The Women Inspiration Series: Trisha Prabhu

This article was written by Zenith via UN Volunteers

Chapter 2 – Trisha Prahbu (United States)

For the second inspiring story I decided to delve in upon, is the story of a 13 years old girl, Trisha Prabhu from the United States. She has invented a program that has been proven to be highly successful in encouraging cyber bullies to think twice before posting any offensive comments online. Her project has won her a spot as one of Google’s 15 Global Science Fair finalists.

Trisha Prabhu

Prahbu created a system called Rethink to test her hypothesis; if teens are forced to take a moment of reflection before posting a mean comment, they won't do it. Rethink included a content filtering system which screens for abusive words and phrases in messages, and posts a warning asking the user if they are sure they want to post a message including them before it is sent.

It turned out that in 94.43% of her 533 trials, the student decided not to post the comment.

After proving her hypothesis, Prabhu wants to create a real product that could work with social media sites and apps that would filter messages that were potentially mean or hurtful, and alert senders to take an extra second to think before posting. 

"I am looking forward to a future where we have conquered cyber-bullying!" she writes in her projects description.

Cyber-bullying is no foreign term in today’s world, especially with the proliferation of technology across the globe, and increasing availability and improvements of hardware devices that link people to the internet world 24/7. The data for cyber-bullying can sometimes be shrilling especially when one looks into the number of innocent lives lost to cyber-bullying incidents.

Based on statistics gathered online, The Cyberbullying Research Center had concluded from a series of surveys that:
·         Approximately 50% of young people have experienced some form of cyber bullying and 10-20% experience it regularly
·         Girls are at least as likely as boys to be cyber bullies or their victims
·         Cyber bullying victims are more likely to have low self esteem and to consider suicide

Ultimately, it is really to prevent the loss of young precious lives, such as Ryan Halligan, Amanda Todd, and many others who have or have not been reported by the media.

In this realm, there are various arguments regarding which gender is more likely to be the bully or the victim. But I believe that’s not really the case at hand. Through the story of Prabhu, we have seen yet another amazing lady who has taken ‘global issues’ and put in place a simply effective solution.

Being women, doesn’t mean we are “lesser”. The capability to make a difference to the world doesn’t depend on age, and definitely not gender. Prabhu is only 13 and a girl. But she has definitely proved the world that she is here to make a positive change. 

This article was written by Zenith Chua via UN Volunteering service.

Zenith is in her senior year at Singapore Management University, majoring in strategic management and organizational behavior & human resources. Beyond school, she learns from various MOOCs (massive open online courses), so as to satisfy her seemingly ever growing desire for knowledge. Setting academics apart, she is an active UN Volunteer with various NGOs around the world, as well as a dragonboat paddler. 

Firmly driven by her life motto, "To Live, Not Just Exist", Zenith is always on the move for new ideas and opportunities to fulfill her not-so-humble ambition of changing the world to be a better place for all.

You may also like to read:

The Women Inspiration Series: Wong Li Lin

Nada: The Woman who Persevered through Life

The Difficulties of Feminism


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