Cyber abuse is film subject

University of Bedfordshire psychologist Dr Emma Short
University of Bedfordshire psychologist Dr Emma Short

A Bedfordshire university academic is joining a panel of international directors to judge a film competition on cyber abuse.

Dr Emma Short will vote alongside David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, and Cillian Murphy of Peaky Blinders fame.

Dr Short, director of the uni’s National Centre for Cyberstalking Research, said: “This initiative is a brilliant way of engaging young people to examine the issue and I’m delighted I have been invited to take part.

“Cyber abuse is a common experience and can cause enduring feelings of desperation and misery, which disrupt their lives.

“It’s absolutely crucial that the idea that online abuse causes no damage is dispelled and that we all consider the impact of our online communications.”

Working to the brief ‘Freedom of speech is not freedom to abuse online or offline,’ competitors must produce a short film raising awareness of cyber abuse. Winners will be announced on Internet Safety Day.