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Premier League footballers reveal impact of social media abuse with bruised faces for Stop Cyberbullying Day

© The Cybersmile Foundation / Ten Toes

Premier League players Jordan Henderson, Harry Maguire, Declan Rice, Kasper Schmeichel, Ben Mee and Jermaine Jenas have revealed new bruised portraits to demonstrate the impact social media abuse can have on our mental wellbeing.

For the launch of this year’s Stop Cyberbullying Day campaign, Cybersmile and agency Ten Toes teamed up with top Premier League football players to highlight the impact of social media abuse, using edited selfies to visually demonstrate the real-life consequences that online harassment and negative comments can have.

Depicting the players with their own facial bruises and wounds, the campaign illustrates how words on social media hold power, and can take their physical and emotional toll on us.

Coinciding with the campaign, The Cybersmile Foundation also launched their latest bi-yearly study which showed a stark picture of how Britain’s young internet users are being impacted by social media. 89% of respondents from their latest study indicated that social media was negatively affecting their mental health.

With an emphasis on self-care and digital wellbeing, Cybersmile’s Stop Cyberbullying Day campaign this year garnered the support of sporting figures as well as major brands and leading Gen Z influencers, who promoted the campaign and encouraged people to take care of their personal wellbeing.

And in a new study released this weekend by FIFA, it was revealed that more than 55% of players who played in the Euro 2020 tournament and AFCON finals had received online abuse.

As the problem of online abuse continues, governments, brands, organisations and public figures are seeking ways to support people’s wellbeing through numerous programmes and initiatives.