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

Benjamin Frost Avatar
69 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.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maflynn Avatar
69 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:
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
69 months ago
And promoting bullying in the process



Attachment Image
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jdillings Avatar
69 months ago
Can't innovate anymore, my ass
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MistrSynistr Avatar
69 months ago
This is dumb as hell.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macfoxpro Avatar
69 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!!!"
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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