The Cybersmile Foundation to help victims of digital abuse with virtual hugs
The Cybersmile Foundation are launching a new online initiative to combat the effects of cyberbullying and digital abuse with the help of virtual hugs. Trained support advisors will use the Twitter platform to actively search for individuals who express negative feelings and respond with tweet empowerment, and a virtual hug to encourage positivity and wellbeing among users.
According to recent studies*, 50% of teens have been bullied online while a majority of young people fear that digital abuse is on the rise. 87% of those participating in a recent survey conducted by McAfee also witnessed some form of cyberbullying.
People expressing negative feelings and emotions will be presented with a fun animated gif to brighten up their day, with the hashtag #WeAreHere so that other users can also find support and encouragement. Keywords such as ‘sad’, ‘unhappy’, and ‘miserable’, will be monitored to ensure users who are facing difficulties and need advice get assistance quickly. The Cybersmile Foundation will also provide professional help to people suffering from depression and users discussing ‘suicide’ on social networks. Adults as well as children can also log on to the Cybersmile Help Centre for more information or request live support from a Cybersmile support advisor.
“We are very excited about the launch of our #WeAreHere campaign. Increasingly we are seeing people turn to instant messaging of all types for support when they feel low. Reaching out randomly can restore self worth, confidence and even faith in humanity. Letting somebody who is struggling know that they are not alone and that support is available is a very simple way to have an effective social impact and even save lives.”
Scott Freeman, Founder, The Cybersmile Foundation
What do you think of Cybersmile’s latest initiative to spread some online #POSITIVITY? Would you use Twitter to reach out when you feel down? Let us know over at @CybersmileHQ – remember #WeAreHere for support!
*McAfee Teens and the Screen Study 2014