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Apple Supports Anti-Bullying Campaign With New iOS 9.1 Emoji Symbol

In betas of iOS 9.1 and OS X 10.11.1, Apple added a mysterious emoji symbol consisting of an eye inside of a speech bubble. At the time, it was not clear what purpose the mystery emoji served, but as Wired points out, it's Apple's way of supporting an anti-bullying campaign launched today by the Ad Council.

The "I Am A Witness" digital anti-bullying campaign aims to empower teenagers to speak up whenever they see bullying, with the emoji Apple implemented serving as a way to show support for someone who is being bullied.


Two designers at ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Angie Elko and Patrick Knowlton, came up with the eye-in-a-speech bubble symbol, and then the ad agency approached Apple to add it as an emoji to the Apple Keyboard. According to Goodby art director Hanna Wittmark, Apple was a fan of the symbol.
"When we first asked about bringing this emoji to the official Apple keyboard, they told us it would take at least a year or two to get it through and approved under Unicode," says Wittmark. The company found a way to fast-track it, she says, by combining two existing emoji.
To create the new anti-bullying emoji, Apple combined the eye emoji with the left speech bubble emoji using what's called a Zero Width Joiner, described on Emojipedia as a unicode character that's able to join two or more characters together. It's also used in emoji like the family, combining Man, Woman, Girl, and Boy emoji to create a single character emoji.

eyeemoji
Image via Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia

The emoji is a key symbol in the campaign and is available on iPhones running iOS 9.1 and Macs running OS X 10.11.1. The dedicated "I Am A Witness" website asks teens to use the emoji or a specially created "I Am A Witness third-party keyboard to call out bullying.

iamawitnessinstructions
In addition to Apple, several other tech companies are also supporting the new campaign, including Adobe, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter, with each of these providing customized content on their respective platforms.

Tag: emoji


Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
Colour me blind, but isn't this an Illuminati symbol?

Otherwise, I struggle to see how creating an anti-bullying emoji helps anti-bullying, any more than a snowflake emoji encourages it to snow.
Rating: 35 Votes
12 months ago
And promoting bullying in the process



Rating: 26 Votes
12 months ago
I can't help but wonder how an emoji will stop bullying. Will the person who enjoys tormenting people suddenly stop because he sees this emoji :rolleyes:
Rating: 26 Votes
12 months ago
Can't innovate anymore, my ass
Rating: 21 Votes
12 months ago
This is dumb as hell.
Rating: 13 Votes
12 months ago
Just think of how many will use that "claiming" "bullying" is happening.
So many people use the "bullying" word unnecessarily. It's such a umbrella word.
Everyone needs coddled, held and their ego stroked these days. Lord forbid any criticism come their way...."BULLY!!!"
Rating: 12 Votes
12 months ago

When I was younger bullying was when you got your rear kicked every other day. It seems like these days it seems to be if someone is belittling someone else. Has the definition expanded with the current generation?

It has, my daughters come to me saying they were bullied and I ask how, and one of them said so and so told her she was ugly, or what ever.

I didn't minimize or marginalize the issue but that's not bullying - at least as I remembered.

I've told my daughters if anyone puts their hand on them, hits/kicks/etc. Kick them in the groin - that will stop them in their tracks. Don't go running to a teacher or anything just clock them.
Rating: 12 Votes
12 months ago

I can't help but wonder how an emoji will stop bullying. Will the person who enjoys tormenting people suddenly stop because he sees this emoji :rolleyes:


It's not to stop it dead in its tracks, it's more of building awareness don't you think? Wearing pink doesn't stop breast cancer, but it's a symbol people like to use to spread awareness. With more of the young being brought up and educated on certain things, the norm is to stop. Young kids now are more accepting of gay people and different ethnicities than say...kids growing up 30 years ago. Movements matter, at least in my opinion. Social progress is always a good thing despite the eye rolls and jokes.
Rating: 12 Votes
12 months ago
Well as someone who was bullied almost all of his school life, I'd say it's a welcome sight to see my favourite company supporting anti-bullying campaign.
Rating: 11 Votes
12 months ago
kind of creepy in an illuminati way..
Rating: 11 Votes

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