16 SEPTEMBER 10
SOCIAL NETWORKING AND EPARTICIPATION:
WHAT DO YOUNG CITIZENS LOOK FOR (18 +)
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> NEVINE TEWFIK: Good morning, everybody. I'm sorry we're a little bit late. We're waiting for one more speaker. So if you don't mind, two more minutes.
>> NEVINE TEWFIK: Okay. Our speaker is here now. Good morning, everyone. My name is Nevine Tewfik. I'm the Director of the Cyber Peace Initiative. This workshop was organised by Egypt. We're happy to have you all here. Our session has been actually prepared through the support of a number of international organisations and the Private Sector. We're happy to have Mr. John Carr with us as well as Mr. Vladimir Radunovic from Diplo and from Cisco we have Mr. Hosein Badran.
Actually our workshop is really a workshop of young people. Because we also have remotely with us a number of our Internet safety group from Egypt who are actually behind the idea of the workshop. And it's a continuation of the work they started in Sharm El Sheikh in 2009 at the IGF. The first session of the IGF in Sharm El Sheikh and they are hoping we will be establishing a kind of tradition of involving young people in the deliberations of the IGF. So welcome to all of you. And I would like to introduce our moderator today, Mohammed Fathy my colleague and the youth empowerment management of the Cyber Peace Initiative who will be leading the discussion. Thank you.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thanks, Nevine. I would like to welcome you all today. Actually our workshop today will have different youth in exchanging in information and best practices ensuring this is empowering highlighting the positives and negatives. During the year 2005 online social network sites like MySpace and Facebook became common destinations for young people in the United States.
Throughout the country young people who are logging in, creating elaborative profiles publicly articulating their relationships with other participants.
By the early 2006, many considered participating on key social networking sites like MySpace was seen as being a tool in schools. While not all teams are members of social network sites these sites develop significant cultural relevance among these young people in the short period of time.
The adaptation of social networking sites by people in this whole world raises important questions.
Actually in which our workshop will try to answer and for example why young people are being attracted to those Web sites.
What are the -- what are they expressing on them? How do these sites fit into the world? What are they learning from their participation? Are these online activities similar to face-to-face friendships or are they different or are they different. These questions our distinguished speakers will try to tackle during their presentations.
I would like also to share with you some numbers, surprising numbers for me at least. I was just Googling today. And I found that the numbers of Internet users, the users using Facebook they reach 500 million users from all over the world. So it's like a surprising number. 50% of our Facebook users log into Facebook on any given day. An average user has around 130 friends.
People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. Very surprising facts. And actually this makes us again try to understand why social networking platforms attract so many people.
In our workshop we are trying also to hold the value of the users, users especially from age 18 and above and experts from what the social networking policies are lacking in the world.
So please listen to the users opinions about social networks as well as security measures. At the beginning I would like to welcome our distinguished speaker, Mr. John Carr. Mr. Carr is one of the world's leading experts on child and young people's use of the Internet and associated digital technologies. He's a senior expert advisor to the ITU's Child Online Protection Initiative, a member of the Executive Board of the British Government UK Council for Child Internet Safety and has been engaged from time to time by similar in nature technology companies.
>> JOHN CARR: Thank you for that introduction. Oh, great, you have me in stereo. I'm in stereo.
Today -- by the way, can I just apologize in advance. I'm going to have to leave shortly after I finish my presentation. Because I've written a book -- a book is probably overstating it. But I've written research that's being published this morning at another meeting. And when I first agreed to do this, there was no clash. But somehow they managed to change the time of the meeting which my book is being launched. So I will have to leave to go to that. That's the reason I'll do that. And I apologize for that.
Second or preliminary point, we are talking in this session primarily about teens and the way young adults are using social networking sites.
So -- and I want you all to promise that you won't tell anybody this. But I'm not going to say anything critical of Internet companies or very little anyway. Characteristically -- uncharacteristically little. Because we are talking here about the positive ways in which young people and young adults are using technology. We are not going to dwell upon -- or I'm not going to dwell upon any or many of the safety issues that I normally talk about when I'm talking about younger people who are not adults using the technology.
And I apologize for that.
