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Young people discuss online safety on the Digital Leaders Community

Published: 10th January 2020

The Childnet Digital Leaders Community is an online space hosted on the Childnet Digital Leaders Platform, where Digital Leaders from around the UK can connect with each other to share ideas, advice and tips, ask questions or join our discussion topics about key issues and latest trends.

In this blog post, we will reflect on some of the exciting conversations that have happened in the Childnet Digital Leaders Community since the start of term in September.

Community Prize Posts

In the first week of term, we launched our new ‘Community Prize Posts’ where secondary aged Digital Leaders who respond are in with a chance of winning a prize! Four months on, we’ve had some really exceptional and thought-provoking responses and we’ve sent out prizes to five amazing Digital Leaders.

One of our earliest prize posts led to a fantastic debate about the popular app, TikTok:

“I actually have Tik Tok myself and it’s really fun. The posts on there always make me laugh, and it’s such a big community that everyone seems to come together.” Secondary Digital Leader

“I think Tik Tok is a bad app to have as there are a lot of people that you dont know that can comment on your posts and maybe harass you. It can make some people laugh and some people may think its fun. But it can really hurt peoples feelings.“ Secondary Digital Leader

 

We’ve also heard some really interesting perspectives on topics like online activism, fake news and digital detoxes:

“I think online activism is a slightly useless act, because you’re just saying, not doing, and the point of activism is to make a change and make people listen, so just saying something online won’t do that. I think it works well only to back up/support and increase views on a campaign.” Secondary Digital Leader

“I’ve seen a great campaign for a cause online. The #ENDviolence project with UNICEF by a Korean boyband BTS, empowered a phrase, “Love Yourself.” This is to call out everyone especially teens to know & understand themselves.” Secondary Digital Leader

“Social media companies should have a team of “investigators” to take down any fake news and remind people online that it was fake news.” Secondary Digital Leader

“Individuals could help combat the spread of fake news by reporting it or standing up to it. I think the best way for an individual to help would be reporting it though. Simply press the report button that differs depending on what platform you use, but it is usually a triangle, explanation mark or three dots. ” Secondary Digital Leader

The Community Prize Posts will continue throughout 2020 so look out for future round ups, and chances for your Digital Leaders to get engaged in the discussions!

 

Of course, it isn’t just the Community Prize Posts starting conversations. Well done to the following Digital Leaders for starting some of the most popular conversation threads last term:

Arnas B and Stuart B who both asked about age verification online.

Lauren P who wanted to know what Digital Leaders think are the top ten most common online dangers.

Ubayd S who started lots of conversations about the positive and negative impacts of gaming.

And Abdulla M who was interested in what users can do to counter fake social media accounts.

 

Finally we have had some exciting opportunities for Digital Leaders to contribute to discussion threads on the community which have helped inform Childnet staff and shape the work we do in the wider online safety space. For example we had some really insightful comments from Digital Leaders about expiring content. These comments, along with further research we have been conducting in this area, will make up a final report to be published in the coming weeks.

Digital leaders also asked some fantastic questions about safe gaming, which we were able to share with Laura Higgins, Director of Community Safety and Digital Civility at Roblox. Video content of her answers will be available on the platform very soon and will also help shape a brand new module on safe gaming for the primary platform!

All pupils enrolled in the secondary programme are able to access the community and we look forward to seeing and hearing more exciting contributions from them in the future. For schools enrolled in the primary programme there is also the option for pupils to have access to a separate community, which staff can choose whether they would like to use on an individual school basis.