An Irish technology firm has developed a piece of software to try to protect children from cyberbullying and online abuse.
The programme, called ParIntel, detects when online bullying is taking place, and alerts a nominated third party such as a parent or older sibling of the victim.
In the past decade, the problem of online bullying has been highlighted more and more, with many children now having access to the internet 24/7 through their smartphones or tablets.
This programme has been developed to ensure that no child is made to feel alone if they are targeted by the online bullies.
ParIntel was created by Dublin-based technology company Digital Garden. The founder, Patrick Moran, spoke to the Irish Independent about the exciting project: “Our aim was to develop a smart software platform that detects when online abuse is taking place. When abuse is detected, our system alerts a third party, a parent for example.
“The whole idea is to expose online abuse and let someone else know that it is happening, so the victim has an opportunity to be supported.
“After months and months of research and development, we decided that we wanted to release something that parents could use, very easily to help their children who might be suffering silently from online abuse, so that’s when we came up with ParIntel.
“It’s pronounced the same as “parental” but the idea is that the product name is a combination of the words “parental” and “intelligence,” as this is the essence of the platform – the provision of intelligence (used to track the abuse) to parents about their children’s digital lifestyles.”
Moran also went on to reveal that he was motivated to create ParIntel after suffering his own personal tragedy: “My 22-year-old nephew committed suicide as a result of cyberbullying, and I wanted to do something. I knew I could donate to a charity, but I wanted to do something more.”
The issue of cyberbullying has been raised in recent years in Ireland, with a fear that the problem has been on the rise. ParIntel is expected to be available to the public by the summer. The developers are now in the process of putting the finishing touches on the programme.