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Rome Reports

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Google and Facebook participate in Vatican congress on adolescent cyberbullying

For a few hours, online powerhouses Google, Facebook and Microsoft will not be in Silicon Valley, but in a Pontifical University, the Gregorian.

Representatives of all three companies will be involved in a conference on how to prevent cyber-bullying and sextortion of 800 million teenagers using new technologies.

It is organized by the Center for the Protection of Minors at this university. They have summoned experts, psychologists and business leaders to take measures to prevent and solve harassment.

ERNESTO CAFFO
Child psychiatry expert
"Unfortunately, young peoples' presence in the digital environment poses a great challenge because they explore it very soon and often alone. The network is not guided by interests such as the protection of children."

FR. HANS ZOLLNER
Center for the Protection of Minors
"This congress is an appeal to the world to investigate the roots of the phenomenon of abuse with greater force and precision. This includes the behavior of abusers and how to help victims."

The conference will be held from October 3-6 and its conclusions will be handed over to the pope. Among the organizers is Hans Zollner. He's a member of the commission set up by Pope Francis to seek detective measures and prevent child abuse in the Church. That is why this congress is part of the Vatican's campaign to protect children both inside and outside the Church.