Anyway. So it might seem counter intuitive at one level. But what we have seen with social networking sites in curious ways, technology which most people think of as creating distance between people in fact bringing people closer together. And helping to develop a sense of community and a sense of a social space. And we got -- the main theme of this in the UK anyway, many, many years ago now -- actually long before social networking sites were established. I think it was Microsoft. They found a street in admittedly a rather rich part of London which is where I live and they gave as many people as they could persuade on that street computers with Internet connections and e-mail accounts and that kind of stuff and this was also new and radical and they simply sat back then and watched what happened simply as a result of giving these admittedly highly educated and very well posh communities we can say.
What they found was it stimulated more contact and interaction between the people.
>> JOHN CARR: I do think some of the claims and that's one point I would like to make. When companies like Facebook and so on talk about Facebook community, in what sense is 500 or 500 million individuals? There are many, many, many tens of thousands that co-exist with different interfaces. But the has become somehow Facebook or any of these big companies are in an interface community with direct relationship with whom they interact with their responses and we should be clear that Facebook is not a philanthropic institution. By the way I don't deny that perhaps in the first few weeks --
>> JOHN CARR: No doubt the same is true initially perhaps the young people did have some sort of social agenda or social reforming creation of philanthropic organisation. I think it -- and when for example on the --
>> JOHN CARR: So obviously now we live in a technological age. All of the interesting jobs that any young people are involved in is virtually involved in some degree with technology. And British Government, any other Government. And we expressly recognize that. And we have a national interest in the interest of our economy --
>> JOHN CARR: We have a race to get everybody online by 2012. So the idea is a big attempt in London to make sure everybody is going to be online. The actual Olympics -- in the virtual link -- but that's a very heavily backed Government initiative. The reason the Government is taking this step is because they realise however well we've done in getting large number of people online, there's still something like 9 million people have never, ever, been online and 4 million of those are from -- this is overly about --
>> JOHN CARR: One of the steps in which they carried out, one of them seems to show that children, young people who work within what they call a media-rich environment get two grades better on average in school than young people who don't. If they are doing two grades better at school, then obviously you're going to be getting better --
>> JOHN CARR: If a child or young person needs adaptive technology of some kind, that programme will -- is in fact being carried on. Hopefully one day our British economy will start growing again and there will be more money around again. And people will be able to use it. Kids will be marginalized. The child without the computer, is easy to fiat school. It's easy for that child or for that young person to be stigmatized oh there's the poor kid the kid that's not on Facebook. That's the kid that doesn't have an e-mail address or doesn't know what's going on around the world by virtue of having the Internet. So it's really, really important from every point of view from public and personal development policy that kids can get online. Some of the things that have been noticed -- I wrote about the Internet I think it was six years.
It might have been 7. Anyway the phrase social networking didn't even appear. The emergence of social networking and this new Web 2.0, the interactive web is still very, very new. But there have been -- there have been some spectacular examples of how young people in particular are using the technology have affected social policy, environmental campaigns, political campaigns. And again since we're talking about young adults, dating and other things of that kind have been made possible by the technology that have been hugely successful.
So when we are talking about young adults and the use of the -- of social networking sites it is overwhelmingly in my opinion a positive story. It's an upbeat story. It's a good story. And we all want more young people to be using it.
I think, again, some of the things are slightly overblown. The idea that the Internet is somehow going to bring the world closer together there's no real evidence that's going to happen. I saw a study what was happening in northern Ireland for example that we got historically two quite separate communities, Catholics and Protestants and it's about virtually Civil War was running there for many years and there's still quite a degree of separation between the communities.
And what the Internet is definitely helping at the margin to bring a small number of people together.
But the idea that the Internet or social networking sites are breaking down racial, political, linguistic barriers is not proven. I mean, you can see the potential for it. And we all hope it does. And we all might do a lot of things to try to speed all of that up.
But it isn't happening to any great extent so far. I think there have been examples in the Middle East, also, again with it around Palestinians and Israel he's, there have been some -- Israelis there have been some contact and using the technology but it's not been a transformative technology to that extent so again we ought not -- we should always be skeptical particularly when capitalist enterprises tell us how wonderful a product they are promoting is we should always be skeptical about it that doesn't mean we should always be cynical but we should certainly be skeptical. And that's really all I wanted to say.
I mean, the social networking is great. My kids use it. I don't spy on my children, by the way. My wife does. For me it's ethically too difficult to do that. But I'm comforted to know that my wife does it instead.
