How a 13 Year Old Plans to Use Social Media to Track Bullying Nationwide

Mapping bullying one point at a time.

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A 13-year-old boy hopes to use social media to track bullies nationwide.

Vice reports Viraj Puri of Great Falls, Va., who spearheads a blog called Bullyvention and collaborates with the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus in the House, is now working with computer scientists to develop a heat map that tracks mentions of bullying or cyber-bullying on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to create a visualization of bullies in the U.S.

The map is in beta, and not all of the results are on point yet, as seen by the display of tweets that mention New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) and “bullying culture” in his administration. Puri reportedly contacted popular social networks to obtain more data to make the app more accurate, according to Vice.

The teen was inspired to become an anti-bullying activist after watching bullies harass his older brother on a regular basis. “He basically shut himself off from the outside and he didn’t want to go back to school,” Puri told WJLA. His mother, Aparna Puri, told MyFoxDC that this high-tech project shows that there are productive ways to channel frustration at bullies: “Anger is always negative. But to make something out of it … I think it’s brilliant.”