The Cybersmile Foundation spotlight the dangers of mob justice

The campaign which addresses cancel culture and internet mobs will run across Pearl & Dean UK cinemas

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


‘Mob Justice Isn’t New. It Just Got a Tech Upgrade’.

This is the strapline from a new campaign from The Cybersmile Foundation, created by Joan London. The spot shines a light on the dangers of mob justice and internet pile-ons and launches in the run-up to Safer Internet Day on the 6th of February.

The campaign titled, Modern Witch Trials, draws comparisons between modern-day behaviour online to the witch trials of a bygone era. With cancel culture and social media retribution becoming more widespread online, cyberbullying is at an all-time high as the internet has the power to destroy individuals and social media can quickly turn into a mob.

Beyond celebrities, this can also happen to people who are not in the public eye. The campaign stresses that anyone with a social media presence should think carefully about their behaviour online and aims to help build a more compassionate, empathetic online community.

“The anonymity of our online lives and ease of response, combined with the desire to be seen as empathetic and socially conscious, has resulted in increasing mob behaviour online. People being targeted may have made poor decisions, or behaved problematically, but this creative is designed to make people question whether vicious retribution is warranted, or if there are more productive ways to drive evolution”, explained Tom Ghiden, Managing Director at JOAN London.

The film was produced by Chromista, the production company of Hollywood director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan and The Whale), Ted Robbins, Adina Birnbaum, and Scott Franklin. It was directed by Emmy Award nominee and Venice Film Festival winner Eliza McNitt, all supporters of The Cybersmile Foundation’s mission and work.

The film has been released in partnership with Pearl & Dean and will be shown across all of their UK Cinemas in the run-up to Safer Internet Day, as well as on social media.

Holding up a mirror to audiences and challenging people to think differently about how they act online rather than going with the mob, the campaign sends a striking message about the power of compassion.

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