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What we’ve learned operating Cybertip.ca for two decades

When the tipline first launched in September 2002, little was known about the scale or nature of the online victimization of children. We could never have imagined the degree, methods and speed by which children would be accessed and injured through the use of technology. Nor did we forecast the wraparound harms that resulted from an unregulated internet, where those looking to harm children faced no accountability or consequence.

Amanda Todd’s story foreshadowed the harms that today’s kids face. Why did we fail to act?

By the spring of 2013, the tragic deaths of four young Canadian girls over the previous three years – Amanda Todd, Rehtaeh Parsons, Jenna Bowers‑Bryanton, and Kimberly Proctor – had thrust the realities of online harm and violence into our consciousness. Their lives were all cut short, in part due to a common threat: technology and social media.

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