Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. Over 1,000 organisations are supporting the day, including former Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, the BBC, BT, Sky, O2, Vodafone, Lloyds Banking Group, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Google, NSPCC, Premier League football clubs and the UK Government, as well as police services, charities and schools across the UK, who are all coming together to deliver a range of inspiring activities.
Research by UK Safer Internet Centre highlights the positive and negative impact of online images and videos on young people;
- The majority of children (84%) aged 8-17 have shared a photo online, with 1 in 6 doing so in the last hour
- 4 in 5 young people have been inspired by an online image or video to take positive action
- But more than 1 in 5 have been bullied with images or videos online and 70% have seen images and videos not suitable for their age
Findings come as Safer Internet Day calls on communities to ‘Be the Change’ and unite for a better internet
To mark Safer Internet Day 2017 young people across the UK are joining Government ministers, celebrities, industry figures, schools and police services to inspire people to ‘Be the Change’ and unite for a better internet today. A new study commissioned by official organisers of the day, the UK Safer Internet Centre, explores the power and influence of images and videos in digital youth culture, highlighting the positives and potential risks, as well as identifying the key skills young people need to navigate today’s online world.
Power of Image
New research launched to mark Safer Internet Day reveals that images and video play a central role in young people’s digital lives and are powerful tools of communication, self expression and creativity. The majority (84%) of 8-17-year-olds have shared a photo online, rising from 73% of 8-12-year-olds to 95% of 13-17-year-olds. Latest figures suggest 1 in 8 young people (12%) surveyed by UK Safer Internet Centre said they had shared a selfie, almost 1 in 3 had used YouTube (31%), 1 in 4 had used Snapchat (25%), and more than 1 in 5 had used Instagram (22%).
Encouragingly, young people are using the power of image to make a difference: 4 in 5 young people (80%) said that in the last year they have felt inspired by an image or video online to do something positive. Furthermore, two thirds (67%) have posted an image or video on the internet for a variety of positive reasons, including to support friends (40%); to share something interesting with others (31%); and to encourage others to do something positive (17%).
Will Gardner, a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and CEO of Childnet, said about the day:
“It is fair to say that in 2017 the internet is powered by images and videos. This can magnify the risks and pressures that young people face, while also offering fun new opportunities for self-expression and creativity.”
“Today’s findings remind us that with an ever-changing landscape, it is more important than ever to equip young people with the skills, knowledge, confidence and resilience to communicate using images and videos responsibly and positively.”
“This Safer Internet Day young people around the UK are uniting to inspire a better internet. We need to harness this enthusiasm and empower them to ‘Be the Change’ and use the power of image to help create a better internet.”
Minister for Online Safety, Tracey Crouch, said:
“The internet has provided young people with some amazing opportunities, but one of our top priorities is protecting them from risks they might face online. The UK is a world leader in internet safety, and measures in our Digital Economy Bill will be instrumental in better protecting children from harmful content. But there is still more to do, and Safer Internet Day is a fantastic reminder that we all have a part to play in making the online world a safer place for our children to discover, explore and enjoy.”
Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward Timpson, said:
“The internet is a powerful tool that gives children and young people many fantastic opportunities – but protecting them from the risks they might face online or on their phones remains absolutely vital. That’s why I’m pleased to be able to support Safer Internet Day again this year, and look forward to hearing how schools and pupils take part.”
“At the Department for Education, we’re continuing to work hard to make sure that young people, parents and teachers, are actively involved in promoting safe online practice, and we’ve been providing training and resources to support teachers in delivering the new curriculum, which includes e-safety.”
RESEARCH TAKEN FROM – https://www.e-safetysupport.com/stories/255/today-is-safer-internet-day-2017#.WJmmq-KLTct