UK Youth and Beatfreeks partner to run CXNCELLED – A three-day online festival delivering Be Internet Citizens

UK Youth and Beatfreeks, are partnering to run ‘CXNCELLED’, a three-day online festival delivering Be Internet Citizens. CXNCELLED will run from Thursday 22nd until Saturday 24th October and aims to educate and inspire young people to be positive Digital Citizens.

CXNCELLED, supported by Google.org and YouTube, will be a topical festival that will support young people to navigate the often difficult scenarios encountered online.

A programme of 15 events will explore current and sometimes difficult conversations affecting digital citizenship. The events are aimed at young people, youth workers, teachers, parents, and those working in tech who have an interest in ensuring that young people are equipped with digital awareness, and that they are safe and responsible when online.

The festival kicks off with an event hosted by David Whitely, the well-loved online commenter better known as Sideman. ‘Sidemanallday: Does Your Platform Give You Power?’ will explore the sense of moral obligation many people feel to speak out about injustice on social platforms and will pose the question, is that power real?

Other events will discuss subjects such as fake news and emotional manipulation online, cancel culture and online shaming, an exploration of how algorithms work,the ethical impact of them, and what the future of body positivity should look like online, to name a few. There will also be digital citizenship training sessions aimed at teachers and youth workers.

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. In the ‘Take the Temperature’ Report, published by Beatfreeks in May which surveyed over 1,500 young people, 70% of respondents said that news saturation and the FOMO (fear of missing out) it induces, is increasing the pressure for them to be online. So this is a timely series of events that aims to equip young people with the media literacy skills to successfully navigate their digital communities.

Patrick Shaw-Brown, Director of National Programmes at UK Youth says, “There’s a perception that young people are the most digitally savvy, and in many ways this is true. But they spend more time online than other generations and often gain their sense of identity from their daily interactions on social media. CXNCELLED and the Be Internet Citizens programme aim to help young people understand and navigate difficult topics such as emotional manipulation, polarisation and the difference between free speech and hate speech.”

Anisa Morridadi, CEO and Founder of Beatfreeks, says, “It’s never been more crucial to equip young people with the skills and confidence to navigate the internet safely.”

More information about the festival can be found on the Beatfreeks website and events can be booked for free through Eventbrite.

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Notes to editors:

About Be Internet Citizens

Be Internet Citizens is a programme created by Google, YouTube and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, 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. Beatfreeks deliver Be Internet Citizens training sessions with teachers nationwide while UK Youth delivers Be Internet Citizens programme directly to young people through a network of partners.

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