Social media campaign against cyber bullying launched in Egypt

Ingy Deif , Thursday 12 Apr 2018

Campaign against cyber bullying event in Cairo
Campaign against cyber bullying event in Cairo

The Greek campus at the American university in Cairo hosted the launch of a joint social media campaign by the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), under the hashtag #ImAgainstBullying, on Tuesday.

The campaign comes under the umbrella of a joint program implemented by UNICEF and funded by the European Union, titled Expanding Access to Education and Protection of at Risk Children.

Cyberbullying made headlines in Egypt on a large scale recently after the infamous Blue Whale game was allegedly linked to the suicide of the son of Egyptian former MP, Hamdy El-Fakharany in the Gharbiya governorate.

Cyberbullying can take many forms, and includes posting or sending messages, pictures or videos that harass, threaten or spread rumors on another person through any digital platform.

At the beginning of the event, secretary general of NCCM Dr. Azza El-Ashmawy took to the podium addressing the main goal of the campaign, which is to use engaging content to inspire and empower children and adolescents with online safety tips.

In his speech, Bruno Maes, the UNICEF representative in Cairo, pointed out the fact that one in three internet users globally is a child, and that with lack of proper adult supervision, more and more children may be exposed to cyberbullying at any given time and place.

Accordingly, they may suffer dire psychological and physical consequences.

"It is our collective responsibility as governments, international and national organizations, private sector, families and caregivers to eliminate these risks and to increase children’s access to safe and quality online content," he said.

Among the highlights of the event was the contribution of the famous Egyptian movie star Mona Zaki, a UNICEF ambassador.

Zaki introduced an engaging video about cyberbullying that discussed the extreme harm it can cause, and called for the right of each child to experience safe internet surfing and online learning.

Finally, Jerome Boniface, programme manager within the governance section of the EU Delegation to Egypt, highlighted that the EU highly endorses the child's right to an enriching and positive digital experience.

"Efforts to protect children from cyberbullying need to focus particularly on vulnerable and disadvantaged children, who may be less likely to understand online risks and more likely to suffer harm,” he concluded.

The hashtags launched by the campaign are #ImAgainstBullying #AnaDedElTanamour. 

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