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updated - June 19, 2021 Saturday EDT

Apple’s Eye Emoji An Anti-Bullying Symbol; Snapchat Filters To Support Campaign

Oct 26, 2015 12:34 PM EDT | By Jason Fonbuena
SnapChat, Apple, Emojis

Sorry conspiracy theorists, Apple's new eye emoji meaning isn't sinister at all. It's for an anti-bullying campaign Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and the rest of Silicon Valley is supporting.

"The eye - which was rumored to mean everything from the Department of Homeland Security is watching you to 'talking with your eyes' - symbolizes an anti-bullying campaign that launched in conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month," TechCrunch reported.

Apple users may have noticed the new emoji after installing iOS 9.1. Android users can get it by downloading the "I Am A Witness" keyboard from the Google Play Store.

According to the Ad Council, the eye emoji was created to give voice to the teenagers who witness bullying who want to stop it but don't know what to say.

"All teens are impacted by bullying and they often feel helpless when they witness it," the non-profit's president and CEO Lisa Sherman said in a statement. "Emojis have become a second language for teens, and they provide a relevant and easy way to get involved."

To promote the campaign, Ad Council has teamed up with some of the biggest names of the tech world, along with YouTube stars. A Tumblr site filled with tips and resources will go up as well, according to Mashable.

"Kik has made stickers to go with the campaign, and Pandora will blast ads for the campaign targeting young adults," TechCrunch said.

As for Snapchat's involvement, Re/code said the app "will offer US users a specific 'I Am A Witness' photo filter on Thursday."

Facebook and Twitter will reportedly run ads for the campaign which users will see in their News Feeds.

Ads don't come cheap with Snapchat filters alone costing as much as $400,000 a day. Fortunately though, it won't cost a penny as everyone involved is working pro bono, according to Re/code.

"Hopefully what we end up creating is a collective of people who go from being passive bystanders to a group of united and empowered people standing up to speak out against bullying," Sherman told Mashable.

Check out the campaign's official website here.

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