Facebook has formed an internet consortium to focus on online child safety on its platform.
The Ideal Internet Consortium is a working group of child safety practitioners that will deliberate on safety issues and give recommendations to civil society, industry and government. Its findings are expected to help create strategies to keep young users safe online.
The US-based social media leader has also partnered with the Ministry of Women and Child Development to build digital literacy campaigns around women and child safety online.
This will be done through a #CreateCareConnect comic series which was launched on Tuesday, along with the next edition of the Thumbstoppers campaign in 2020, which will be a series of short creative mobile videos under 10 seconds that will focus on issues like gender equality, domestic violence and education for the girl child.
As part of efforts in this direction, Facebook has also set up its global digital literacy programme, We Think Digital, in India. Smriti Irani, minister for women and child development, said: “While the internet opens doors for women and children to learn and gain knowledge, it comes with the responsibility to ensure their safety... With Facebook, we want to build ways in which we equip and educate people to help them make smarter choices online and learn about internet safety.” So far, the consortium, which is led by the Aarambh India Initiative, has had seven focus group discussions with people from cities across Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand and Kerala. Ankhi Das, director of public policy for Facebook (India, South & Central Asia), said: “We are building programmes that are aimed at internet users’ digital hygiene and maintaining online privacy and security.”
As part of the We Think Digital programme, Facebook will partner with agencies from both government and civil society, which will help it achieve its aim of training more than 5 million people by 2021.