Microsoft's Council for Digital Good, six months later

  • Awareness
  • 13/02/2019
  • Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft Chief Online Safety Officer

In July 2018, Microsoft concluded its inaugural Council for Digital Good, an initiative involving 15 teens from 12 US states, selected to help advance Microsoft's work in digital civility: promoting safer and healthier online interactions among all people. Six months later, Microsoft shares what these impressive young people have done since their council term ended, as well as their planned activities for Safer Internet Day 2019.

Many participants have shared their council experiences on social media and on blogs, such as Christina, who wrote two articles on the matter: "Finding a voice: What the ‘Council for Digital Good' means to me" and "Digital civility? A teen's thoughts on online interactions and empowerment". Another one, Jazmine, has started her own website. Council members also facilitate educational and after-school sessions for parents, students and younger children.

Council members turned counsellors

Most of the teens have used their newfound knowledge to counsel friends and classmates who encounter online risks. They have been striking up deep conversations with friends and family members about serious online issues like violent extremism.

Since the Council for Digital Goods ended in July 2018, many participants miss each other, but also miss the monthly conference calls, and miss engaging with outside groups and NGOs.

The Council for Digital Good & Safer Internet Day 2019

Many of the council participants took part in spreading the Safer Internet Day message – "Together for a better internet" on Tuesday, 5 February 2019, in their schools and communities. More than half of them have made presentations on the topic, and reached out to educators, school administrators, peers and local elementary schools to arrange activities.

The teens all chose specific discussion topics. Fighting back against cyberbullying was a very popular one. There were also presentations on online reputation management and digital footprints.

The members of the Council also want to take their activities beyond Safer Internet Day. They will organise information sessions for parents and other adults, given the impact these people play in teens' lives.

To view this article in its original form, visit the Microsoft blog. For more information about the Microsoft Council for Digital Good, you can read its cohort manifesto, as well as their open letter to US law and policymakers about working together for a better internet.

You can also learn more about digital civility, online safety and explore relevant resources and research.


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