Instagram recruits influencers to tackle ‘banter’ for Anti-Bullying Week

Cybersmile and Instagram are to take part in Anti-Bullying Week activity by enlisting social media influencers in a campaign to highlight how banter can be an excuse for online bullying.

Joe Lepper | 12th Nov 19
banter or bullying campaign with Instagram and Cybersearch

Instagram has teamed up with an anti-cyberbullying charity as campaigning for Anti-Bullying Week (11-15 November) extends its reach across social media.

Through the link up, Instagram and the charity Cybersmile have enlisted the support of Instagram influencers Zoella Founder Zoe Sugg, comedian Mo Gillgan and Chessie King to talk during the week about their own experiences of online bullying.

The partnership is for Instagram and the charity’s Banter or Bullying campaign, which aims to take on those who use ‘banter’ as an excuse for online bullying.

According to a report by the social media platform and Cybersmile, more than half of young people think that banter can go too far and become bullying. Two thirds of young people say that they have seen a friend left upset by ‘banter’ at least once a month and a third see this occur weekly.

Banter never an excuse for bullying

“Banter should never be used as an excuse for bullying,” said “Instagram UK Policy Programmes Manager, Kira Wong-O’Connor.

“We’re working hard to give people greater power to tackle bullying behaviour on Instagram, whether that’s restricting a bully from seeing when you’re online, or giving you the option to post Stories to Close Friends only.

“This Anti-Bullying Week we’d encourage parents and teens to explore how our anti-bullying tools can help keep their experience on Instagram positive.”

Yesterday charity coaliation group Anti-Bullying Alliance launched its campaigning around Anti-Bullying Week. This included Youtube and Twitter promotion of its report into young people’s attitudes to how online abuse and other forms of bullying should be addressed.

In July Instagram announced it was using artificial intelligence to combat online bullying. This is being deployed to generate a notification to people if their comment could be considered offensive before they have posted it. This is aimed at persuading people to think about being more considerate online.

TikTok creators urged to talk

Meanwhile, TikTok is also supporting Anti-Bully Week. The video platform is urging its creators to openly talk about bullying, whether offline, or online.

“We will be highlighting how empowering users to take control of their online lives can make a big change in fighting bullying, while continuing to support our diverse and positive community,” said TikTok Director of Global Public Policy Elizabeth Kanter.