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Snapchat partners with Vodafone for #BeStrong anti-bullying drive

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

November 18, 2015 | 3 min read

Snapchat has partnered with Vodafone to raise awareness of teen cyberbullying for Anti-Bullying Week UK.

The #BeStrong campaign comprises a series of Europe-wide Geofilters (special artistic overlays for ‘Snaps’ which can be accessed from select locations) and emojis to encourage Snapchatters to take a stand against online abuse.

The drive follows an 11-country 5000-teen survey commissioned by Vodafone from YouGov which found that one in five young people had been bullied online.

Almost half of the respondents had struggled to find the right words to support friends who had experienced abuse and 72 per cent of teenagers said they would welcome an emoji they could share with friends to show support.

Anti-bullying ambassador Monica Lewinsky helped develop the emojis, as did Berkeley University Professor Dacher Keltner, who advised on the creation of the characters for Pixar film Inside Out.

Snapchat’s director of public policy Micah Schaffer said she hoped the project would help users "take a stand against bullying on our platform and beyond".

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Andrew Dunnett, director at Vodafone Foundation said: “The new generation that was born digital thrives in a world of constant connectivity, but there are clear risks for young people as well as benefits.

"Our research showed many teenagers find it difficult to help their friends when cyberbullying is happening, and the #BeStrong campaign has been created to help them convey emotional support," he added.

Each time one of the #BeStrong emojis is retweeted or liked on Twitter or Facebook this week, the Vodafone Foundation will donate £1 to anti-bullying charities.

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