Wednesday, October 13, 2021

'I would like to stone you to death myself': kykNET launches campaign about nasty social media comments, implores DStv subscribers to be wiser with words.

by Thinus Ferreira

"Must the f****** be everywhere?" "You don't have any talent. You are where you are because of the colour of your skin." "If I ever see you in the streets, I would like to stone you to death myself."

There and other horrific insults written to various kykNET (DStv 144) personalities and on-air stars on social media platforms is part of what prompted M-Net's Afrikaans channels division to craft an awareness and educational campaign.

kykNET's new " #YouThinkYouKnowMe" campaign aims to raise awareness about the damaging effects of disgusting social media comments, and will try to influence people to change their behaviour and to think twice about what they're writing and sharing online on social media services in comments.

"Viewers can share their opinion without being nasty," says kykNET.

"I wish I can give her a b**** slap." "She is all high and mighty, but I am sure she is common in real life.".

kykNET says that insults like these are just the tip of the iceberg and that offensive comments like these hurled at its on-air talent make "the world a nastier place with bullies thinking it is their right to slander celebrities, humiliate them and even wish death on them".

"The aim of the new kykNET campaign, " #YouThinkYouKnowMe" is to put the spotlight on the way some people on social media treat celebrities and to try create a healthier social media environment where viewers can share their opinion, without being nasty."

Leo Smith, kykNET marketing manager, says that "We live in a time where people hide behind their keyboards and write these messages, but they don't realise the impact of their words".

"Our artists see these comments and the words hurt. We hear about teenagers and even grownups committing suicide because of cyber bullying. These bullies don't realise what the emotional impact of their words are."

kykNET is using 10 personalities in its new campaign, including Marijke Coetser (Getroud met Rugby), Johrné van Huyssteen (Die GROOT ontbyt), Willem Botha (Kwêla), Melanie du Bois (Arendsvlei), Roberto Kyle (Arendsvlei), Jawaahier Petersen (Suidooster), Frazer Barry (Fiësta), Marlee van der Merwe (Getroud met Rugby), Cindy Swanepoel (Binnelanders) and Weza Matomane (La’t Wiel).

Hennie van Deventer of Clearwater, the advertising agency responsible for the campaign, said it was important to them to set up an intimate relationship between the personality and the viewer.

"We wanted to create a mood that makes the viewer feel as if they are alone in a room with the personality who then confronts them with their raw emotion. You can’t look away, they look you straight in the eye and challenge you to listen to them."

"The camera comes in close and on the one side some of the comments that they received are shown. When we are uncomfortably close to the personality, they ask the important question: 'You say these things because you think you know me. But what would you have said if I knew you?" 

kykNET says that viewers use the kykNET social media platforms as a place where they can interact and talk about their favourite kykNET shows.

"Viewers tell us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram what they like and dislike about the channel's content," says Leo. "We've always been open to critique about our shows – we realise taste differs and we welcome feedback from our viewers."