With the arrival of the long-awaited iOS 9.1 update came a boatload of new emojis (YAAAS). New emoji like taco and unicorn made their worldwide debut, but there was one rather interesting addition to the emoji cannon that probably left you scratching your heads. It’s an eye/speech bubble emoji. Whatever could it mean? Let us tell you. The story behind that emoji is more heartwarming than you might have imagined. It’s a collaboration between tech giants Apple, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook in support of an anti-bullying initiative by the Ad Council. October is, after all, National Bullying Prevention Month.


The campaign is called “I Am a Witness” and aims to combat Internet bullying. According to Re/Code, the emoji is intended to be used “when you don’t know what to say in defense of the bullied, the emoji can do the talking for you.” The Ad Council’s CEO Lisa Sherma said that the campaign decided to release the emoji because for teens this day and age, emojis are “their language. In thinking about the best way to connect with them, working in that world seemed to make the most sense.”

For each tech company, the contribution to the “I Am a Witness” initiative is different. For Apple, they rolled out the emoji. Facebook and Twitter will be featuring ads for the campaign in your feed. As for Snapchat, they’re rolling out a special #IAmaWitness filter today. It’s pretty awesome to see Silicon Valley’s major players work together for such a great cause.

Check out the Ad Council’s video about the emoji and the campaign below.

What do you think of their anti-bullying emoji? Tell us in the comments below!

(h/t Re/Code, photo via Ad Council)