Will the New Emoji Against Bullying Make a Difference?


Will the new emoji against bullying make a difference in the fight to help kids stand up for each other? Check out our thoughts and tell us what you think!

When a teen, a child or someone witnesses bullying or cyberbullying, they are often clueless on what to do, how to react, how to report. The witness does not want to get into trouble and get bullied. The witness does not want to be excluded from the group. But most of the research say that 60% of bullying will stop in 10 seconds if someone intervenes.

This is a high percentage. But how can we help those witnesses to stand up against bullying? A new emoji campaign is one of the tools. While most of the actions are geared towards preventing bullying or shaming the bully. There are few tools to help the teens, kids report.

Since we live in a high digital era and most of the teens have access to a smart phone, tablet, an EMOJI looks like an answer. Will it help prevent cyber bullying? Let’s take a closer look at this campaign

Will the New Emoji Prevent Cyberbullying?

The emoji is part of a new digital campaign, called “I Am A Witness”, created pro bono by San Francisco agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners with the Ad Council and Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, Johnson & Johnson and Twitter, to help empower teens that witness bullying to speak up and help victims. The campaign will be backed by $8 million in donated media, with celebrity endorsements, activations in teen-focused platforms like Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, Vevo, Kik and Whisper, among others, as well as a 30-second PSA spot on TV.

How does it work:
When you notice that someone is being bullied, you can post a Witness Emoji or send him-her a GIF to show support.

Where you can find it:

It is found under the symbols section of your Emoji keyboard.

Will this Emoji be effective to stand against bullying

Here is what I think: any action that raises awareness about bullying, helps the victims and the witness are good. Teens are highly connected. They are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, texting each other. If they can support one of their peers in the comfort of their homes and anonymously,  I am sure they will do it. One of the things that impede people from reporting bullying is social acceptance. They don’t want to excluded from a group, they don’t want to risk to be bullied themselves. But sending text, GIF, Emoji will boost the confidence of the victim. And this is what the victim needs: a boost in confidence to stand up to the bully and react.

So yes, I think this emoji will help witnesses come forward and support their peers. Will it be enough? Probably not. Bullying won’t stop because there was an emoji BUT it will give the victims tools to react.

What do you think? Will teens use this emoji to stand up against bullying?



21 thoughts on “Will the New Emoji Against Bullying Make a Difference?”

  1. This sounds like a wonderful campaign against bullying & the new emoji idea looks good. I hope teens in particular use this & see how it works for them as it looks really promising.

  2. I’m sure a good number of teens would pitch in to support too. Especially true since like you said it could be done from home and anonymously.

  3. This sounds like a great idea but I honestly don’t know. The way kids are anymore, I’m not sure what will change bullying.

  4. What a great idea and yes…I do think it will get used and that it will be helpful. If anything, it will at least help open up dialogue about why it was used.

  5. It is definitely an interesting concept and do I hope it works to help things a little. I can’t imagine what it is like being a teen in this digital age, I thought we had a lot of technology but dial up and phones with snake on are so far in the past now. x

  6. I think the emoji could help but they aren’t going to know about it. I just found out by reading your site, so a little bit of their advertising is working but there needs to be more of a campaign. This could be a great help to our children but they need to know about it!

  7. It will be interesting to see what happens with this. I think many bully online thinking they can hide. Maybe knowing others see it, will slow it down and hopefully stop it

  8. This is an interesting concept! My first reaction was that this is simply putting a band-aid on the issue. Not only does it not stop the actual bullying behavior, it promotes anonymity, even among supporters of the victims, which is a big aspect of cyberbullying. However, I do like that this is focusing on the positive. Victims of bullying do need support and I would rather have them receive it anonymously than not at all. If this tool is going to be promoted among pre-teens and teens, I hope that those promoting it will encourage kids to personally stand up for victims of bullying and show kindness in their everyday lives. If people are only nice virtually, but continue to stay silent in person, those anonymous words of encouragement will soon fall stale. Also, what happens if the person being bullied doesn’t have a smartphone or has very few online accounts?I like this idea as a gateway, but I hope it does not become an excuse to be a bystander and allow bullying to continue. I think our children are capable of much more than this if we guide them and provide them with the right tools!

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