Press Release

Ad Council Debuts Twitter Custom Emoji for “I Am A Witness” Bullying Prevention Campaign

Digital-focused effort empowering bystanders launched in October and has resulted in more than 10 million video views and 600 million online impressions so far
Ad Council Debuts Twitter Custom Emoji for  “I Am A Witness” Bullying Prevention Campaign

NEW YORK, December 8, 2015 – In an effort to continue the I Am A Witness campaign, a groundbreaking effort launched in October to empower teens to speak up when they see bullying, the Ad Council has announced the launch of a new custom eye emoji available to Twitter users beginning this afternoon and continuing through next year. When users type #IAmAWitness, a custom image shaped like a speech bubble with an eye in the center will appear in the tweet enabling teens and others to take a stand against bullying and show support for someone who is being bullied.

I Am A Witness is a digital-focused campaign developed pro bono by Goodby Silverstein & Partners in collaboration with Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google,YouTube, Johnson & Johnson and Twitter. The campaign features a new eye emoji supported by the Unicode Standard, which is now available on iPhone running iOS 9.1. The emoji is also featured in the I Am A Witness downloadable keyboard, available in the AppStore  and on GooglePlay. The Twitter custom emoji was developed based on the design and iconography of the initial campaign assets.

Since the launch of I Am A Witness six weeks ago, the effort has generated extraordinary reach and engagement with over 600 million online impressions, 10 million video views, 57,000 uses of the keyboard emoji images and 35,000 downloads of campaign stickers on Kik. Additionally, two sponsored posts on Whisper, as part of an ongoing partnership, have resulted in more than 410,000 impressions and over 1,100 replies.

“The new custom emoji on Twitter is a perfect extension of I Am A Witness,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “In just a few weeks this campaign has been embraced by teens nationwide who now feel empowered to do something to stop bullying in the moment. I’m grateful for the support of Twitter and all of our media partners who have donated so much in support of this critical effort.”

Ninety percent of teens ages 12-17 who have witnessed some form of online cruelty say they have ignored mean behavior on social media, and more than a third (35 percent) have done this frequently.[1] Research has shown that the bystander can play a pivotal role in stopping bullying. The campaign aims to activate the silent majority of kids who witness it each day, and empower them to use the eye emoji and additional creative assets to speak up, be a friend and reject bullying.

Popular YouTube stars including the Fine Bros., Grace Helbig, Glozell Green, Megan Rienks, JoshuaDTV, Ricky Dillon and celebrities Rachel Platten and Coy Stewart, along with anti-bullying activist Lizzie Velasquez, have generated awareness of the campaign and the emoji through a series of activations on their social platforms.

The I Am A Witness campaign also includes activations on platforms including BuzzFeed, Instagram, Kik, Pandora, Snapchat,Tumblr, Vevo, We Heart It, Upworthy and Whisper. Additionally, non-profit partners have offered their expertise and resources, including The Bully Project, GLSEN, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and The Trevor Project.

The campaign directs audiences to, a new website built on Tumblr by ideas in digital, where users can find tips and resources on different ways they can take action to stop bullying. The site features step-by-step directions on accessing the I Am A Witness emoji and keyboard, and instructions on when and how to use it. The website also features a ‘SendKindness’ section, a repository of campaign and user-generated, positive and uplifting images, GIFs and videos that visitors can send to anyone who’s been bullied or needs support.

To learn more about the campaign, visit, join the social media communities on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat (search ‘I See Bullying’), and follow the hashtag #IAmAWitness.






[1]Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in partnership with the Family Online Safety Institute and supported by Cable in the Classroom (2011)

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