Monica Lewinsky's new PSA gives you a terrifying inside look at what it's like to be cyberbullied
via The Epidemic / YouTube

There are few people on planet Earth that know what it feels like to be bullied quite like Monica Lewinsky.

In her early 20s, she became the focus of one of the biggest scandals in American history after engaging in a sexual relationship with former president Bill Clinton.

She was the butt of nighttime talk show jokes, harassed by politicians, and constantly pursued by the paparazzi. Twenty years later, she's survived the scandal and become a tireless advocate for helping those who've been bullied.


via White House Photograph Office / Wikimedia Commons

Given her experience with harassment, she saw it as time to "stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past."

Being that the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was at the onset of the internet-era she considered herself, "patient zero" of online harassment.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton was asked if Bill Clinton 'abused' Monica Lewinsky. Her response has ignited an important debate.

A 2018 report by Pew Research Center found that 59% of U.S. teens have been bullied or harassed online. "The bullying crisis has become a global epidemic," Lewinsky said on the TODAY show.

"It can be hard to see the signs of when someone's going through this and then, even worse than all of that is the fact that this behavior, with cyber-bullying, even though it takes place online, there are offline consequences, and these consequences can range from bad to grave," Lewisnky continued.

via Wikimedia Commons

To help spread awareness about the hidden evils of cyberbullying, she's partnered with The Epidemic to create a new interactive PSA that gives viewers an inside look at how this modern form harassment feels.

The campaign begins with an online video about a mystery illness affecting a teenager named Haley. "You see and feel firsthand how awful and devastating these messages can be," Lewinsky said.

Eventually, this illness leads her to overdose on pills.

At the end of the video, viewer are invited to share their phone numbers and are sent a link to the video. But this time it's accompanied by a barrage of text messages that give one a first-hand experience of how relentless and debilitating cyberbullying can be.

via The Epidemic


via The Epidemic


via The Epidemic


via The Epidemic


via The Epidemic

Cyberbullying is often mischaracterized as less harmful than face-to-face bullying. But it can be relentless and just as damaging psychologically. Cyberbullying can happen at any time, day or night and is impossible to escape.

This video is a powerful wake-up call to parents and teachers to show them just how painful and relentless this form of harassment can be.

To get help for cyberbullying, visit the Crisis text Line.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.