When my son went off his year's travel around the world -- sorry; I'm trying to get new material by the way so if you have any ideas, let me know. When my son went off on these gap travels before he went off to oxford, you know, mobile phone calls to and from foreign countries very expensive. So we agreed that he would update his blog or his social networking profile.
>> JOHN CARR: Everything was great. I looked in at that regularly. We agreed. And I saw how many hundred lines of poetry he had written sitting on top of a hill watching a beautiful sunset. All of this was very, very carefully documented on his MySpace profile. Only six months after they got back, I discovered that there were in fact two profiles. One for the parents and one for everybody else.
My wife went and read the one for everybody else. And there you are. So great technology, great for young adults. And I hope everybody is using it as much as they can. Thank you.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thank you, John. An interesting debate. Our next speaker will be Dr. Hosein Badran. He is an architect with Cisco Systems International covering the Middle East and Africa region. With close to 25 years experience in the telecommunication and networking industry as well as academia, he has spent the last 10 years with Cisco Systems where he has held several management and technical consultancy positions. As a regional --
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: He was a member of the Magellan Passport Development Team. He holds a PhD in ATM Networks from from Queens University in Canada, an MSc in Teletraffic Engineering from Cairo University in Egypt and he has highest honours in electronics and communications engineering from Cairo University.
>> HOSEIN BADRAN: Thank you, Mohammad, for the introduction. By no means was it intended to be that long. It's always a difficult task to follow John's intervention. So the challenge is finding new material. Because that means you won't bring it into production.
Certainly some of the -- certain subjects of social networks is now very high on people's minds. From age 8, 9 up to grandparents.
>> HOSEIN BADRAN: It's quite a very useful utilization of social networks. The fact that now technology allows us to access these particular sites and without being in a particular place through the mobile phone or a PDA, it makes it very easy through devices like SmartPhones for access for users to update their information. At the same time we need to be aware that there are certain issues that need to be taken into consideration when using social networks.
The fact that in many cases users have not gone the right education to be -- to allow them to be educated users of these things.
>> HOSEIN BADRAN: To be on the safe side of this awareness. In many cases this awareness -- they have not taken the right profile yet. For example just a simple example, the issues of --
>> HOSEIN BADRAN: A teenager is very excited about he's doing and he publishes his material that he will not be glad to have been published several years down the road. So the ability to modify or --
>> HOSEIN BADRAN: That requires attention from social networks.
In terms of private information, profile information, it's -- there have certainly been attempts by social networks to modify the terms and conditions and the privacy policies allow more privacy for the user. Has this been adopted across the board? I don't think so. So really we need to identify or make sure or promote the areas of more privacy and less use of personal information for marketing purposes on the side of social networks.
So the issue of awareness and education is certainly a very important task for us to be able to fully utilize the richness and the capabilities of social networks. I fully agree that the reach of social networks can definitely be very influential in people's lives. The educational part. On the political side. Environmental or other aspects can enrich people's lives the key thing is to have awareness of these tools and awareness has to start very early on in the children's lives if possible as early as possible and the current generation in some cases them with guidance and are being consulted in many cases. And there has been certainly attempts to put some safeguards particularly to protect children on the Internet. Maybe these safeguards necessarily don't have to apply themselves to the young adults 18 plus. But at least the awareness on this age bracket needs to be there.
On social networks the terms and conditions that are published when you open an account you have to deal with these terms and conditions. In many cases the way these terms and conditions are written are written for the very literate very legal educated person to understand.
And youngsters don't really have the patience, time or knowledge to go through these and see if they would agree with all of it or part of it. They don't have the choice. They have to agree with all of it or not open the account.
So the point to try to simplify the terms and conditions or make a version of it as simple as possible to be understood by children and youngsters before they open an account is really, really an important point.
And the incentive here is really from a point of view of self regulation on the social networking side. Not from watching hard regulations from country regulators certain regulators to step in and regulate for these kinds of tools.
But awareness from social networks themselves is really key. And try to adapt to the need of the user, particularly youngsters or children who are really more susceptible to these kinds of issues. Is important.
