Be Internet Citizens training program developed by ISD, Google and YouTube.
The impact of radicalisation and violent extremism has a devastating effect on our communities. Terror attacks not only lead to the loss of life, it tears our society apart, and leaves scars for generations creating an environment of distrust between communities. It is within this environment that social media plays a key role and an opportunity for those who wish to promote a violent political agenda (ISIS or Far Right) to do so. Using fake news on social media and divisive, provocative comments, doxing to incite violence toward someone can lead to a cycle of the grievance and anger within individuals and communities making it easier for those who wish to groom and radicalise the vulnerable.
Many resources and Internet safety tools for young people focus on fake news, cyberbullying, gaming, sexting, disclosure to harmful and disturbing content and grooming. However, radicalisation and violent and non-violent extremism don’t seem to factor in many mainstream internet safety resources and campaigns for young people or parents even though all the above are used as tools and a platform to radicalise a young and/or vulnerable person. While discussions about radicalisation and violent extremism may be taking place in schools and after-school clubs through the Prevent Duty program within the tier 1 and 2, Prevent funded areas of the UK, resources and awareness programs for parents seem to be lacking where there is no specific funding. Language barriers can also create difficulty for parents where English is not their first language to access suitable Internet safety resources and key information.
*Facebook, for example, have removed 2.5 million pieces of hate speech, 1.9 million terror posts and 3.4 million pieces of violent content were filtered or removed.
The Be Internet citizens programme
The Be Internet citizens programme was developed to educate a generation of digital natives from 13 to 15 years old. However, many lack digital literacy to navigate safely and need critical thinking skills to be able to challenge extremist groups who use digital technology to manipulate and exploit young
people online. Extremist groups wishing to promote their violent political agenda use divisive rhetoric through social media to influence and distort the values, beliefs and behaviours of the young and the vulnerable. Social media plays a key role in the everyday lives of young people, yet policy, education and occasionally the police have been slow to respond to the online and digital media world, however, progress has been made and lessons learned over the last five years.
The Be Digital Citizen training programme has been delivered through youth groups and currently plans to deliver within schools. The program aims to help young people navigate online, to stay safe, help their voices be heard and to support young people to be positive role models and citizens online.
Workshops are being delivered across the UK to train teachers and youth workers to deliver the programme.
- Be Internet Citizens – ISD, Google and YouTube – Countering Extremism
- Get creative with our hosts and guest YouTuber
- Stay resilient and confident online and make negativity bounce
- Use video to find your voice and bring people together
- Navigate social media, check facts and escape social bubbles
- Discover how to use online tools responsibly
For more information and resources see the Be Internet Citizens website.
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