Apple supporting anti-bullying campaign with new eye emoji in iOS 9.1

“Apple yesterday released iOS 9.1 to the public with a handful of improvements, but the one that the general public was most excited about was new emoji,” Chance Miller reports for 9to5Mac.

“While most of the emoji additions were self-explantory, one piqued the interest of many users: an eye inside of a speech bubble. Wired and Jeremy Burge both now note, however, that this emoji is Apple’s way to show its support for a new anti-bullying campaign launched today by the Ad Council,” Miller reports. “Called the ‘I Am A Witness’ campaign, the movement hopes to give teenagers the courage they need to speak up whenever they see or experience bullying. ”

Miller reports, “The Ad Council hopes that Apple adding the emoji to iOS 9.1 will help raise awareness for its campaign and bullying in general.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When we went to school, bullying was unfortunately just an accepted (crappy) part of life. How times have changed!


  1. As much as bullying sucks, and I know from my own personal experience that it sucks hard, the best thing you can do for a kid is not to wear a silicon bracelet or use an emoji, the best thing you can do is teach the kid how to stand up for themselves. Not to make them tough, but to show them they are capable of surviving the world. The result of this kind of thing is m ore likely the kid gets the message “Don’t worry, we will protect you. Because the bully is right, you are too weak to survive alone”. Show them that they don’t have to be afraid, that even getting your ass handed to you is not the end of the world. I got bullied bad when I was a kid, but the first time I didn’t back down or run, it ended. Bullies are cowards, show the bullied kids how to not be scared and you do them a much better service than making an emoji for them. And how does that help anyway. Seriously, how?

    1. Go ahead and read the Better Angels of Our Nature. Great book. Society is changing for the better, not worse. Go visit one of your local grade schools and you can be shocked that they want to morally educate every child and the playground you grew up in is not there anymore.

      1. Society is changing for the better? Ha, really? I’d say it’s in the middle of a huge downhill slide and gaining speed.

        Hopefully my local grade school is not teaching morals to my children, I don’t need them to do that, it is my job, not theirs.

        1. I think his point was that kids need to learn how to stand on their own two feet, and that “I’m going to tattle” emoticons probably don’t serve the best interests of our society.

          1. Hey, if you want your kids to spend 6.5 hours in a stimulating environment with no SEL, that’s your curious preference. But it’s not going to happen because teaching morals is a part of classroom management.

            Teachers like nothing better than involved parents who know what they’re up against and work to reinforce learning at home.

            1. I have no idea what SEL is so whatever point you were trying to make is lost.

              Parents like nothing better than teachers who know their place and stick to teaching knowledge, not morals. Teaching anything moral outside of “treat each other nicely”, “be polite when people are talking”, etc. is not the teacher’s place. They have gotten into the habit of interjecting their worldview and trying to indoctrinate kids rather than focusing on teaching them the knowledge they need to function as adults.

              I agree on stopping bullying, there’s nothing I hate more than a bully and I won’t tolerate it in my children, but the fact remains that tattling to the teacher every time does not solve the problem, kids HAVE to learn to stand on their own two feet. It’s been the human condition forever and it will continue to be. Some day there won’t be anyone to tattle to and then it will be too late to learn the skills necessary to stand up to a bully.

          2. His point is, as always, nuanced. Read the book, or a synopsis at least. I would not attempt to soothsay his position on emoticons with four words strung together. In broad strokes, he would believe that social systems deserve the credit for reducing bullying (yes it is declining). Standing up to the bully just shifts their target over to someone else. They have to learn more than just defeat, they have to learn not to bully.

      2. That book marshals all the available scientific evidence to explain things, which goes a long way to counter knee-jerk judgments based on personal experience, anecdote, or political agenda. Thanks to scientists like Pinker (who did the exhaustive research and wrote the book) we have a rational alternative to the hot-headed screamers trying to drown out our thoughts with fear, for their own unnamed purposes.

      3. The problem is that THEIR “moral” education of my child is, by and large, in conflict with MY moral education of my child. How about you simply expel the bullies and make the school safe for the kids who are there to learn? That’s the limit of the “moral” education I want from the government; if I want more than that from a school, I’ll send my kids to a Catholic school.

      4. Seismic-C: Sounds appealing to some ears, but local grade schools being responsible to “morally educate every child” is not the primary objective of a govt school–esp when it more commonly means promoting thought…as in socio/polit idealogy–not pursuing excellence in english/math/reading. Also, to “morally educate”, discipline is necessary simultaneously and to many teachers are too overwhelmed, fearful, or confined in to make such decisions. After all, who’s moral framework are they working within?

    2. Not every kid is capable of standing up to bullies, that’s why they exist. The point of trying to change the old mindset is to not give bullies a free ride when you see it happening, like everyone did in the past.
      If you can stand up to bullies for yourself, you can do it for others when you see it. No more free rides.

  2. Maybe if everybody tweets their disgust at bullying, the world will finally take notice and end this scourge…..
    (hey, it worked for all those other causes, right?????)

  3. Ha, ha. Former and current bullies will sneer at such impotent symbolic gestures, and make light of them, morally blind to the desperation haunting the lives of people not gifted with their special, sociopathic brand of uncaring.

  4. I knew a kid who killed herself because of this type of bullying. When you’re a teenager getting that type of abuse can be the end of the whole.
    So calling out the cowards who pick on people via social networks sounds like a good idea to me.

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