In fairness many social networks have tried to adapt their privacy policies to accommodate some of the points. But certainly others -- other points are still -- still need to be addressed. And as I mentioned, not all teenagers or not all youngsters above 18 or slightly above have gone through the educational process to make them really educated users of these technologies. They are anxious users. They are very social users and the users use it a lot to socialize with their peers more than for educational purposes. So safeguarding them is really an important point. And that's where the social networking sites have an important role to play to complement this kind of safeguarding for our youngsters.
In many countries youngsters below the age of 25 at least in Middle East countries are about 50% of the population. So they are a very critical part of the population and have an important role to play in the future of these countries.
So certainly safeguarding them through allowing them to use rich media for positive purposes and at the same time protecting them from harm that can come their way without due cause is quite important.
These are the main points that I wanted to share now. And certainly through discussions we can raise further points as we move along. Thank you.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thank you Dr. Hosein. As Mr. John will leave shortly, if any of the audience would like to ask Mr. John Carr -- is the microphone over there?
>> VLADISLAV ANTONYUK: Vladislav Antonyuk, Russian Federation. I have a question to maybe all of -- all of the panelists. Mr. Carr, as well. What do you think of the problem of addiction of the young people to the social networking? This is changing their way of life extremely. They are not doing something for their education. They are not culturally involved. They are only sitting and chatting and communicating in social networking. For example, this is a problem in Russian. What do you think about this situation.
>> JOHN CARR: I'll give you my opinion on that and then I'm going to have to go I'm afraid. It's certainly true that for a very, very small number of children -- I mean an exception alley small number of children that we're aware of at least in the UK, the question of compulsive use of the technology is an issue.
I think the first academics who looked at this were from the University of Minnesota many, many years ago now. And what they found when they looked at this question was that the children or younger people or in fact anybody although they looked specifically at children who got involved in this overuse, excessive use, were predisposed to obsessive-compulsive behavior anyway.
So in other words, it could have been collecting baseball bats or train spotting or you know it could have been anything. It wasn't the technology in other words that was creating the addiction. It was the unique factor. It just happened to be that for both kids it was the technology that was the expression of their obsessive-compulsive behavior.
So that doesn't mean it's not a problem. Absolutely it's a problem. And it needs to be dealt with.
But what it almost certainly is, there's something else psychologically or something else in that child's life that needs attention rather than it being the Internet itself.
One other thing, one of the reasons why -- and now I'm back on my familiar territory. One of the reasons why child protection people are interested in what appears to be compulsive use of the technology is that often it's an indicator that they are engaged in some very unhealthy activity of some sort, which could be abusive in nature.
By the way it doesn't again apply just to the Internet but one of the bits of advice we always give to parents is know your children. Know what they are doing. Know where they are going. Who their friends are. In the real world and in the virtual world. And if you notice any sudden changes or dramatic changes in their behavior, their appearance, their habits, that kind of thing, then find out what's the cause of that change. Why are they suddenly always on the Internet or why are they always taking their mobile phone outside the house to have a telephone call or whatever it might be because it could be that something bad is going on something of genuine worry is going on. Anyway, there you are. I don't think it's the technology itself that's an issue. I think it's something to do with what's going on in that child's life.
Perhaps something in their past, some abuse that happened earlier that needs addressing. And I'm sorry; I've got to go. See ya later.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thank you.
Our next speaker would be Vladimir Radunovic. Vladimir is the coordinator of the Internet Governance and policy educational and training programmes with the DiploFoundation since 2005. He's been a key resource person in delivering a number of online and inside trainings in the IGF worldwide. His current professional focus is on capacity development, education of policy makers and community building. Policy and process negotiation, broadband and access policy. The Internet openness and security. Network Neutrality, cybersecurity and Internet safety. Strategies for building Digital Divides.
Mr. Radunovic was born in 1978 in Serbia. He has graduated in electrical engineer with the university of bell grad Serbia and he's a candidate for a master in contemporary diplomacy from the university of Malta he's also managing director for AvaCom an ICT company based in Belgrade.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thank you, I also have a cold and coughing and I apologize for that. I'm interrupting all the speakers but I'll give my best to not interrupt myself at least.
