Online fraud, hate speech, discrimination and other divisive online risks are on the rise globally, according to results of a new Microsoft study. These findings were released in conjunction with World Kindness Day in an effort to turn that tide and encourage safer, more empathetic and tolerant online interactions among all people.
Research partners are key stakeholders in the Better Internet for Kids agenda, providing a body of knowledge and evidence on issues affecting children and young people online today. Armed with this knowledge, we are able to identify emerging trends and shape appropriate responses and create effective resources for the challenges presented.
On this page, you'll find a selection of articles corresponding to the work of research partners in the safer and better internet field.
Findings from 110 studies published in 64 countries point to the fact that digital skills play a key role for children’s and young people’s learning, participation and other opportunities. International research also reveals that the benefits of digital skills apply online and offline, potentially affecting multiple dimensions of children’s lives. There is also evidence that better digital skills can protect children from online risk of harm as well, although this evidence needs to be strengthened.
Learning and working are becoming increasingly digitised. However, European experts on Education and Labour Market consider the quality and effectiveness of initiatives to foster digital skills as often deficient, and their provision unequal. The experts, interviewed in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, agreed that this worldwide crisis acted as a "wake-up call" for governments to re-assess their digital needs and invest more in digital literacy education for all.
On Friday, 18 September 2020, the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics (LSE) held, in the framework of the CO:RE – Children Online: Research and Evidence (CO:RE) project, its third CO:RE Theories Webinar on "Digital Technologies in the Lives of Children and Young People", inviting the project coordinators from three Horizon 2020 projects – ySKILLS, DigiGen and DIGYMATEX – to share their conceptualisations and research methodologies on the topic.
The new school year is beginning for many across the globe and, although COVID-19 continues to necessitate at least some distance learning, the realities of bullying – both online and off – remain. A new Microsoft study shows 4 in 10 teens in 32 countries report being "involved" in a bullying incident and, perhaps surprisingly, nearly the same percentage of adults, as well.
The Greek Safer Internet Centre (SIC) has recently published a new scientific article entitled "Understanding the online behaviour and risks of children: results of a large-scale national survey on 10-18 year olds". The paper includes the results of two large scale surveys that have been conducted the last two years in 900 Greek schools, among 27,000 students aged 10-18.
Apetail Years is a study of media ownership and use by children between the age of 6 and 12, and young people aged 12-18 in Flanders, conducted by Mediaraven, Mediawijs and imec-MICT-UGent every two years. Belgian awareness centre Child Focus was also involved. The results for Wallonia will be published at the end of 2020. These results provide interesting insight into how young people deal with the news, current events and societal debate.
Teenagers and adults in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region reported an uptick in online civility and more respectful digital interactions during the COVID-19 global pandemic, results from a new Microsoft research study show. Meanwhile, respondents in Latin America said online civility worsened, punctuated by an increase in the spread of false or misleading information.
The internet as a medium is often hailed as an invention facilitating creative, personal expression. However, even tools designed to empower can be used for nefarious purposes. Some creators of web content find their niche market thanks to their willingness to do almost anything to become the centre of attention. This is the case with "Patostreaming", a new type of online threat in Poland. According to a 2018 "Nastolatki 3.0" (Teenagers 3.0) study, almost a quarter of Polish students aged 15 and 17 have watched such content.
On Thursday, 11 June 2020, at the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG 2020), the Insafe network of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs), represented by Sabrina Vorbau, Project Manager at European Schoolnet (EUN) and Youth Coordinator on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) project and Joachim Kind, Head of EU Networks at the Media Authority of Rhineland-Palatinate (LMK) and spokesperson for the German Safer Internet Centre (SIC), hosted a workshop on "Social media – opportunities, rights and responsibilities", looking at the limitations and pitfalls of freedom of speech on the internet from multiple stakeholder perspectives. In this article, Dr Nertil Bërdufi, Assistant Professor at University College Beder and Founder and Director of Beder Legal Clinic, discusses the case of Albania to highlight the societal and security impact of disinformation, as well as the governments' controversial attempt at regulating it.
Want to find out more about Safer Internet Centre (SIC) services and resources in your country?
Check out your SIC profile page to connect with national resources and sources of support, providing awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.