At the occasion of Safer Internet Day (SID) on February 6 under the theme of ‘Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you,’ Facebook has announced a number of partnerships across Africa with over 20 non-governmental organisations and public institutions with the aim of raising awareness of emerging online issues and helping to explore ways to make the Internet safer for all.
Launching a series of initiatives, including a specially created family-friendly animation which directs viewers to the Parent Portal in the Facebook Safety Centre, parents and caregivers can access a variety of information and tips on how to discuss issues of online safety with teens, developed in partnership with safety experts from around the world.
“Every day, millions of people across Africa come to Facebook to talk about their special moments and to stay connected with the people they care about,” said Akua Gyekye, public policy manager at Facebook Africa said. “We recognize the important role we play in creating a better and safer online community for all, with this year’s growing partnerships across the continent further demonstrating our ongoing commitment to supporting organisations that raise awareness on these important issues.”
Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over 100 countries and coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres globally. SID calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement agencies, companies and policymakers to join together in helping to create a better internet.
Some of the resources offered by Facebook are:
One of Facebook’s African partners this year is Watoto Watch Network in Kenya.
“In connection with the theme ‘create, connect and share respect’, our focus this year is on cyberbullying. We’re working with Facebook to share messages that encourage positivity and respect on social media,” says Lillian Kariuki, executive director at Watoto Watch Network. “On Safer Internet Day we will also be sharing Facebook's newly translated (Swahili) online safety content directly to the children and ICT partners in Kenya.”
Arsene Tungali, co-founder and executive director of Rudi International in the DR Congo, said the organisation is spearheading the drive to promote a safe and better Internet environment in the country.
“Partnerships with organisations such as Facebook are key in our efforts to harness the positive impact of technology for DRC’s young people,” he said.