Cyberbullying Charlottetown

Hundreds of people came together to hear personal stories about online harassment. (CBC)

Hundreds of people came together in Charlottetown on Saturday to talk about online harassment and how social media companies can play a role.

The international summit drew politicians, social media companies and the parents of Rehtaeh Parsons, whose suicide earlier this year made international headlines.

Glen Canning and Leah Parsons heard personal stories from other teens struggling with cyberbullying.

"It's just tragic. It's hard to hear stories like that, that people are just heartbroken or have gone through something similar to this,” said Canning.

'Putting a bunch of laws on a bunch of little kids I think would be irresponsible.'- Glen Canning

A group of Charlottetown high school students surveyed their peers and found just about everyone has been affected by online bullying. 

“They would say terrible things and not think of anyone else,” said Graeme Zinck.

Students asked social media and technology companies to do more to prevent cyberbullies from logging on.

Companies like Google and Facebook said they're listening and developing online tools to report bullying to parents.

Bullies and the bullied 

Though the summit brought together lawmakers, parents and social media organizations, not everyone agreed they're getting to the source of the problem.

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Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, took her own life earlier this year after months of bullying. (Facebook) (Facebook)

"We have to be very careful to not make children who bully, to label them as bad people, or as villains almost,” said Jeremy Doucette, a psychology graduate student.

Canning agrees.

He said opening up the conversation to everyone can help prevent bullying. He said the onus isn't on students alone.

“The environment was created by adults," Canning said. "Putting a bunch of laws on a bunch of little kids I think would be irresponsible."