student Expo - Presentation & Award

New College Student Expo We presented our current progress of our project at the ASU New College Student Expo! Our project and presentation earned us 2nd place for the School of Mathematical & Natural Sciences. Vice Provost Elizabeth Langland presented the award to Lisa at the end of the three-day expo. See our Publications & Posters page for details of the poster exhibition. For more images of the expo, you can visit the New College Blog, or follow them on instagram @asunewcollege.


Presenting at MGE@MSA/WAESO

MGE@MSA WAESO Interactive We presented progress of our BullyBlocker project at the MGE@MSA/WAESO Research Presentation Opportunities Conference! This was an opportunity for the scholars, whose research was funded by the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO), to present their research projects and interact with other participating students and attend lectures about graduate/professional school opportunities. See our Publications & Posters page for more details.


2013 WAESO Scholarship Awarded to Lisa Tsosie

Congratulations to our undergraduate student, Lisa Tsosie, for applying for and receiving the WAESO Scholarship for the Spring term of 2013. With the help of the scholarship, we'll be creating a model that exploits social media data and beginning the design phase of our initial application.