NO-DIGITAL INJURIES: Together to create a healthy online environment
“In 2019, 94 % of young people in the EU-27 made daily use of the internet, compared with 77 % of the whole population” Eurostat. In Portugal, Spain and Italy the participation of youngsters in social media are 95%, 89%, 72% accordingly (Eurostat)
The digital life in youngsters can cause multiple benefits, however the bad use can leave them exposed, vulnerable and excluded:
1 of 3 youngsters worldwide experience cyberbullying (UNESCO-SDG4). 38 % of people see instances of cyberbullying on social media daily (Statista). Internet (45.2%) is the medium most used in hate speech acts in Spain, followed by Social Media (25.9%) (Spain’s Ministry of Interior). In a survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), 51% of the LGBT persons questioned in Portugal replied that they had felt harassed or discriminated against on grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity (EU 28 average: 48%).
“In recent months, there has been a very concerning rise in far-right racist attacks in Portugal, confirming that the hate messages are fuelling more aggressive tactics that target human rights defenders from racial minorities” (European Network Against Racism).
In Spain, in 2017 and 2018, there were 1419 and 1598 hate crimes recorded (Spain’s Ministry of Interior). Euronews states “9 out of every 10 hate crimes are not reported to police, according to a new report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).” 29% of teens do nothing when they’re cyberbullied. (National Crime Prevention Council). In Italy 2019, 58% of teens (9- 17 years old) who have seen hate speech did nothing about it. Similarly, 50% of teens who have witnessed cyberbullying
did nothing about it (EU Kids Online).
Cyberbullying, hate speech and hate crimes are situtations that more and more repells our society. However, the main foundations that catalyze these situations are completely accepted and applauded: Digital Injuries. Digital Injuries are normalized online activities, behaviours and attitudes that can hurt others, damaging their physical integration, reputation and image. They belong to the misuse of the internet and its networks. According to the Study EU Kids Online, teens from Portugal (22%), Spain (34%) and Italy (11%), reported being bothered or upset online. Digital Injuries are strongly linked to an increased likelihood of developing mental health issues. Youngsters injured online are twice as likely to self-harm (The Telegraph, UK).
Digital Injuries are dangers for the protection of human rights and the cohesion of a democratic and peaceful society.
They are causing a polarized, less-tolerant, and non-empathic society. If they are not addressed, they can lead to acts of exclusion, violence, and conflict on a wider scale (cyberbullying, hate speech, hate crime, etc.).
The above figures and other alarming key conclusions make us be in an urgent need to address the root causes in order that our youngsters live in a healthy and inclusive environment.
To tackle this situation, the project objectives are:
Objective 1: To CONNECT our expertise in the identification, prevention, intervention and counteraction of Digital Injuries.
Objective 2: To ENGAGE youth workers and youngsters in the inclusive, ethical and responsible use of social media.
Objective 3: To EMPOWER youth communities in counteracting Digital Injuries.
We will carry out the following activities:
-Participatory Visit in Italy: Oriel will provide us their best practices and tools for the identification of Digital Injuries.
-Participatory Visit in Portugal: AENIE will provide us their best practices and tools for the prevention of Digital Injuries.
-Online Workshop – Permacultura Cantabria will share their tools and best practices for the intervention and counteraction of Digital Injuries
-Development of an interactive book and audiobook: The participatory visits and the online workshop will be the input for the development of the NO-Digital Injuries Methodology. The methodology will be an innovative source that will allow youth communities identify, prevent, intervene and counteract Digital Injuries, fostering an inclusive and healthy online environment. It will be documented in a book with interactive features. Furthermore, the book will have audio versions for reaching those with visibility impairments.
-Course in Spain: The new methodology will be transferred to youth workers and youngsters in this course. This course will be an open space for testing the book.
During the project-cycle we will implement a dissemination campaign which will be used to raise awareness in Digital Injuries and the negative effects they cause. In addition, with this campaign we will transfer the new book to an international target audience. Some of the activities we will carry out are:
-1 Multiplier event in Portugal, Spain and Italy
-Creation of awareness videos
-Consultation sessions, etc.
As summary, youth workers and youngsters will acquire all the necessary tools and will be able to identify, prevent, intervene and counteract Digital Injuries. They will possess EU values, capacities, and skills for the ethical and proper use of ICTs, especially social media.
Our project will have contributed to a healthy Digital Transition and a peaceful Digital Society in which the dignity and reputation of individuals are preserved; ideas will be tolerated; stereotypes, jocular, and other insults will vanish, etc.
Our partnership and project will have supported a new generation of digital citizens, empowered to recognize, reject and stand up to Digital Injuries, preventing Cyberbullying, Hate Speech, and Hate Crimes. Young users will have become responsible online participants, as they will be educated about appropriate digital use and risks.
Youth communities will have realized that while freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, the emergence of social media and other digital tools has created multiple platforms for the production, packaging and dissemination of Digital Injuries. Communities will have been aware that freedom of speech is a right that comes with responsibilities, EU values, and social implications.
YOUNGSTERS will have:
1 Become responsible citizens on online environments.
2 Become critical thinkers, being tolerant towards other ideas.
3 Applied inclusive and non-violent communication tools in their daily lives.
4 Overcome the emotional damages caused by Digital Injuries.
5 Increased their physical and social interaction.
6 Will have developed and maintained good relationships, communicate clearly, inspired and influence others, worked well in a team, and managed conflict.
7 Participated in online environments under EU values (respectful comments, etc.).
8 Become more active in the physical world than in the digital one.
YOUTH WORKERS will have:
1 Will have applied lifelong tools for the identification, prevention, intervention and counteraction of digital injuries.
2 Will have helped their youngsters in having a healthy digital environment.
3 Will have improved their CV as experts in Digital Injuries.
4 Will have reinforced their Erasmus+ knowledge and interest to continue working in new Erasmus+ projects.
YOUTH WORKERS AND YOUNGSTERS:
1 Will have acquired all the learning outcomes related to the NO-Digital Injuries Methodology described in the section “Project Description”.
2 Will have raised awareness in youth communities and become active fighters in tackling Digital Injuries.
3 Will be happy while watching their friends’ stories and profiles (FOMO Effect decrease).
4 Will have increased motivation, leadership, and self-esteem
PARTNERSHIP will have:
1 Consolidated their knowledge in Digital Injuries.
2 Been labelled as a pioneer partnership in Europe in Digital Injuries.
3 Transferred the new methodology to youth communities for free.
4 Developed future collaborations