CAIRO – 17 November 2020: Instagram, in partnership with Egypt’s National Council for Women, Egypt’s National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, and UNICEF Egypt; has launched حاسبوا_على_كلامكم# - an online bullying awareness campaign across Egypt.
The campaign, which translates to #ChooseWordsWisely,is an appeal to the community to share and interact more consciously and considerately, keeping in mind the damage different forms of online bullying can cause, especially among young people. The motivating campaign aims at raising the awareness of the community on Instagram’s rules around bullying and the arsenal of anti-bullying tools at their disposal. These tools, (downloadable here), help people protect their accounts from bullies and unwanted contact, encourage positive interactions, and empower people to stand up for themselves.
Elaborating further, Nada Enan, Head of Communication, Instagram Middle East and North Africa states “At Instagram, we’re committed to leading the fight against online bullying. That's why we've joined forces with UNICEF, NCCM and NCW to empower people to make the most of our anti-bullying tools on Instagram, whether that’s restricting a bully from commenting on your posts, or reporting bullies. We want Instagram to be a supportive place for everyone.”
Online bullying remains a major concern globally especially among young people. In Egypt, online bullying has been criminalized according to adopted law no. 189/2020, however, the crime is still practiced. To tackle the issue in a comprehensive manner, Instagram is joining forces with Egypt’s National Council for Women, Egypt’s National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, and UNICEF Egypt; to raise awareness on the cause.
The National Council for Women, which provides legal and psychological consultations for victims of all forms of violence including online bullying, will be working with Instagram on reinforcing their efforts and role in supporting women.
Maya Morsy, President of The National Council for Women stated; “We, at The National Council for Women in Egypt, are determined to raising the public’s awareness on fighting all forms of violence against women including online bullying. This gripping campaign that we are launching collaboratively with Instagram, National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, and UNICEF aims to prevent violence against women through minimizing, as much as achievable, the use of harmful words or language on online platforms by providing the necessary tools to support our cause and reach our objective. I Moreover, the campaign targets raising the awareness of the Egyptian public as Instagram users about the negative impact that bullying crimes can bring and encourages people to condemn this behavior.”
In order to address the teen and young adult population, and increase the reach to this specific segment, Instagram is collaborating with two key entities; The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, which addresses bullying against children as a form of violence whether verbal, psychological, physical, or electronic, along with UNICEF, which works on protecting children from all forms of violence, including bullying, and provides solutions that ensure creating a safer internet for children.
From the standpoint of Dr. Sahar El-Sonbati, Secretary-General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood “The council was the first to bring to light the issue of fighting bullying in all its forms in 2018, noting that this campaign, which was launched under the slogan "I am against bullying", grabbed the attention of the masses, adults and children alike. Moreover, it contributed to raising the public’s awareness about the dangers of bullying, pointing out that these efforts were successful with the issuance of a law that combats bullying. Today, we reinforce our commitment to addressing it as a form of violence and abuse, especially with the significant increase in using social media and hiding behind screens, which leads to an increase in the spread of online bullying. With dedicated efforts and fruitful partnerships, we will succeed in eliminating this destructive practice, and we remain committed to providing a safe, violence- free environment for children”.
According to Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt “Globally, one in three internet users is estimated to be a child. Increased online activity supports children’s learning, socialization and playtime, but also puts them at greater risk of online harms such as cyberbullying. Hence, it is our collective responsibility as governments, international and national organizations, families and caregivers, celebrities and community influencers as well as the private sector to eliminate these risks and to boost children’s access to safe and quality online content. We express our gratification over joining hands with NCW, NCCM and Instagram to combat cyberbullying and its knock-on effects”.
Instagram and its partners are calling on the wider community to become advocates by downloading and sharing the toolkit [here] on their Instagram profiles. In addition, access to valuable and important information on the negative impact of bullying can be reached on NCW and NCCM websites.
In light of the dedicated efforts to build a strong community of advocates, Instagram has also developed a bespoke filter for the campaign in collaboration with NCW, NCCM, and UNICEF and which will be available on @unicef.egypt Instagram’s page. The Instagram filter “خلينا متفقين” encourages users to take a pledge to desist, resist, and speak up against online bullying in all its forms, creating a safer space for the community to interact, share, and express themselves.
There are currently over a dozen tools and courses of action at Instagram users’ disposal to combat and report online bullying, and Instagram will be reviewing evolving trends and constantly updating its guardrails to ensure the right protection for its community around the world.