Making social media a kinder place for all
Social Media Kindness Day
Today is Social Media Kindness Day a campaign focused on making social media kinder for all which is something we care greatly about at GoBubble. We believe that by reducing toxicity and hate online, and our tolerance for it, we can build safer, kinder, and healthier digital communities.
The data tells us that viewing and experiencing offensive and potentially harmful content significantly negatively impacts our mental health and well-being.
In a report published earlier this year about the effects of online abuse, the statistics show that almost all victims of online abuse surveyed reported some level of harm from the abuse, with 91% indicating that the abuse impacted them in some way.
Women reported higher levels of harm with only 3% of women saying the online abuse did not bother them. High levels of participants reported dissatisfaction with the response from police and platforms and that “the experience of reporting seemed more stressful and re-traumatizing than the abuse itself.”
The psychological effects of online abuse can be so damaging, an Amnesty International poll that looked at the experiences of women between the ages of 18 and 55 in Denmark, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the USA, told us that across all countries nearly a quarter (23%) of the women surveyed said they had experienced online abuse or harassment at least once, ranging from 16% in Italy to 33% in the US.
The data showed that 61% of participants who had experienced online abuse said they’d suffered from lower self-esteem or loss of self-confidence as a result and more than half (55%) said they’d experienced stress, anxiety, or panic attacks; and 63% said they had not been able to sleep well, because of online abuse or harassment.
Negative content spreads quickly, and so reducing the amount of toxicity and abuse across the social platforms we use in our personal lives and in the workplace, and encouraging kindness, can help us to feel more comfortable about engaging online.
In a recent interview about the effect of social media on children and young people, Former Cabinet Minister and GoBubble Board Public Policy Advisor, Lord Jim Knight, told us:
“We can compare the problem to the effect that a bus full of children shouting at and bullying an individual can have, when social media comes in, it becomes 20 or 2000 buses full of such direct abuse, shouting 24/7. A share or a retweet is also easier to action than a carefully crafted and deliberately toxic post, but can still have a powerfully negative effect as social channels amplify the content within seconds.
“This makes it hard for a young person to escape, and unfortunately, the after-effects of such abuse on an individual’s emotional health can be debilitating and long-lasting. So, it’s important that we’re transparent with young people, and teach them about building positive communities online and about the business model of social media platforms, explaining the monetisation of toxic content and the wider implications of sharing it.
Reducing the amount of toxicity and abuse across social media doesn’t limit freedom of speech, instead, it brings about greater freedom, enabling people to post and share content without the feeling of fear or threat, and the potential for safer, more supportive digital spaces can be transformative.”
At GoBubble we use our experience in big tech (our team are ex-Google, Facebook and Twitter) as well as our global digital safeguarding expertise to work closely with clients in education, business, media, and sport to empower them to block or hide abusive content that they don’t want to be exposed to, or associated with.
Our heart-centered Emotion AI allows clients to take control of their platforms, profiles, and digital ecosystems to block abuse and bullying, and create healthier, safer, kinder online communities.
Danielle Platten, CEO at GoBubble and award-winning female tech entrepreneur, added:
“Right now, we’re facing a cyber pandemic of hate and for many, it can feel relentless, with the threat being felt by us all in our homes, schools, and in our working lives. Content moderation is a vital tool in the fight against it. It can empower organisations and individuals to decide what content they want to appear on their own platforms and social feeds, which can affect reputation and mental health, and well-being.
Our cutting-edge Emotion AI is helping to enhance the collective well-being of digital communities and the people who run them, and transforming the way in which they interact online.”
Contact Us to find out more about the way in which we collaborate with partners and clients around the globe to tackle online abuse and to discover how we plan to positively transform the digital lives of more than 1 billion people by 2030.