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A little bit of kindness can go a long way — even online. These apps and Web tools aim to counter the incessant cyberbullying, harassment and other negative behavior that can make the Internet — and the real world — a rather uninviting place. So, give them a try and brighten up your day — and someone else's.
Founder Todd Schobel says he was moved to develop this anti-bullying app upon hearing on the radio a story about a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after being taunted online by her peers. STOPit allows students to securely and anonymously report cyberbullying, harassment and other types of harmful behavior. Students can also get help via talk or text with a crisis center. Scores of schools across the country have signed up for the app. There’s a version of STOPit for K-12, for colleges and universities, and for the workplace.
"I want to make the world a nicer place, one tweet at a time." That’s the motto of NiceBot, a Twitter bot that aims to counter the tide of negativity on the Internet. A collaboration between Champions Against Bullying and New York-based advertising agency Deutsch, NiceBot is programmed to send out one random positive tweet to one random Twitter user every 30 seconds or so. Have a nice day!
Created by suburban Chicago high school whiz Trisha Prabhu, ReThink is software that "stops cyberbullying before the damage is done." When installed on a computer, ReThink’s filtering technology scans a teen’s would-be social media post to determine whether the content is offensive before it’s posted. ReThink then gives that person a chance to reconsider. After all, do you really want to post "I hate you” to someone’s Facebook wall? "Research shows that when adolescents are alerted to ReThink their decision, they change their minds 93% of the time," ReThink's website says. Prabhu has followed up on the software with a free ReThink smartphone app for Android and iOS.
Want to make the world a better place but not sure where to start? Random Acts of Kindness presents you with hundreds of suggestions on ways to donate to charity, volunteer and so on. Once you choose your good deed, you can post it on Twitter to hopefully inspire others. The app's creator, Sinecure Industries, is putting skin in the game, too: It has pledged to donate 25 percent of all ad revenue directly to Goodwill. (Free, iOS)
If you don't have anything nice to say, why bother saying it? Kwirk is a mobile app that allows friends and followers to post only compliments to your photos using a set of "positive adjective-based icons." "We want our users to express themselves but also feel safe and be free of negativity," Kwirk says. In other words, if you're a hater, move on! (Free, Android and iOS)
This story is part of NBCUniversal’s Season of Kindness. Together we can grow the good this holiday season. #ShareKindness.