Strolling through multiple social media influencer profiles’ it has became apparent to me that online mediums’ such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have become public spheres of hate.
Cyberbullying has affected millions of online users around the world and has quickly become one of society’s most serious social epidemics. With no mainstream monitoring systems or programming on social media and other digital platforms, ‘online trolls’ have had free range when posting malicious abuse to innocent users.
However an non-for-profit organisation, Headspace has developed a digital weapon to combat cyberbullying. By designing and implementing the browser extension ‘Reword’, which is a plug-in that extends the functionality of user’s web browsers. Reword has acted as a real-time alert system identifying hurtful phrases with vibrant red crossing lines further prompting users to reword their post.
Due to bully moving away from the schoolyards and now into social media. Digital marketing campaigns like this have been embraced by communities and schools, an example of this has been through the viral hashtags such as #iwillreword and heartfelt celebrity bullying stories which have resonated with various audience segments, saturating online media feeds.
“We need this as a educational tool. Words are used every day and the more people reword the less insults we will see online. The vision of reword is that it will be built into every social media platform and mobile device”, says student wellbeing teacher Fiona Short.
150 million media impressions. $500,000 in generated media value. 84% of insults reworded and a start-up backing of 260 schools Australia wide. Reword has not only changed consumer browsing experiences, perceptions and spread a brand’s message. But also superseded the generalisation that browsing extensions are a gimmicky short-termed trend. (**cough cough the browsing extension ‘NicCage’ that changes any image into a photo of Nicolas Cage)
So my ending question is what makes a quality browsing extension? Is it utility? Novelty? Social cause? Or is it simply an Adblocker thats actually blocks all ads not just a low percentage?