Fighting cyber bullying with a new app

Press release
8 minute read
When the Use Your Head campaign enters its fifth year, this is accompanied by the launch of a new app to help fight cyber bullying.
Use Your Head is Norway's largest anti-bullying campaign for children and young people. Telenor, the Norwegian Red Cross through Cross my heart, the Norwegian Media Authority, and Kids and Media are cooperating in the fight against cyber bullying through raised awareness and education about the subject. The campaign is a nationwide tour of schools engaging in dialogue with young people and adults, and showing examples of cyber bullying. Now the Use Your Head app is being launched to reach more people who experience bullying. The app makes it easier both for those being bullied and those who want to help in difficult situations.

In the app, we meet the Use Your Head ambassadors, alpine skier Aksel Lund Svindal, footballer Ingvild Isaksen, and singer Tone Damli, who all have experienced bullying - whether as a witness to bullying, as being a bully, or through experiencing exclusion. They talk about their experiences and what should have been done differently.

“We must continue fighting cyber bullying. The campaign provides both young people and adults with great tools to prevent and fight cyber bullying, and has shown good results. The Use Your Head tour shows that with knowledge we can help solve difficult tangles. Therefore, we are building on the excellent work being done and bringing it to a new platform. We want to reach more people, including those we have not yet managed to visit on tour,” said Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norway.

Inga Marte Thorkildsen to open this autumn's tour

So far, over 400 schools have been visited by Use Your Head, and almost 120,000 pupils and 22,000 adults have been educated. This autumn's tour starts at the Bugården lower secondary school in Sandefjord on August 29th. The Minister of Children, Equality, and Social Inclusion, Inga Marte Thorkildsen (Socialist Left Party) will be present to mark the beginning of a new season of this vital campaign. Since the start of the Use Your Head campaign in 2009, the government has committed to and supported the initiative through, among other things, the Action Plan for Children and Young People on the Internet.

“We know that many children and young people experience bullying. Being bullied is insulting, forms insecurities, and can have serious consequences later on in life. I am delighted that so many people are engaged in this fight. The Use Your Head campaign is a great example of what can be done to get more people to dare to speak out, whether it is about being bullied themselves, or seeing it happening to others,” said Inga Marte Thorkildsen.

Four in ten have been bullied

In a survey from January 2013 carried out by Norstat on behalf of Telenor, four in ten children surveyed responded that they had experienced being bullied.

It is cyber bullying, in particular, that the Use Your Head campaign wants to combat through innovation and advocacy, and it works. In the same survey, 78 per cent of children who had been visited by the campaign responded that they had better knowledge of cyber bullying and how to deal with it, while only 50 per cent of those who had not been visited by the tour gave the same response.

“We are in contact with many of those people who are struggling with bullying, and we see how short the road to loneliness and psychological torment can be. That the number of children and young people who have experienced bullying is so high is not something that we can accept – nor is it acceptable from a public health perspective. We hope the new app leads to more children and young people contacting us, so that we can comfort, inspire, and help them. It is important that they are not left alone with their hurt emotions and thoughts,” said Åsne Havnelid, General Secretary of the Norwegian Red Cross.

Hidden bullying

One of the problems with bullying through digital channels is that it is easier to hide it from parents and other adults. To fight this kind of bullying, it is important that adults and children are able to face each other and talk about it.

“We see through the tour that it is effective to provide both young people and adults with more knowledge of the subject. In this way, it is easier for young people to ask for help and at the same time we make adults more aware of what they should be looking for. We hope and believe that the app that we are launching will make this even easier, and that we will also be able to reach those people who we have not yet been able to visit on tour,” concluded Berit Svendsen. 

For further information, please contact:

Ana Brodtkorb, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Telenor, tel.: 902 09 832, or email:

Red Cross media contact, tlf. 948 72 999, eller e-post:

Pia Kristine Lang, Project Manager for the Norwegian Media Authority 'Trygg bruk', tel.: 915 55 029, or email:

Kjellaug Tonheim Tønnesen, Advisor at Kids and Media, tel.: 474 74 345, or email:

Also see for more information.