Snapchat and Vodafone have partnered up to promote a series of "support emojis" designed for teens to use to convey compassion, sympathy and support when friends are being bullied online.
Snapchat created a series of Europe-wide overlays as part of the #BeStrong anti-bullying campaign. These emojis were designed in response to an 11-country survey in which 72% of teenage respondents said that they would like to see an emoji they could use to show support for friends who are being bullied online.
The survey found that one in four Irish teenagers have been cyberbullied, and just over 40% struggle to find the right way and words to support friends who are experiencing cyberbullying. With emoji now a part of everyday life, an anti-bullying picture may actually be able to say a thousand words.
The #BeStrong emojis were developed in collaboration with anti-bullying ambassador Monica Lewinsky, and received input from Berkeley University Professor Dacher Keltner who advised on the creation of the characters for Pixar film Inside Out, semioticians, and anti-bullying NGOs including The Diana Award and ENABLE, a European Union project to help combat bullying.
Professor Keltner spoke about the rise in cyberbullying and the impact it can have, while also outlining some of the emoji created as part of this campaign.
The Vodafone Foundation has committed to providing a total donation to anti-bullying NGOs including the ISPCC of up to €141,000.