The internet creates great opportunities for young people: online learning and cooperation, leisure contacts, shopping and selling. The importance of these opportunities is growing. TABASCO project seeks to develop and offer tools to avoid situations where the safety and well-being of young people is at stake: online computer applications and the internet in general are full of risks.
Young people face risks as users of social media, most of which they are not aware of:
– no protection against harmful contents or behaviours,
– privacy-unfriendly default settings on devices,
– cyber-bullying and other harassments,
– online pornography,
– discriminatory expressions, stereotyping ethnic minorities,
– stalking, cybercrime.
Youngsters often do not know why and how personal data are collected, processed and stored. The Recommendation CM/Rec(2012)4 of the Committee of Ministers to the EU on protection of human rights with regard to social networking, says: “Social networking services play an increasingly important role in the life of children and young people, as part of the development of their own personality and identity, and as part of their participation in debates and social activities. Against this background, children and young people should be protected because of the inherent vulnerability that their age implies”. The younger the user, the more relevant this recommendation!
Awareness of the complexity of social media is necessary to prevent abuse; the education about these aspects should start early and involve pupils, teachers, parents, school leaders and others. In line with the Paris Declaration the TABASCO project will promote vigilance against threats.
Online harassment of young people may affect their personal development and mental health, particularly of those who are marginalized and vulnerable.
For these reasons the project “TABASCO – A Targeted Anti‐Bully Approach in Schools by Campaigning and Organising” aims to:
• inform and train kids (age 9-19), teachers, parents on how to use the internet responsibly and how interactions online can be safe and fair;
• provide practical tools for teaching conscious and cautious use of social media, to prevent the risks of privacy breaches, empowering youngsters to fight cyberbullying, stalking and other forms of online harassment;
• prepare youngsters to use the internet responsibly by pointing at the necessary balance between freedom of expression and respecting one another;
• increase the understanding of youngsters how privacy violation online happens, how their privacy and their virtual identity can be protected, and (legal) consequences of violations;
• promote a youth movement of kids sharing experiences, inform each other, tell stories, raise awareness and report any inappropriate and unlawful behaviour or content to anti-bullying platforms, some of which already exist.
For more information visit: www.tabasco-erasmus.eu