UK Youth launches new digital literacy programme with support from Google and YouTube

UK Youth are excited to announce the launch of their new programme funded by Google.org delivering Be Internet Citizens, a programme created by Google, YouTube and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. The programme is expected to reach 10,000 young people across the UK.

While most young people today have grown up with an online presence and have a vast knowledge of how to use the internet, they may still lack the key skills to practice positive digital citizenship.

Be Internet Citizens is an educational programme designed to teach young people how to be safe and responsible online, alongside empowering them to learn, share, be creative, express themselves and to experience a sense of belonging in a world which is becoming increasingly digitally dominant.

Be Internet Citizens consists of four core modules covering key areas which are imperative to teaching the young people digital awareness, safety and responsibility.

  • Media Literacy which explains fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, to aid participants in becoming more confident in forming their own opinions.
  • Emotional Manipulation to help develop an increased level of critical awareness.
  • Polarisation which enables an understanding of how powerful ‘us vs them’ divisions can be.
  • Free Speech & Hate Speech to teach participants how to recognise and react to hateful content online, including the use of tools such as reporting, flagging and blocking.  

Ndidi Okezie, UK Youth CEO comments, “Be Internet Citizens will provide young people with a strong and responsible digital foundation, empowering them with the confidence to become producers of online content where they can express their identities, share their stories, make a social impact, and bring communities together. It’s fantastic to see big and influential platforms like Google and YouTube developing resources and providing grant funding to support this crucial informal learning.”

Rosie Luff, Online Safety Public Policy Manager at Google said: “The internet is a creative space where young people can have a voice, be imaginative, and express themselves. With Be Internet Citizens and through this grant, we want to support organizations like UK Youth to help young people with their media literacy and encourage them to use their voices and creativity to have a positive impact online.”

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