“Cyberbullying Bye! Bye!”
UNICEF and Telekom Foundation for Macedonia campaign against cyberbullying and online hate speech co-created with youth
Children and young people are spending more time online than ever before. According to State Statistics Office (2023), in North Macedonia almost all - 98.8 per cent of youth 15-24 years use the internet every day with some nine in ten young people using it to engage in social networks and using instant messaging where most cyberviolence and cyber-bullying takes place.
Growing up online offers limitless opportunities. When used in the right way the internet has the potential to broaden horizons, unlocking opportunities to learn, to access information, play and express themselves. But with these opportunities come serious risks. Cyberbullying and hate-speech can affect young people each time they log in to social media or instant messaging platforms.
The hurtful behaviour can include harassment, bullying, intimidation, non-consensual posting of content, positing gender-based discriminatory memes; hate speech, discrimination and intolerance against population groups based on ethnic, gender, identify and another basis.
Young people participating a recent national U-Report poll shows that in the past year 24 per cent of young respondents had felt under threat online, one in three respondents had been a victim of cyberbullying i.e. most often insulted or belittled, and that cyberbullying mainly happens on social media and in chats.
In a firework of brainstorming ideas and eagerness to be part of the solution, some 30 youth co-created a social media campaign to help children and young people need to prioritize safety and care for self and others when online.
Under the campaign slogan “Bullying bye-bye!” the campaign aims to open a dialogue on the need to be kind and respectful to members of their online communities and to speak out against online violence and looking out for each other to confront bullying and hate-speech.
Join young people and share their messages
Under the title “Together for a hate-free internet”, this initiative is part of the long-term partnership between UNICEF and Telekom Foundation for Macedonia aimed to engage children and young people in tackling some of the biggest challenges facing their generation.