Instagram and Cybersmile launch anti-bullying campaign

Josh Hall's picture

Instagram has partnered with anti-bullying charity Cybersmile to launch a new campaign.

The 'Banter Or Bullying?' campaign seeks to differentiate between joking and bullying, following a Cybersmile report into attitudes towards what it calls "online banter".

The charity found that over 50 per cent of 13 to 18-year-olds said that 'banter' can go too far and become bullying.

Two-thirds said they see a peer upset by banter at least once a month, while over a third said this happens weekly.

Some 47 per cent said they have been personally upset by banter.

The campaign features comedian Mo Gilligan and social media stars Zoe Sugg and Chessie King, all of whom will talk about their own experiences on Instagram.

Activity begins today, the first day of Anti-Bullying Week.

Dan Raisbeck, Co-founder, Cybersmile, said: “As our research shows, too many young people are on the receiving end of bullying which is being masked as banter. This happens online and offline, and the two cannot be treated in isolation. We urge people to think about when they are overstepping the mark. By talking openly about this issue, we can help ensure that banter is kept safe from the bullies.”

Kira Wong-O’Connor, UK Policy Programmes Manager, Instagram, added: “Banter should never be used as an excuse for bullying. We’re working hard to give people greater power to tackle bullying behaviour on Instagram, whether that’s restricting a bully from seeing when you’re online, or giving you the option to post Stories to Close Friends only. This Anti-Bullying Week we’d encourage parents and teens to explore how our anti-bullying tools can help keep their experience on Instagram positive.”