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cyberbullying

BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have announced a new investment in their campaign to prevent cyberbullying.

The four providers founded Internet Matters three years ago to help parents ensure their children stay safe online and the campaign website has been visited more than 4.5 million times since then.

Advice on managing their children's social media problems is proving particularly sought after, which backs up recent Internet Matters research which found that one in five parents say their children have been on the receiving end of nasty comments online.

Figures also showed that one in four children expected to experience some form of cyberbullying, while almost two-thirds of parents are worried about the issue.

BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have directly invested more than £6 million in the Internet Matters initiative, which will rise to £10 million over the next few years.

Furthermore, they have invested heavily in marketing the website and creating parental controls and filters to help make the internet safer for youngsters.

The four providers now want other companies in the internet value chain, including global tech companies and social media platforms, to throw their weight behind Internet Matters.

Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive Officer of BT, commented: "BT is confident that Internet Matters can do even more as it continues to build industry support beyond the founding ISP members.  

"Working together, we can ensure that the UK children remains one of the safest places in the world for children to be online."

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley added that it is "fantastic" to see some of the UK's biggest technology companies reaffirm their commitment to taking responsibility for their customers' online safety.

She said Internet Matters has played an "important role" in helping parents keep their children safe online and reached millions of people over the last three years.

According to estimates from Internet Matters, three-quarters of ten to 12-year-olds in the UK have a social media account.

The average child is believed to have four separate social media accounts and posts about 26 times a day.

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