August 22, 2014

Google Global Finalist

In the digital age we live in, cyber bullying has become an epidemic for teens.

The Cyber Bullying Research center says that half of all adolescents have experienced it and around 20 percent experience it on a regular basis.

So one local teen said enough is enough.

Trisha Prabhu, 14, is one of 15 global finalists in Google’s Science Fair for her project “Rethink,” technology that catches harmful messages before they are posted.

“Kids post things that they later regret,” said Prabhu. “So the idea behind ‘Rethink’ is to have them think about what they are doing before they go ahead and make that decision. And we found that when we have them think about it, they realize what they are doing is wrong and change their minds.”

Prompted by a Florida girl’s suicide that was tied to cyber bullying – Prabhu developed the online program that looks for hurtful words like stupid and loser, which trigger a pop up asking the teen to reconsider.

“If an adolescent tries to post something offensive on social media what ‘Rethink’ does is it alerts them and tells them ‘this message might be hurtful to others, are you sure you want to post it?’” said Trisha. “And I found in my experiment using ‘Rethink,’ 93 percent of the time the kids said ‘you know what, I’m not going to post this.’”

Prabhu will know in late September if she won the science fair when she visits Google’s California campus with her family.

Starting September 1, you can vote for Prabhu to win a $10,000 voter’s choice scholarship at


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