Basically recently we have been traveling around the world again for delivering some trainings in Internet Governance. And it happened that we ended up in the Pacific and beautiful islands of Fiji and the Cocoa Islands and of course I haven't had a chance to communicate with my family because there was no roaming so I was mostly posted the Facebook status and it appeared my mother also joined the Facebook so she was following where I am. And she even posted some comments back like: Oh, my son, it's good to see you're still alive somewhere over there and then my friends of course were making jokes with me and so on. But basically she did it because my brother has got a kid so she wanted to see all of the photos because he was of course uploading it to the Facebook not sending it anymore via e-mail and now when I log on and I did it yesterday and you know on Facebook you have on the right side you have like reconnect with someone or befriend or be more friendly with someone and she's just jumping there with her picture.
It's like a big brother. My mother is watching me.
And we try to pass to them in the real world such as don't talk to strangers or to people you don't know. And it's the same thing that might be applied in Facebook and anywhere else. But simply we figure it out as completely different. Well you shouldn't be talking to somebody you don't know. But then again the social networks are meant to meet people that you might have not had the chance to meet in real life. Right?
And as we always say, the kids basically we cannot follow them because they know much better you how to figure out how to work with Facebook and with Twitter and stuff. They know much more than we do. But they understand a bit less.
So this awareness that we mentioned is really highly important, in education.
But not to -- okay. I'll just reflect to your question. Basically I think it fits well now as one of the challenges. And it's the addiction.
I remember that Vint Cerf said that the Internet is a mirror of society so if you don't like what you see in the mirror you don't break the mirror you change yourself. I definitely agree with John Carr. That it's a lot about our society rather than just the tool. Which doesn't mean that's not a problem and I'm definitely one that should take therapy against on addiction of the Internet if for the work or for pleasure and I know within Belgrade within the addiction centres of drugs and alcohol and stuff now they do have programmes about Internet. I haven't checked out how efficient they are. But I might take a look.
So in that sense, I agree but there's another component which maybe drags kids to be more so to say addicted or at least using social networks more than we can understand why. And they are not going out or whatever. It's because there is this wall of personal security or however you would put it. That you're online. That you're safe sitting on your computer. And you can communicate with everyone.
And not every one of us is extrovert. You have a lot of people that don't feel comfortable in real life communicating with people. But they feel more comfortable when they are behind this wall. When they are safe in their room but still they have all the chances to communicate with other people.
I remember the first time I logged into Second Life virtual game I was very confused when I saw what happens over there. You have cafes, discos, you can work effectively you can paint the walls and get money in the Second Life you can live a whole new life in Second Life and I still never really tried to go into cafes in Second Life even though we did graduation ceremonies with deploying Second Life tried to test it but there is this wall of security that kids might have. That's not an excuse and as John said that's also one problem that's in us as personalities not in the Internet that we might address.
But back from the problems and challenges. There are many of them I've been -- we've been discussing. I fully agree we should focus on the good sides of that. One of the good sides is definitely learning. And all the ways of informal learning we can get through the social networks and media-rich environment as John put it. Because the traditional learning has these relations between professors or teachers and the students and so on. These new types of learning, informal learnings and even self-based learnings can be very well managed with Facebook.
I've seen some groups on Facebook I think where people basically meet to learn languages, one from another. So if someone wants to learn Serbian, you can just connect with me and I can teach you a little bit of Serbian and you can teach me a little bit of Spanish. And it doesn't have to be anything too programmed but it's a little bit of leisure and new knowledge.
So in that sense social networks are also very good.
But there is a particular thing that when I discussed with Mohammed about this discussion that I think might be from a bit of experience that Diplo has about eParticipation I would like to address shortly. In Diplo usually do these capacity building trainings in Internet Governance and other public policy issues diplomacy and so on and we figured out the way to do the capacity building at least something that works thus far is giving the trainings. Training the people. Putting them even in some exercise about policy research and policy papers.
But also involving them with the process.
Now, what we usually do is we bring students if we can if we find sponsor to the IGF to the IGF local and regional meetings. You can't do that always. You can't bring people. You don't have funds. That's one thing. So remote participation is an amazing example of how eParticipation can be established.
But the other thing is also remote participation would be something like participating in certain sessions. All these processes are public processes like Internet Governance, Climate Change something we can be talking about and that youth definitely have to be involved in are not taking place only at the summits and in these rooms. On country most of the dialogue and discussions and negotiations if you want to talk about diplomacy are before that and are in preparation so the process is not only the event as such.
