At least in the UK Google has launched a series of day-long workshops for 13 to 18-year-olds, as part of YouTube’s ‘Creators for Change’ programme. The programme started this week and aims at tackling various social issues online, as well as promoting “awareness”, “tolerance and empathy”. The sessions come in the wake of recent backlash over YouTube’s restricted mode, which some users claim censors videos with LGBTQ+ content, and the spread of misinformation online.
With the web sprawling with fake newsand trolls, the need for more positive action online has become an issue of greater importance. YouTube’s Internet Citizens programme hopes to teach young people how to use tools for flagging content and comment moderation, so as to better help them tackle some of the challenges of online platforms. In particular, the programme includes topics such as how to handle offensive speech online, spotting fake news and using videos to increase diversity.
Designed by the Institute of Stargetic Dialogue, in partnership with UK Youth and Livinity, the content of the Internet Citizens programme was constructed by a group of advisors from various organisations, including the MET Police and the Active Change Foundation.
Hosted by YouTube creators Nadir Nahdi, Alain Clapham and Efe Ezekiel, Google’s aims for the Internet Citizens programme is to give people the chance to meet those who “have mastered the art of using their voice and creativity to drive social change.” Efe Ezekiel, a youth mentor, describes the programmeas “an outstanding way for young people to learn about issues, topics and politics that are affecting their daily lives via social media and the digital world.”