Friday, 26 November 2021 14:19

Young Australians boost confidence to challenge cyberbullying with Digital Ambassadors program Featured

By Staff Writer

Young Australians are taking the charge in navigating their own safety experience online, with nearly three quarters of teens - or 71% - found to be more confident to challenge cyberbullying and shutting down online hate than they were before joining the Digital Ambassadors program run by youth-driven anti-bullying organisation, Project Rockit.

According to a report from Project Rockit, following support and education interventions, new insights from more than 6,000 students from Year 7–9 students just released, highlight the importance of educating young Australians about how to engage safely online.

As well as the 71% being more confiedent to challenge cyberbullying, participants of the program also reported:

  • 80% of students who have taken part of the Digital Ambassadors program reported they would rather speak out about issues online than in person.
  • 88% of students said that their online interactions were more meaningful while remote learning during this year.

And Iimportantly the insights reveal that students through the program want to see more positive action online in the following areas:

  1. Mental health
  2. Challenging racism
  3. Body positivity
  4. Kindness

Project Rockit Chief Executive Officer & Cofounder Rosie Thomas OAM said the insights highlight an important trend educators, teachers and our online community should focus on.

“Young people in Australia want to use the powers of social media for good, and it’s promising to see the results from the Digital Ambassadors program mirroring anecdotal feedback we’re hearing from parents, guardians and young people,” said Thomas.

“We believe empowering young people with the right skills and tools will enable them to stand up, challenge the status quo and reclaim technology for good and tackle issues like hate speech and bullying.”

To open up the benefits of the program to teachers, parents and guardians and students Project Rockit announced it is launching a one-off free public event to help encourage more young people to become Digital Ambassadors.

Project Rockit says the free, 45-minute, youth-driven program will equip students with tools to take control of online platforms, provide strategies to shut down online hate and cyberbullying, and take positive action online on the issues they care about.

Powered by Facebook and Instagram, the youth-driven program equips Digital Ambassadors to take control of online platforms, provide strategies to shut down online hate and cyberbullying, and take positive action online on the issues you care about.

Meta’s Australia’s Head of Policy Programs, Alisha Elliott said: “We’re proud to have supported PROJECT ROCKIT for nearly ten years to support Australia’s youth in addressing cyberbullying and its impacts. The Digital Ambassadors program is important for all ages to consider but we want young people to learn these behaviours and skills now so they have these good practices and skills available to them as they continue to grow and navigate their online experience.”

Project Rockit’s Digital Ambassadors program unites students across Australian schools to participate in a national movement of change against cyberbullying, that is led by young people for young people.

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