Ministers and schools have joined forces this year for Safer Internet Day (February 9th) in an attempt to fight trolling and cyberbullying. Hundreds of organisations are also lending their support to help to promote the positive use of the internet among children and young people.
Safer Internet Day is a day-long campaign aimed at promoting positive and responsible use of the internet for people aged 13 to 18. It occurs around the world and involves companies and volunteers fighting trolls and other forms of cyberbullying.
In 2015, over 500 schools in the UK were involved, with education packs offering helpful information being downloaded over a quarter of a million times. According to data collected by ResearchBods for Safer Internet Day, four in five young Brits have witnessed some form of targeted online hate. In addition, it showed that the most common basis for trolling and internet bullying are religion, race and sexuality.
Young people want the internet to be a positive and inclusive place where people's differences have respect and many are seeing their peers helping to create this. It seems that 94 per cent believe that there are no circumstances which should allow for online hatred, while 93 per cent saw friends posting things online within the last year that are supportive, kind or positive about a certain group.
As part of the campaign, schools are again offering downloadable education packs as well as specially-made films to highlight the issues. In addition, a group of young people will be in attendance at Downing Street today before hosting an event at London’s BT centre that includes the minister for internet safety and security, Baroness Shields and children's minister Edward Timpson.
Posted by Harriet McGowan