SoMe Youth Panel in Denmark

  • Awareness
  • 22/11/2017
  • Danish Safer Internet Centre

The Danish youth ambassador panel, "SoMe Youth Panel", consists of ten young people (six girls and four boys) aged 13-18. They have been recruited from around Denmark with representation from different demographic, ethnic and socio-economic groups and with no special prerequisites for participation other than being young, and being prepared to take part in the workshops and to be the voice of a generation in different contexts. In recruiting young people for the youth panel, the Danish Safer Internet Centre (SIC) benefitted from the great network of schools that Save the Children Denmark (SCDK) and the Centre for Digital Youth Care (CDYC) have built throughout the years of working in the field.

Activities so far

Between November 2016 and June 2017, the SoMe Youth Panel met four times during one-day-workshops to discuss their opinions, attitudes and experiences with, for instance, cyberbullying, sharing nude images online, parents as digital role models, human rights, privacy, safety and legislation on personal data, and online threats and violations. The purpose of all activities was to create a set of recommendations about youth online life, including both the potential and challenges, targeting children/youth, parents, professionals, policy makers and others (such as industry).

Before each face-to-face workshop, the youth panellists took part in online debates (50 participants in total for all online debates) using the Cyberhus (helpline) chat forum. Discussions focused on the above-mentioned topics, and the results of the debates were presented to the youth panel at the workshops (using anonymised quotes). Through explorative activities including sessions facilitated by different experts (for example, Christian Mogensen on gaming, Jette Kofoed on intimacy online and cyberbullying, and Katrine K. Pedersen on sci-fi digital future), debate on different dilemmas, and with input from the young people via online chat, the panel highlighted eight topics as the foundation for their recommendations. The topics chosen were:

  • Friends and relationships on the internet
  • Cyberbullying
  • Sharing of images, videos and information online
  • Online privacy
  • Communication online and freedom of speech
  • Credibility and source criticism online
  • Consumption of digital media

Disseminating the recommendations

The SoMe Youth Panel presented its recommendations to the different target groups at an event at the annual democratic public meeting in Denmark (da: Folkemødet) on 16-17 June 2017. The Minister of Culture was present in the audience. Furthermore, the youth panellists participated in debate sessions about the sharing of nude images online and hate speech online.

Following on from the launch of the recommendations, the SoMe Youth Panel continues to represent youth in different contexts and promote its recommendations. During autumn 2017, the panel was represented by some of its members at the Youth Public Meeting in Copenhagen (7-8  September 2017) in a debate about the fact that hate speech prevents youth from engaging in online debates. In addition, a radio programme with the Minister of Culture about the youth recommendations was recorded live with an audience. The minister is very keen on engaging children and youth in her work, and she emphasised the recommendations as being a useful tool for a broad target group - listen to the programme in Danish here.

The full recommendations are available for consultation in both Danish and English.

Find out more about the work of the Danish Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal.

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