Today, the eSafety Office takes an important step forward in helping young people counter online hate and encourage positive values with the launch of its new youth engagement platform, Young & eSafe.
The need for these youth-driven resources is borne out by research released today from the eSafety Commissioner revealing 50 to 60 per cent of young Australians aged 12 to 17 have witnessed racist or hateful comments about cultural or religious groups online.
The new research also reveals that young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are more likely to be the targets of online hate.
“We’re empowering young people to use technology as a force for good and as a platform to condemn hatred, racism and abuse,” says eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.
“Half of young people say they would take some form of action when confronted with hateful comments online—we want to amplify that majority and give them the skills to be positive influencers.”
Young & eSafe features advice and resources developed by young people for young people, including real stories, a series of short films and expert advice—all designed to help young people create positive change online – which can translate into positive change offline.
“To effectively tackle these issues, we need to encourage young people to step up and support other young people online to be a part of the solution” says Ms Inman Grant.
To mark the launch of Young & eSafe, the eSafety Office is facilitating a youth workshop in Sydney today, facilitated by PROJECT ROCKIT, where students from local high schools will collaborate to develop concepts that promote resilience, respect, responsibility, empathy and critical thinking online.
"As Australia's youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice, we're proud to support the launch of this resource. When it comes to calling out hate online, it can be scary and sometimes risky. That's why it's really important to equip young people with the tools they need to not only stay safe online but to create the kind of online world they can be proud of," says Rosie Thomas, CoCEO PROJECT ROCKIT.
The Young & eSafe resources were developed in consultation with the Australian Multicultural Foundation and tested to ensure they are engaging and relevant for a broad range of young people, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.