By Rebecca Lewin, Pitch Marketing Group: Posting on social media has become a pretty habitual part of day-to-day life. But negativity and abusive comments are also increasingly commonplace, and can be detrimental to the mental health and wellbeing of people around the world.
Last week, cosmetic brand, Rimmel, took a stand against cyberbullying in its new campaign #IWILLNOTBEDELETED. Partnering with The Cybersmile Foundation, Rimmel has used 13 brand ambassadors including Rita Ora and Cara Delevigne to launch the campaign with empowering videos of individuals telling their story and directing messages to cyberbullies.
It echoes the Diesel ‘Hate Couture’ campaign launched earlier this year, a marketing initiative that featured Nicki Minaj, Bella Thorne and others, to defiantly sport clothing emblazoned with some of the hurtful messages they’ve received on social media.
Both of these campaigns take insight from recent findings that in 2017, 115 million social media images were deleted due to the individual becoming a victim of cyberbullying. Nearly a quarter of women aged 16-25 have at some point experienced beauty cyberbullying, with 46% self-harming and 67% losing confidence in themselves due to the horrific and malicious comments they received on their social media posts.
At a time when digital marketing is at the forefront of many brands and celebrities agenda, it’s important to establish exactly what is being done to combat cyberbullying and how influencers can play a huge part in tackling the issue.
Social media platforms such as Instagram have now implemented features to try and prevent bullying on the platform. The anti-bullying features detect abusive comments, filter comments on live videos and use AI systems to automatically detect abuse in photos. Instagram has also altered its tools to allow abusive comments to be easily reported by Instagram users, hammering home that the platform will simply not accept online trolls.
Social media influencers such as Chessie King and Love Island star Olivia Bowen are using their social media following to highlight the extent of online trolls and the daily hurtful comments they receive on their appearance and lives. Cybersmile Foundation partnered with Chessie King to run an online campaign at the start of the year to highlight the negative comments Chessie received on a photo of herself. Within 12 hours, the post with the abuse was viewed 150,000 times and received huge compliments from many other social media influencers. Alongside the social campaign, Cybersmile released research that showed girls are nearly twice as likely to have witnessed cyberbullying compared to boys and one in four secondary school students suffered from repeated incidents.
Cyberbullying is becoming one of the biggest issues parents and individuals face in today’s society. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter need to continue to ensure they are protecting users around the world. Brands should use their following and influence for good, and take inspiration from Rimmel’s brilliant efforts and the #IWILLNOTBEDELETED to make social media a more positive and inspirational space.