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Ad agency hopes to rewrite cyber bullying with in-house “startup”

A team of creative professionals at a Melbourne-based advertising agency is applying startup methodology to help stamp out cyber bullying.

Developed by a team at Leo Burnett Melbourne, Reword is an online tool that prompts social media users to reword aggressive or hurtful language before clicking send. It can be downloaded as a Google Chrome extension, with a crowdfunding campaign underway to fund a mobile app version.

The tool identifies “cruel” and “intimidating” language in real-time as you write a message on social media and draws a red line through these words, in a similar way to using spellcheck to identify misspelt words.

The team is now hoping to raise $US112,500 ($146,732) through Indiegogo to expand Reword to Safari and Firefox, scale up the technology to accomodate more users and launch the app at schools across Australia.

Since its launch on the national day for action against bullying and violence in March 2016, Reword has been downloaded more than 700,000 times, says project manager Suzi Williamson of Leo Burnett Melbourne.

In addition to users across Australia, the software has also gained traction in the US, South Korea and China, Williamson tells StartupSmart.

The software is one of Leo Burnett Melbourne’s pro bono initiatives and has been developed in partnership with headspace and the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

Originally Published by Start Up Smart, continue reading here.

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