Now how can we use and how can youth utilize these social networks for that? We have experimented in Sharm El Sheikh last year with the support of the Egyptian colleagues and the Youth Panel over there in social reporting from the event. We basically invited the youth mainly but the others as well to use social media and especially Twitter, Facebook other social networks that might be professional or whatever. In reporting from the sessions and those from the corridors and bringing own opinions about certain topics that have been discussed whether it's security, privacy, neutral -- whatever.
And aggregating all of these feeds within one single page. It appeared that people liked it and they even took the mobile phones and interviewed people around and posted the videos uploaded the videos and shared with friends through social networks.
This year we went one step forward. We it a bit more of aggregation and even made some flyers, invited people to do it even more efficiently and see how we can cope not only with participation but also with loads of information.
But one thing is if we are all participating and then we are all giving our opinion and so on. But the other thing is how we handle all of these piles of information in a meaningful way.
So I use this opportunity to invite you. You can come down to the Diplo booth we can give you these flyers and I'm sure many of you are already tweeting and blogging or whatever from the IGF so you can join us and have it all aggregated in one spot. But more importantly as I said it's between the meetings. And IGF has also -- I'm sure has also established this Twitter channel and blogs and so on.
There are many social networks, Diplo has one where all of the people that are interested in Internet Governance is established like 800 people. Discussing about Internet Governance. Deploying Internet Governance. You can join in. It's a huge social network. And we have a bunch of youth over there.
Now why can anyone think that for instance what youth and the others are going to say in social networks is going to be relevant? If you take a look at for instance the US elections when Barack Obama had the campaign, he was intensively using Twitter. And now we can see a lot of new politicians that are using Twitter, blogging. They have their Facebook profiles and stuff.
They need to get connected with people. They feel that the power of new media is growing. And the people are getting more empowered through the new media and they need to get connected. That's one thing.
The second thing all of these public policy issues including Internet Governance are so complex that decision makers usually don't know how to handle it and they need support, they need assistance. And many of them more and more are being aware that social networks and new media are the space where they can listen to some good advices. So it is a space where youth can effectively bring their opinion. And I think eParticipation should be something that youth -- not only youth should be focusing as a good way to use social networks besides this fun and posting photos and checking where we are and checking by our parents what we do and so on. And by the way to end up I also do -- I don't have two profiles on Facebook. But I do have privacy settings. And my parents are in one group. And my friends are in another group so my parents can see only some things.
That's I think quite useful. Thank you.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thanks, Vladimir. You are always making our sessions interesting.
And now let me introduce our colleague, Lucinda Fell. Lucinda is going to introduce an interesting project. First let me give you a brief about Lucinda. Lucinda is the Director of policy and communications and ChildNet International. She's leading ChildNet Youth IGF Project and is attending the IGF with seven young people who are participating in various workshops and the main session. And actually you can visit them at Booth 3 in the IGF Village.
>> LUCINDA FELL: Thank you, Mohammed. I'll come a bit closer.
So I'm here to talk about the Youth IGF Project which we've been running this year but I would like to give a little bit of background to ChildNet first if that's all right we are an Internet safety charity and we work with children and young people in the UK to make the Internet a great and safe place for children and young people. And we were founded in 1995. So we have about 15 years of experience of doing this.
But our main age group, I know this session is looking at 18 plus. We work with children from 5 up to 18. But I think it's really important to think about those users in this session because that's quite a foundational stage there are things we say to them then they can start to adopt into their behaviors which becomes quite important when they hit 18 we're also the Safer Internet Centre for the UK and we were appointed by the European Union and we're going to try to do a lot of things internationally so if any of you want to get involved in Safer Internet Day 2011 do come and talk to me after the session but we have three areas of activity. Policy, education and awareness. And it's education that I want to speak about today. We have a team of eight at ChildNet and five of those are full-time education staff. We have recently expanded our team but from September 2009 to this June, we spoke directly to over 30,000 children and young people speaking to them about their experiences and what they are doing online.
And I think that's a very important part of eParticipation. Going into schools and talking to young people. And helping to empower them to think about how they use the Internet properly to stay safe.
We use young people as critical friends. We listen to what they have to say. And what they say helps to inform our policy decisions. We talk a lot about digital citizenship with young people and I think that comes to the heart of eParticipation and what we are talking about.
