UAE students develop award-winning smartphone app to combat ‘cyber-bullying’

DUBAI, 20th March, 2019 (WAM) — A new smartphone app that helps combat cyber-bullying among young people and its associated campaign were awarded first place in the recent MBC Student Hack competition, hosted as part of the Dubai Lynx festival of creativity.

The app, which formed the core of the creative campaign, was developed to help people suffering from cyber-bullying to connect with certified professionals and receive personalised support and group therapy.

Canadian University Dubai, CUD, student, Nida Ali, was part of a team of innovators that developed the app. Nida and her teammates conceived the idea to raise awareness of online bullying and to create a culture of self-contentment in response to the competition’s theme of promoting tolerance, in line with the UAE ‘Year of Tolerance’.

Under the banner “I am Enough”, the team used the Zen Buddhism symbol, Enso, to promote personal acceptance and wellbeing, and spread the message through the use of a filter on Snapchat, a platform widely utilised by young people in the UAE.

Nida, a senior advertising student at CUD, said, “The competition brief challenged us to come up with a corporate social responsibility initiative that reflected the theme of tolerance, which led us to conduct a lot of research into the issues that young people are facing in everyday life. We found that cyber-bullying is something of a growing concern, particularly around issues of appearance, for example.

“We wanted to convey a simple but important message, that irrespective of how anyone looks, they should always know and believe in the principle ‘I am enough’. Alongside this, we wanted to create an interface that could offer anyone suffering from cyberbullying the opportunity to access professional guidance and support, and this led us to develop the prototype for the app.”

Nida and the team presented their online campaign and app to a judging panel of industry professionals during the final stage of the MBC Student Hack, where they were crowned overall winners of the competition, among five other shortlisted teams.


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