The Netherlands focus on inappropriate content for Safer Internet Day 2023

As fast as the internet develops, the years are also passing by fast. This year, on 7 February 2023, the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of Safer Internet Day. What once started as a SafeBorders initiative in 2004 has now grown into a widely respected event celebrated in more than 180 countries. Read more about the SID celebrations in the Netherlands. 

Date 2023-05-05 Author Dutch Safer Internet Centre Section awareness, sid Topic love, relationships, sexuality (online), media literacy/education, potentially harmful content, sexual harassment Audience media specialist, organisations and industry, research, policy and decision makers, teachers, educators and professionals
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In the Netherlands, Safer Internet Day 2023 was celebrated under the coordination of the Dutch Safer Internet Centre (SIC), and its many official and unofficial partners. On the day, Dutch children, teenagers and adults were made aware of online security and digital safety issues. The Dutch SIC consists of three partners: the EOKM running a helpline and hotline; the ECP, one of the main digital educational platforms in the Netherlands, and Netwerk Mediawijsheid, a network of more than 1,000 partner organisations.  

For the 20th edition of SID, the three partners organised several activities. First, the ECP developed a short, free class on digital safety and online privacy accessible online to any interested adult. The class consisted of a video, assignments, and a quiz to be presented to children, and could easily be downloaded. It provided an opportunity for parents, grandparents or any interested adult in the network working with children to attend a school and teach for a day. The class was designed to be given in-person, but with online resources. Our network partners were encouraged to share the class, spread the news, and hopefully engage as many schools as possible. Although teaching a class of children is not for the faint-hearted, the class was still downloaded 64 times. If we take that number and multiply it by 25 (the average class size), we could state we reached 1,600 pupils in-person. This might, however, be an overestimation, as we don’t know if each downloaded class was used to teach.

Research results illustrated on SID2023 

Both the EOKM and the ECP decided to conduct research and present the research results on SID. The EOKM conducted research on inappropriate intimate content and discovered the following:


  • 1 in 10 Dutch people has received an inappropriate image.
  • Virtually, none of the recipients said to have indicated wanting to receive one.   
  • Women are by far most exposed to this inappropriate content. 
  • A large majority (76 per cent) stated being disgusted by these images.  
  • More than half of the recipients (54 per cent) view receiving such inappropriate images as unwanted sexual interaction. 

ECP conducted a small questionnaire amongst teens to research what they do after having a negative online experience. 

  • Nearly 75 per cent of respondents between 16-20 years indicates to have had a negative online experience.
  • Girls and young women are three times more likely to have a negative experience than boys and young men. 
  • 25 per cent of young people does not share when experiencing something negative online, especially men.
  • Of those who do decide to share their experience: 40 per cent seek contact with a parent, 35 per cent with a friend. Only 5.8 per cent contact a teacher. 
  • Independent organisation and the police are only contacted in 1.9 per cent of the cases.  

Although this year was the 20th anniversary of Safer Internet Day, the Dutch SIC did not undertake any additional, specific actions to promote this edition, but it did engage in the yearly promotional activities on social media channels and websites. Although deemed a successful SID edition overall, our promotional activities were overshadowed by the catastrophic events in Syria and Turkey as caused the earthquake.  

Find out more about Safer Internet Day in the Netherlands. Alternatively, find more information about the work of the Dutch Safer Internet Centre, including their awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for other Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.  

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