Instagram and Cybersmile launch anti-bullying campaign

Instagram and anti-cyberbullying organisation, Cybersmile, are launching Banter or Bullying? No Offence, a campaign bringing together music artist and entertainer Chunkz, doctor and presenter Dr. Radha Modgil, and social media stars Chessie King, Holly H and Olimata to call out bullying and help teens set personal boundaries online.

Instagram recently announced updates to its suite of anti-bullying tools to include an expansion of the comment warning feature, which warns people when they repeatedly try to post potentially offensive comments, and a new AI tool which automatically hides comments similar to those frequently reported for bullying.

According to a new report commissioned by Cybersmile and Instagram, nearly two thirds (65%) of young people in the UK believe terms like ‘banter’ and ‘no offence, but…’ are being used to mask bullying behaviour, both on and offline.

Surveying 3,000 teens, the research examined their attitudes to banter, bullying and personal boundaries, revealing that 83% of young people have seen someone left upset by banter and two thirds (68%) have been hurt by a comment which started with ‘no offence but…’

The data also shows that three quarters (75%) of teens agree people are more likely to overstep the mark from banter into bullying when talking online. Despite this, a third (33%) find it difficult to talk to friends and family about their personal boundaries when this happens.

Instagram and Cybersmile have also launched a series of interactive learning modules to introduce the anti-bullying tools and help people get the most out of using Instagram.

CybersmileNothing is more important to us than the safety of young people on Instagram. With many spending more time online this year, we’ve continued to expand our suite of anti-bullying tools to help our community establish their personal boundaries online and prevent hurtful comments. This Anti-Bullying Week we encourage parents and teens to check out these tools and visit our partner Cybersmile to learn more about personal boundaries when it comes to bullying.

Kira Wong O’Connor, EMEA Policy Programmes Manager, Instagram