Practicing Kindness Online on World Kindness Day

Sunday is World Kindness Day, a day dedicated to education and inspiring people to choose kindness – in real life and online. At Snap, kindness is one of our core values, and it is on display daily. Extending and exhibiting kindness go hand-in-hand with safety as well, because so many online safety issues can stem from displays of inconsiderate or harsh behavior.

Findings from new Snap research show that three-quarters of Generation Z respondents reported being exposed to at least one online risk over a three-month period earlier this year. More than two-thirds of teens (68%) and 83% of young adults said they personally had fallen victim to some digital risk. About one in five (19%) teens cited that risk as online bullying or harassment, and that percentage was higher for young adults at 22%. Other personal risks for both age demographics included exposure to hate speech and various sexual risks.  

“Cyberbullying is corroding the online world,” said Nicholas Carlisle, CEO of Power of Zero, a non-profit that works closely with Snap and is launching a global program to teach online kindness from an early age. “It causes some to quit, others to escalate their online speech, and it stands in the way of the original promises of the internet of connection, collaboration and creativity. The antidote is for each of us to make a relentless commitment to kindness in our online speech and to use the tools that our social media platforms provide for blocking, reporting and getting help.”

Combating bullying and harassment

Bullying is something no one should have to experience, either in person or online. Snapchat’s Community Guidelines clearly and explicitly prohibit bullying, intimidation, and harassment of any kind. We don’t want it on the platform; it’s not in keeping with why Snapchat was created and designed. If someone is experiencing or witnessing a possible violation of our policies, including bullying or harassment, we encourage them to report it to us right away. 

We have in-app reporting tools where people can report specific Snaps (photos or videos) and accounts. Snapchatters can simply press and hold on a piece of content to report it to us or complete this online form at our Support Site. The form can be submitted by anyone, regardless of whether they have a Snapchat account. (Learn more about how reporting on Snapchat works here.) Reports are reviewed and actioned by Snap’s Trust and Safety teams, which operate 24/7. Enforcement might include warning the offender, suspending the account, or terminating the account entirely.

There’s also the ability to block or remove an offender by pressing and holding on the person’s name until a menu appears, including the heading “Manage Friendship.” At that dropdown, the Report, Block and Remove Friend options appear in red. We, of course, advise leaving any group chat where bullying or any unwelcome behavior might be taking place and reporting it to Snap immediately. Telling us about abusive or harmful content and behaviors help to improve the community experience for everyone. 

Parents, caregivers, and other trusted adults connecting with their teens using Snapchat’s new Family Center feature can also report accounts that may be of concern to them – and they can do so directly in the app. Future updates to Family Center will also include the ability for teens to inform their adult guardians that they made a report to Snap.

More research insights

The new Snap research examines various aspects of online life that contribute to overall digital well-being. The study surveyed teens, young adults, and parents of teens aged 13-19 in Australia, France, Germany, India, the UK, and the US between April 22 and May 10, 2022. Their responses accounted for online interactions from roughly February through April.   

A total of 9,003 individuals participated in this research, and full results* will be released in conjunction with international Safer Internet Day 2023 on February 7. We are sharing select findings on World Kindness Day, however, to encourage more empathetic and respectful interactions on Snapchat and across social media. 

We look forward to sharing the full results, including our first Digital Well-Being Index for each country and across all six, early next year. 

Until then, Happy World Kindness Day and let’s aim to embrace kindness not just on November 13 but throughout the year. 

- Jacqueline Beauchere, Snap Global Head of Platform Safety

The sample size for teens and young people was 6,002, including 4,654 who identified as using Snapchat. A total of 6,087 respondents identified as being users of Snapchat (including parents). Questions did not focus on users of any one social media platform in particular and instead asked about online interactions generally.