Vodafone Ireland today launched the #BeStrong anti-cyberbullying initiative, which included new “support” emojis aimed building teens emotional resilience online.
Vodafone has launched the new #BeStrong anti-cyberbullying emoji initiative with the help of anti-bullying ambassador Monica Lewinsky, psychologist adviser for ‘Inside Out’ film Dacher Keitner and anti-bullying NGOs. Together, they created new emojis to convey support while communicating online with their peers.
According to a survey of 5,000 teens across 11 countries (including Ireland), 60% believe cyberbullying is worse than face-to-face bullying and over half consider it to be a bigger problem than drug abuse for young people. The research shows that 1 in 4 Irish teens have been bullied online.
Speaking at the Irish launch this morning, Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD said: “No one who is experiencing bullying of any form should suffer in silence and this is particularly true in terms of cyber bullying.
“I want to acknowledge the tremendous work currently being done by a range of voluntary organisations, some supported by my Department, in tackling cyberbullying. This research and the #Bestrong initiative will prove beneficial to everyone working in this important area.
“One of the main themes to emerge from the research is that teenagers want to help and support each other when a friend is being bullied online. Giving teenagers an additional communication tool to achieve that goal, through the use of emojis, is a great initiative.”