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In 2020, Youth Legal Service (YLS) launched a new initiative to combat the increase in cyberbullying in Western Australia.

 

The concept for the campaign tapped into new behaviours that emerged in 2020 around youth being more vocal around social and political issues, particularly in the Gen Z demographic. With this alignment to the YLS target audience, the concept for the campaign was to encourage young people experiencing bullying to post a #🛑 emoji as a comment on social media when they felt they were being bullied and could not fend for themselves, or when they recognised their peers being victims of cyberbullying.

This concept enabled two goals to be achieved; one to provide victims with a tool to stand up for themselves and secondly to facilitate the creation of an online peer-to-peer (P2P) environment on social media comment, encouraging users to like the comment, show their support to victims, and collectively stand-up to bullies.

 

To ensure momentum grows and continues to encourage conversation and action amongst young people as well as building a supportive community through the Instagram page, YLS will be launching the next campaign in April 2021.

 

One of the key statistics to come out of the E-Safety Commission’s 2021 “The digital lives of Aussie teens” research was teens are proactively taking some form of action after a negative online experience, whether this is managing it themselves, such as reporting, or speaking to friends and family.

 

Another surprising finding was Australian teens are active in helping build positive and inclusive online relationships, which could help others when dealing with similar issues online.

With these positive insights the #stop initiative message naturally evolves to reflect young people’s experience.  Year 1 was about introducing the initiative due to the increase in cyberbullying activity. Year 2 is about emphasising and reinforcing that young people are standing up for themselves and supporting this behaviour to ensure it continues.