We have spoken about privacy policies a little bit. And I think that will come up more. But when we talk to them, we talk about safety and security and values. And thinking about values when we are thinking about eParticipation and what they are doing online is absolutely critical.
I know there's been a question on addiction already. And a lot of the problems that we see for young people are conduct related. It's about what they are doing, who they are talking to, the type of information that they are posting. But then also what can they be doing positively what is good conduct. How can we facilitate them to talk in a positive way, a constructive way and get involved in discussions like the IGF.
So to me with the Youth IGF Project I've got a lot of flyers here with me which talk about what the young people have to say. But the background to the project is that in 2008 in the Closing Ceremony of the IGF, there was a constructive criticism made that young people weren't getting involved in the discussions and the dialogues. And we worked with Mohammed and the CPI and the -- with Suzanne at women's international peace initiative or movement to run a session at the IGF last year to get young people involved in the IGF so we went out to schools in the UK. And we spoke to a number of children specifically about Internet Governance and we tried to break down privacy, security and access which were the themes of last year which we were concentrating onto listen how those themes were relevant to them and what it meant and what we found is that actually all of those things were hugely pertinent to their lives.
They just didn't talk about them in the same way we did. And we came out last year and we ran a workshop with Mohammed and his team and they brought along a Youth Panel and we had two young UK people in that. And that was great. But this year we wanted to bring along seven young people or we would have liked to get more but we had seven who applied to come along and be involved in the sessions not just on sessions in youth participation but in all of the sessions talking about the things that interested them because I think that's the heart of it.
Young people are stakeholders in their own right and they have very important views on all of the different things that we're discussing.
So we work with our young people. We held a youth camp in the UK to induct them into the IGF and it was three days we had a day on Internet Governance we spoke all about the flag ceremony at the beginning, what the protocols were because these are foreign concepts to young people and I can only ask people to participate in discussions like this. It's really important that we set the background and the context so they know what it is they are participating in. And why it's important.
And then we had two days of actual policy discussion with them. So we looked at security, openness and privacy. And also Access and Diversity. And Deserae is here in the room and she came along and I'm sure she can answer any questions at the end. If you want to ask her what it was like as a participant.
So we spoke about those things. And what was very critical and what I think is critical to talking to young people and engaging with them whether if it's by Facebook or other social networks is that people who have expertise in this area, we don't tell them what to think. We actually present the facts as they are. So when we spoke about security, openness and privacy, we tried to lay out the facts as they were. We spoke about blocking and the fact that some people -- some countries block illegal content and images whatever they are but we also spoke about content in terms of music and copyright and things that were interesting to the young people and asked them to come up with their own decisions about the issues. So that's what they are speaking about here. It's not what we told them to say. It's about their response.
When we were thinking about Access and Diversity, we had a range of speakers. And we had in a man who was blind to speak to us and they were very struck by this. And we realised that they hadn't had the opportunity before to understand about all of the different user groups, people who use the Internet. And why it is a different experience for everyone.
So I think it's very important that when we are talking about social participation, we give people a platform to speak from. And that doesn't just have to be things like Facebook. We're here, we're blogging on Twitter, we're talking on Radio Waves which is a social networking channel and from a UK specific perspective, Facebook is actually blocked in most schools. Schools won't allow it. Which is quite an interesting thing. Because it's a great way to facilitate communication. But actually for the UK since it's blocked in schools we had to think of other ways to go around that and that's something I would really encourage everyone to think about different countries use different social networks it may not be Facebook that's appropriate for the people whether they are adults or children in your country that you want to bring online that you want to join in on the discussions.
So we have worked quite hard to get around that.
We also discovered that Facebook -- it was actually quite hard to get the children and young people involved in the discussions that way. And it's quite a slow burner.
So for the great ideas that people have about using social networks as ways to spread information, actually it takes quite a lot of time and investment to get to that point where you can do that. And that's something that we look to build in the future and hope to make a sustainable part of our project.
There were a few questions at the beginning of the session that I want to raise.
Why are young people attracted to certain Web sites?
