Every year the Federal Government holds Youth Advisory Group on Cybersafety (YAG) online consultations. Last year and again this year, students at VSC participated in the consultations. The forums finished at the end of June and the contributions have be analysed to identify emerging cybersafety issues according young people. It also aimed to capture advice for how to help prevent or address these issues.
Some of the issues identified by the YAG included:
- Some YAG members may think that the school community doesn’t care about cyberbullying if appropriate attention isn’t given to resolving incidents involving students.
- Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter are among the most popular social network sites along with Steam, the online gaming engine.
- Sites that allow anonymity are amplifying cyberbullying (e.g. Tumblr, Ask.fm and Omelge.com) as people hide behind the ‘wall of the internet’ (hiding behind computer screens disconnected from the people they are hurting).
- In addition to peer pressure, some instances of sexting can also be attributed to this disconnection to a real person.
- Young people don’t read the terms and conditions (ts&cs) of websites/ online services/ apps and think ts&cs should be shorter.
- Cybersafety education in schools needs to be taught earlier, have a more interactive approach using true stories to bring issues closer to young people, particularly if messages are from people who have ‘suffered and survived’ or from celebrities.
- Also, primary school aged students are more willing to learn about cybersafety.
VSC now has their own Youth Advisory Group for Digital Citizenship and will be looking at these results as they prepare to launch their first school-wide campaign. So watch this space!