"Constance, Germany instead of Trieste, Italy. Alone in a room, in front of a laptop, instead of with hundreds of people in conference rooms. Like an incredible number of events these days, the EuroDIG (European Dialogue on Internet Governance) could not take place in its usual format. Nevertheless, we can be glad that thanks to technology and the internet, we had the opportunity to hold the conference, albeit in a different way than usual; so my general conclusion on the EuroDIG is definitely positive.
"The format understandably led to fewer people being able to speak orally. However, the chat was often flooded with questions, comments, approvals and contributions to the discussion. It was also especially cool that you could ask to have private chats with the speakers for longer questions, if you did not want to endlessly argue a certain point in front of everyone, even though this may have caused brief distractions... Sorry to Guido Bülow from Facebook at this point, but thanks for the good private discussion!
"As always, there were many interesting workshops, panels and keynotes. Already the pre-events on Day 0 which I attended were super thrilling.
PRE 10: COVID-19 pandemic – Lessons learned for children's safety
"A huge problem at the moment is that, for children, the ‘social' part of schools is missing. Therefore, it is particularly important to ask how different groups can assist pupils both in online learning and in online leisure activities. Unfortunately, there was no clear answer to this question. Another big issue in this area is child pornography as well as sexual harassment, which has increased online during the lockdown. In particular, the platforms that are monitored are no longer used for this purpose, but in many countries, there is also a lack of appropriate law enforcement.
PRE 11: Youth Coalition on Internet Governance - Creating synergies and the way forward
"Many familiar faces from the Youth IGF Summit 2019 in Berlin were present! Seeing them again and sharing what has been happening with them since the IGF 2019, and especially talking about what we can bring to the IGF 2020 this year, was super important. When the EuroDIG took place, it was not yet clear that the IGF 2020 in Poland would also take place digitally. As young people, we are a stakeholder group in the multi-stakeholder model, but unfortunately, for various reasons, networking does not work as well as in business. A huge problem for us young people is of course the funding. We always have to make sure that we get the money for traveling to the events related to IGF through scholarships, fellowships and other programmes.
"The good thing, however, with participating from home is that I was able to wear comfortable trousers and slippers and also could study for my legal state examination in between.
WS 6: Social media – Opportunities, rights and responsibilities
"On Day 1, I started a little later, but directly with a workshop which was organised by the wonderful Sabrina Vorbau and Joachim Kind with several others. The workshop was called ‘Social media – Opportunities, rights and responsibilities'. One of the areas discussed there, which is super exciting and interesting for me, are fake news and targeted misinformation. What companies like Facebook and the European Commission, as well as media and news companies are doing about this, was really interesting to hear. By the way, in Germany we have some good public media that know how to use Instagram: the News-WG, ZDFinfo, logo! and Deutschland 3000. Unfortunately, one question with which I am currently very busy, namely, how to deal with the Telegram channels of conspiracy ideologists, among other things, could not be solved. In any case, there is still a need for action there!
"Of course, there were many other sessions I do not want to report on in details, but in general you can read everything again in the EuroDIG Wiki or participate in discussions in the forum. You can find everything about it on the EuroDIG website. But I would like to briefly comment on two sessions which I attended:
Greening internet governance – Environmental sustainability and digital transformation
"This was as much exciting for me as the German Youth IGF had a webinar on this subject a few days earlier, and this topic will also be an important track for IGF 2020. For many young people, this is of course one of the defining issues. How can we contribute to a more sustainable future with internet governance? What kind of legal framework is needed to create change?How can we supply servers, and so on, with sustainable power? On that point, I recommend some super exciting material on the EuroDIG Wiki.
"Unfortunately, I could not participate in the pre-event for young people this year, but I can support their demands a lot. They focus on issues such as data protection and children's safety; internet access and inclusion; blockchain; and greening internet governance. You will find more details on these on the corresponding EuroDIG Wiki.
"To conclude, many thanks to all who made the online meeting possible and see you next year live in Trieste!"
About the author:
I started working in the field of safer internet seven years ago when I was still in school. I was a youth panellist for the national awareness centre, klicksafe. For the past three years, I have been studying law and have developed an interest in digital law and politics. I have already taken part in a number of Insafe events such as the summer school in Romania, the Safer Internet Forum, Safer Internet Day celebrations in Brussels, EuroDIG and IGF-D. I was also involved in the launch of the Youth Manifesto initiative, which was an amazing opportunity for young people to have their say on priorities for creating a better internet for the future. I think it is essential to show everyone – and I really mean everyone: young children, youth, parents and grandparents – that the internet is not a place where only bad things happen, as we often hear on the news. I believe the internet gives great opportunities, but we all need to learn how to use it in the right way. The idea of peer education and the fact that youth from every country in the EU meet up to discuss themes around online safety is one of the greatest things I can imagine. I'm really lucky that I can take part in such great programs and meet such great people!