7th Safer Internet Day to focus on social media explosion

3 Feb 2010

The 7th Safer Internet Day will be celebrated on 9th February 2010 in more than 60 countries across the world. This year the theme is “Think Before You Post.”

The NCTE, its partners in 27 national awareness centres across Europe, and its associates in 40 other countries will bring young people and adults together in local, regional, national and online events all around the world to raise awareness of online privacy issues.

The initiative this year will focus on the growth of online tools like Facebook and Twitter which provide a wealth of opportunities for young people to write about their lives, rant about any topic and, more importantly, a place where they can connect and share their lives with friends.

“Young people are increasingly exposing their own private lives to the eyes of others,” the NCTE said on its site Webwise.ie.

“This may be their friends, people they don’t know, or even their future employers. They are also infringing upon the privacy of others by posting pictures of friends and family without their permission.

The right to privacy is protected under Irish and international human rights law. It is important that all of us, but particularly young people, are aware of the privacy implications of online activities and protect ourselves against threats to our privacy.

“As we feel our way in this massive social experiment, it is important to empower young people to be effective, autonomous and safe users of new media, to manage their online identity in a responsible way, and at the same time respect the privacy rights of their peers,” the NCTE said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years