Cyberbullying, also known as online bullying, is a form of harassment using electronic means. There are different types of cyberbullying, and among the most common are posting negative comments or rumors, threatening to hurt someone, posting mean or hurtful content, pretending to be someone else to seek or post personal or fraudulent information, and threatening to publicize other people’s personal information.
Cyberbullying has become an increasing concern, especially among the younger generation as they tend to spend a lot of time on social media. In Thailand, a 2022 study by Chiang Mai University researchers reported that more than half of their respondents, 50.8% of high school students aged 16-17 and 63.5% of university students aged 19-21 have been cyberbullied. In addition, cyberbullying has led to devastating outcomes such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, family problems, academic challenges, delinquency, school violence, and suicidal thoughts and attempts.
As a global technology-driven creator and entertainment company, Gushcloud International, through Gushcloud Thailand (GC TH), recognizes cyberbullying as a serious issue that we need to address. It is in line with our mission to always create tomorrow’s positive influence, both online and offline. That said, the goals of #talkxic, which is derived from the words ‘talk’ and ‘toxic, are:
(1) to educate internet users on what cyberbullying is;
(2) to raise awareness about the effects of cyberbullying; and
(3) to promote good attitudes and behaviors in society as they use social media platforms.
Gushcloud Thailand (GC TH) partnered with one of the most famous social media platforms among younger Thai Millennials and Gen Z - TikTok. TikTok proved to be the best platform to deliver our message of addressing and stopping cyberbullying because the platform is fueled and sustained by the positive creative expression of its users.
Our campaign was divided into five (5) phases:
TikTok Challenge, Buzz Creation, Psychologist Session, Video Summary, and Press Release.
For Phase One, Gushcloud worked with 71 Thai content creators, who collectively had over 30 million followers. These creators shared their experiences or opinions about #talkxic on TikTok with the goal of understanding, educating, and raising awareness about the impact of cyberbullying in order to help build a friendlier, and more accepting and tolerant online community.
Similarly, for Phase Two, Gushcloud activated content creators who have a strong following on Twitter and Facebook to share their stories or give opinions about #talkxic, as well as to share the stories of others by retweeting, sharing, or commenting.
Phase Three involved a one-on-one session with Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatric Noraphan "Ton" Thongchueam, M.Sc. to talk with GC TH Country Director Nirote “May” Chaweewannakorn on how to address the issue of cyberbullying. This video is available for public viewing in Thai language on GC TH’s Facebook page: https://tinyurl.com/bdfhyn8f.
In Phase Four, Gushcloud released a video summarizing phases one to three of the campaign. This video is also available on Facebook at https://tinyurl.com/3dtnbyds. Finally, for Phase Five, Gushcloud sent out a press release detailing the concept, participants, and results of the campaign.
While the campaign was a success, our team also encountered some challenges.
First, we had a limited budget of THB 210,000 (approximately USD 6,300) to reach at least 6 million people online. This pushed us to communicate and negotiate extensively with the content creators to reach our targets. Fortunately they saw the social relevance of our campaign and they saw it as in line with their personal advocacies as creators.
Second, while TikTok was the perfect platform to do the campaign, it was not without some difficulties. We did not receive the expected level of support from the short-form video platform, so we had to adapt and adjust our strategy to involve more content creators and tap other platforms. In hindsight, it allowed us to increase the coverage and efficacy of our campaign against cyberbullying.
Finally, we realized that because cyberbullying is a personal matter, some content creators and influencers were hesitant to share their personal experiences with the public. We opted to respect their choice not to participate in the campaign.
Despite the challenges, we were still able to shed light on the impact of cyberbullying and inspire people to spread positivity online.
Overall, the #talkxic campaign against cyberbullying was a success. We initially set our target to reach 6 million people, but by engaging a total of 71 Thai content creators (55 on TikTok, 14 on Twitter, and two (2) on Facebook), we were able to reach approximately 7 million people online and across three major social media platforms (i.e. TikTok, Facebook, Twitter).
The content creators tapped in the campaign included GC TH TikTok creators @tcattyyy (over 2M followers), @passorn0013 (almost 1M followers), @smilewha24 (over 1M followers), @hermionink (close to 1M followers), and @lotte_thakorn (1.3M followers).
Twitter and Facebook content creators included @PlobJai (1.7M followers), @KomsakAddams (2.2M followers), @DramaAdd (3.1M Facebook followers), and @nualthedog (750k followers).
In addition, we also had a successful publicity campaign. We had over 200 pieces of media coverage across several countries including Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Mexico, and the United States. These include popular Thai media outfits like Positioning Mag, Marketing Oops, and ThaiPR.net; industry media Adobo Magazine (Philippines); Marketing AI (Vietnam); Singapore Cultural Journal (Singapore); Roastbrief; and KGet.com. We also tapped our newswire service EIN Presswire to spread the news globally.
Finally, the biggest success we had during the campaign was working with content creators to create a positive influence online and leave an impact on society. It is our hope that by doing campaigns like #talkxic, the business community can create a world that is friendlier, and more tolerant, inclusive and accepting for our children.
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