Cybersmile and ITV Join Forces to Tackle Trolling Through Behaviour Change Campaign
As part of the campaign, a series of three advertisements will show unsuspecting social media users coming face-to-face with the real people at the receiving end of their hurtful comments. No longer able to hide behind the screen, the powerful adverts invite the viewer to think twice about what they post through the end line - “If you wouldn’t say it, don’t send it." If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
Cybersmile and ITV have launched a new behaviour change campaign titled “Would you say it?” which aims to reduce incidents of trolling and raise awareness of the potential impact that our words can have when interacting online.
New research commissioned by ITV and conducted by YouGov shows that almost one third of UK adults aged 16+ have received some form of negative comments online with 16-34s around four times more likely to say that they have been trolled by someone they didn’t know online compared to those aged over 55.*
Highlighting the contrast between on and offline behaviours, the research showed that 93% of adults aged 16+ agree that people say things online that they would never say in real life. Posting negative comments online has become so normalised that over half (51%) of adults aged 16+ say that if people “don’t want to receive negative comments, they shouldn’t post on social media.”*
“We are proud to partner with ITV on such an important campaign. Unfortunately too many people are unaware of the potential impact that our words can have on those that we interact with online. We want this campaign to remind people that comments and words shared online carry great power and that we need to consider our use of them in the same way that we are mindful of what we say offline.”
Scott Freeman, CEO, The Cybersmile Foundation
The campaign aims to target people who make hurtful comments online but pass them off as ‘banter.’ This group of ‘casual critics’ are responsible for a majority of trolling-type behaviour and are often unaware of the impact that their words or comments can have.
“So much of our lives are now spent online so it’s important to think about our mental wellbeing there too. Trolling dressed up as “banter” is having a real impact on lives beyond the screen, which is why ITV is proud to partner with Cybersmile to do our bit in making a difference.”
Susie Braun, Director of Social Purpose, ITV
A series of three advertisements will show unsuspecting social media users coming face-to-face with the real people at the receiving end of their hurtful comments. No longer able to hide behind the screen, the powerful adverts invite the viewer to think twice about what they post through the end line – “If you wouldn’t say it, don’t send it.”
Date: January 2023
Sample: 1,001 adults aged 16+
Conducted by: YouGov
- Almost one third of UK adults aged 16+ have received some form of negative comments online.
- 16-34s are around four times more likely to say that they have been trolled (harassed or treated negatively) by someone they didn’t know online compared to those aged over 55.
- 93% of adults aged 16+ agree that people say things online that they would never say in real life.
- Over half (51%) of adults aged 16+ say that if people “don’t want to receive negative comments, they shouldn’t post on social media.”
If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, we can help you. Visit our Help Center or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to open Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
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*YouGov, Jan 2023, nat rep sample of 1,001 adults aged 16+