At the event, which took place in Philadelphia in the US as part of the global celebrations of Safer Internet Day, Microsoft released research from 14 countries in the form of its inaugural Digital Civility Index. It also announced the challenge and other resources to encourage more empathetic and respectful online interactions. The hope is that digital civility – built on a strong foundation of empathy – becomes a universal message and a second-nature behaviour to foster a safer, more trusted and more respectful internet.
The Digital Civility Challenge consists of four basic principles:
- Living the Golden Rule
- Respecting differences
- Pausing before replying, and
- Standing up for one's self and others.
Read the full Digital Civility Challenge here.
Young people at the event were asked to identify the principle that resonated with them most, as well as what they will do to help promote digital civility this month and throughout the year.
Out of 109 responses from young people aged 10 to 17, the Golden Rule was the clear favourite; nearly 40 per cent of young people selected that single challenge ideal as the one to get behind. A dozen others said they would live the Golden Rule by respecting differences or standing up for others online. Another 20 per cent said they would make an extra effort to pause before replying to posts they disagree with, and just under a third said they would either respect differences or make an extra effort to stand up for themselves and others online. A small number of students came up with their own commitments or adapted one or more of the challenge principles.
The event also saw youth share their challenge commitments in a special booth, and contribute to panel discussions.
Read more about the outcomes of the US Safer Internet Day event, and ways to get involved in the Microsoft Digital Civility Challenge going forward in the Microsoft blog, and read more about the Digital Civility Index here.