• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM
By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Technology offers more venues for kids to bully — or to become the targets of torment. But it also can give parents a fighting chance at stopping such behavior from affecting their children — at least when they’re on a smartphone.

The major wireless companies offer all sorts of parental controls, but Wayne Irving with Iconosys says none can stop bullies in their tracks.

“Plus or minus 3600 keywords, phrases, acronyms, emoticons…”

That’s what the Word Bully app checks for in incoming and outgoing text messages. Until Friday, Irving’s company is giving it away to Android users for free.

“It will either filter those things out or block them so the loved one does not receive the message – and it will then forward the message to the parent. Or they can allow the message to go through and still the message is forwarded off to the parents.”

There are settings to let kids be kids, but also so parents can step in when things get out of hand.

The app runs in the background so there’s no trace of the monitored text, but Irving suggests you be upfront with your child to build trust.

An iPhone version is in the works.

Reported By Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio

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