Today, 9th November is the first Social Media Kindness Day. In memory of the late television presenter Caroline Flack, the day is taking place on what would have been her birthday.
The awareness day has been launched in the hope of reminding people of the importance of treating people with respect and kindness online. One of Caroline Flack's last Instagram posts, before she died from suicide in February, was an image that said 'In a world where you can be anything, be kind.' After her tragic death, the words 'Be Kind' became a hashtag that was used frequently throughout social media, with users encouraging people to see beyond the glossy world of a curated Instagram feed and to practice kindness towards everyone. However, in the wake of the pandemic, the movement seems to have been largely forgotten, so the organisers behind Social Media Kindness Day are taking this opportunity to remind people.
Mayah Riaz, the founder of the initiative, said: "Social Media Kindness Day is sadly necessary. Although celebrities are the most trolled people on the planet, it's not just about celebrities. It's a day set up to help all, including everyday people and entrepreneurs - who may not have the tools or support in helping them with the trolling or negativity they experience online.
"We are the first generation to use social media in the way that we do. We cannot let the next generations think it's a place for negativity. Although Social Media Kindness Day is on 9th November, it is more than just a day, but a movement so that in years to come, it won't be needed.
"We are asking people to play their part by making social media a safer place for all by asking them to pledge this on our website. Each pledge is being counted and together we can and will make a difference."
Social Media Kindness Day is asking people to take a selfie of themselves doing the sign for love in British Sign Language and post it to social media, tagging three friends and asking them to pledge to make social media a kinder place for all. Holly Matthews is pictured demonstrating the sign for love.
The Social Media Kindness Day website has a host of resources available for being kinder online, as well as dealing with negative and hateful comments. Find out more at socialmediakindnessday.com