Lithuania – Safer Internet Day 2019 event "Conversation in other ways!"

  • Awareness
  • 15/03/2019
  • Lithuanian Safer Internet Centre

The 2019 Safer Internet Day (SID) celebrations took place on Tuesday, 5 February 2019. The campaign's slogan, "Together for a better internet", was a call for all countries involved to invite stakeholders to join together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for younger users.

In Lithuania, SID is celebrated every year since 2004. The Lithuanian SIC is very glad to see the number of partners involved in SID grow each year. Since 2004, there has been a growing realisation that online safety is a matter relevant to everyone, and as a consequence, all stakeholders are now looking for ways to participate in the "better internet" movement.

On Tuesday, 5 February 2019, SID was celebrated in Lituania, with a main event called "Conversation in other ways!" taking place in one of the biggest cinema centres in Lithuania, "FORUM CINEMA". It was targeted to 10th and 12th grade pupils and their teachers. Various youth organisations, representatives of different Ministries and other educational institutions interested in the subject of online safety were invited to attend the event too.

The event took place when most of the schools in Lithuania were closed due to a large number of sick children, but many invited participants attended the event regardless. In total, 250 participants joined, among which 20 teachers, more than 200 pupils from 35 different Lithuanian schools and 26 representatives from various institutions. The organisers provided all participants with medical masks.

The event "Conversation in other ways!" began, not with a lecture or a lesson as is often the case, but with a film – as the event was held in a cinema hall – called  "The Cleaners". This was the opportunity to give viewers a "feel" of the digital world, and of the daily lives of the people who make it function. The film raised questions among the audience, such as who "cleans" our social networks from inappropriate content (such as pornography, violence) and how exactly can we strike a balance for social media to be neither an unlegislated space nor a forum rife with censorship? For the event organisers, it was important to emphasise that a typical "cleaner" must observe and rate thousands of deeply disturbing images and videos every day.

Picture of Safer Internet Day 2019 celebrations in Lithuania

After watching the movie, the audience briefly discussed it. The discussion was moderated by Helpline's (CL) project coordinator, trainer of volunteers Justina Stefanovič and one of the CL volunteers Andrius Baležentis. All the participants were actively involved in the discussion: teachers, pupils, representatives of Ministries and police officers. The film triggered a lot of questions and remarks, so the discussion was very successful.

The movie was followed by a lecture "Criminal acts in cyberspace" by representative of the Lituanian police Vytautas Tuinyla. With the topic of SID 2019 being "Together for a better internet" the organiser of the event aimed to show that we are all responsible for the content we create and share on the internet, and that a "clean" internet should never be taken for granted, but on the contrary is the result of the work of hundreds of thousands of people, who all contributed to making the internet what it is today.

During the SID event, members of the youth panel worked as reporters of the event, accompanied by the youth panel coordinator. They talked to the participants, asked for their opinions on social networks. In particular, they were interested in finding out what young people generally do on the internet.

Throughout the whole week of 4-9 February 2019, many Lithuanian organisations spread the word about SID, and project coordinators and "project friends" as well organised many different activities.

  • The representatives of the SIC project took part in national television and radio shows.
  • A series of online safety-related educational activities for children, young people and adults were organised in public libraries in different cities and rural areas (610 libraries in total).
  • An online test on online safety was organised in schools by the Martynas Mažvydas National Library. Everyone who solved the test correctly was awarded with a safer internet badge.
  • SID was the occasion for the Lithuanian SIC to invite teachers to join the eSafety Label community, to fill in the assessment form and get the eSafety Label for their schools.
  • A discussion with three Lithuanian vloggers and influencers was organised, where they shared their personal experience with cyberbullying.
  • A competition for primary school students was organised, inviting them to model how they imagine a better internet using clay, plasticine or any other modelling material.
  • A competition for high school students was organised, inviting them to create videos about privacy online and sexting.
  • A competition "Safer internet events 2019 in my school" was organised. 23 schools, representing close to 5,600 people, participated in this contest.
  • Three projects (#SID the abc, Robot's Safe Internet Academy and SID 2019!) were initiated by Lithuanian teachers. Each of them became international because other countries joined the project too.
  • 15 youth panel members organised lessons in their respective schools. Youth Forum members shared their experiences, invited students to join their team in projects. The youth panel members invited young people to post information on social networks using the hashtags #SID2019, #SaferInternetDay, #SaferInternetDay2019, #SID2019, #SID, #sijfLT. During the entire week of Safer Internet Day, the Youth Forum members publicised their video clips on their Facebook accounts.
  • Lessons were organised by representatives of the Lithuanian police in 25 different schools.
  • The Vilnius police club for children and young people organised lessons and quiz-discussions on online safety. All activities were targeted to children from disadvantaged families.
  • A seminar for teachers and adolescents aged 12-18 was organised by the Information Technologies Institute (ITI) in cooperation with the Kaunas Faculty.
  • Various activities were organised by the Lithuanian Educational Centre for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in cooperation with youth panel members.
  • The "10,000 children safer on the internet" initiative was launched during the week of SID, and it will take place throughout 2019. A test called "Safe online behaviour", designed for pupils of all ages, was released on the self-learning platform Everyone who solved the test correctly was awarded a smart prize (such as a ticket to the movie, phone bill replenishment, google play electronic money, and so on).
  • The project ambassadors invited teachers across the country to report on how the SID celebrations went in their respective schools (through events, methodological material, useful links, and so on). The information collected can be found on Padlet.

All educational institutions interested in the subject of online safety were invited to cooperate. More than 13,000 participants took part in all organised SID activities in Lithuania.

For more information, please visit the Lithuanian SIC's website and its Safer Internet Day profile page.

Find out more information about the work of the Lithuanian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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