BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The new iOS 9.1 brought a series of new features that are technologically and aesthetically relevant, but Apple’s all-seeing eye emoji has a noble meaning behind it. And, it turns it’s not the creepy, ‘government is watching you’ type of deal.
The emoji is part of a larger campaign that stands against cyber bullying. It’s created in part to raise awareness, and, in another part, to perhaps fight with the problem of online communities. It’s a major and unfortunate part of the digital age. When everything is posted online, both the people and their creations are subject to public criticism.
However, some take it up a notch, and resort to cyber bullying. It can be highly impacting, and create fear, especially among teenagers or even younger crowd.
The ‘I Am Witness’ project aims to turn the passive observers of online bullying into active participants that stand against it, or ‘witnesses’. It’s often an issue that those who notice cyber bullying do not help. In fact, 90% of children between 12 to 17 years old have admitted to standing by while another inflicted mean comments or even hurtful remarks on others.
Reportedly, their lack of involvement is stemmed in fear.
Be it fear of the bully themselves, or a fear of become victims as well, many teenagers allow a situation to pass by unaddressed. Even when they do understand, they do not know what to say. Thus, the inception of the ‘I Am Witness’ program to stand against cyber bullying.
It may not be a solution, but it’s brought forward as a manner of understanding. The eye emoji is meant to essentially say that the user has noticed, understands that it’s not ok, and that the victim is not alone. Apple is officially supporting this campaign, and they’re certainly not the only ones.
Other big names, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Snapchat have joined the fight. According to Ad Council CEO, Lisa Sherman, the point is to activate the “silent majority”, and turn them into active witnesses that speak against the harmful gestures. Or at the very least, to show support for victims. If anything, it would be considered a symbol for when witnesses don’t know what to say.
That is reportedly a common occurrence among teenagers on the internet. However, they have now been provided with a simple emoticon which can convey their message of understanding. It’s a simple tool for a good cause. It may not fix it, but it could help.
Image source: awn.com