I think social networks in all of their guises are hugely popular partly because of peer pressure which has been mentioned. If you see your friends, your older siblings and parents using it then you want to use it and we do know that children as young as 8 or 9 use services underage they don't want to use in all instances the ones that are more appropriate for them they want to use the ones that everyone else is using and I think we have a role as educators to talk to them about that and to inform them. In fact, things like Facebook. That's not who their main audience is. I sit on Facebook safety Advisory Board and they are very good about the privacy they offer to younger users younger users have a higher privacy these aren't for younger users we need to find better ways to reach out to them if we want to.
And I would just like to close this opening statement with my thoughts on the fact that quite a few people have spoken about there's a difference between confident and educated users and I think that's really pertinent particularly still when we're talking to the 18 plus. As adults we have a whole range of life literacy that we need to share with them and we need to think very carefully about the online world and the offline world and how they converge, where they do converge but what the values are that we can bring from our offline experiences in the days of the Internet to the new things that we are all doing online when we encourage young people to participate online.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thanks, Lucinda. Now our next speaker, Rafik Dammak. Rafik is a research student studying information studies at the University of Tokyo with focus on computing wireless censored network. He holds a degree in computer engineering and he's also a DiploFoundation alumni after the completion of the Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme.
He's involved in the use participation of the Internet Governance Forum. And the organisation of youth workshops. He's also a member of the Steering Committee of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles. He participated at the first Summer School on Internet Governance held in Meissen, Germany. Rafik?
>> RAFIK DAMMAK: Thank you, Mohammed for the invitation. And the introduction. I'll just apologize that my presentation won't be so long. It will be really short. And also that I apologize because my English is not so good and sometimes I'm afraid that people don't get what I am saying. So just I'm here I think to represent the youth -- the youth voice. I'm not so young. But I cannot also represent the kids or shouldn't because I used to be a kid maybe but a long time ago.
But here just to talk from the youth perspective, these young people who use social networks as they take that space and adapt it to their needs. And especially to share content and their ideas. And they adapt it in the way that I think that not even the founder of Facebook or MySpace thought about.
So those young people take these tools. And they use it in the way that they can benefit us as much as they can.
But here I'm just trying to focus in one aspect. If we are talking about youth participation, we can also talk about youth activism and how young people use social network for -- to promote some idea to organise campaigns, et cetera.
But the problem is not in how they organise such campaigns but above the risks that they can face when -- it's about the risks they can face when they use social networking especially in the case of Facebook.
If we take an example, it was in Tunisia, so now in Tunisia in a country of 12 million people we have 3 million Internet users and almost half of them have Facebook accounts. So it's sometimes scary. Because I see a friend request from my aunt, I'm not sure if I should add them or not.
But what I want to talk about one risk is related to the Facebook policy and governance. As what happened in the -- a few months ago that some people find that they can use if I can say back in the Facebook policy to report Facebook account of people they don't like.
So for example if I don't like Vladimir, I will ask other friends to report the Vladimir account and just to ask him to do some -- how do I say it? I don't know. And suddenly we will find your Facebook account activated. And then it's a real nightmare to get back your Facebook. Because the Facebook appearing system is -- how do I say, it doesn't really work. You just receive a standard e-mail saying that you've breached some -- some kind of issues. And you have to guess what? And it takes a long time to figure out. To send many e-mails to the Facebook appealing team. And mostly you cannot -- you cannot get back your Facebook account.
So what I was trying to say is that some people if they find a way that they -- if they disagree with you or they even don't like you because your ethical orientation or what or even what kind of group you join on Facebook or to some friends you are connected they can throw this limitation in Facebook policy to protect our accounts.
Because we don't need to -- we shouldn't forget that a Facebook account or another social network now represent our digital identity.
And then to disable that account represents, it's targeting an important identity of the user on the Internet.
So I don't want to worry everybody about the social network. But also there are the positive aspect of social network. -- young people can get the benefit social network for campaign.
If I take again the case of Tunisia, so many people now use this Facebook as a real space for organising social events, for organising anything. Now people don't send you a wedding invitation. They will send you -- they will invite you through Facebook.
So it becomes a real important part of our life.
For me it's surprising. Because we -- how in -- if you just -- in less than two years we have almost now around 1 million to 5 million users. It's amazing.
In a country like mine, it becomes a phenomenon.
But we also have -- because that many people fear the social network and you have sometimes articles saying -- how to say? Facebook is the area for criminality and prostitution and everything. But for young people, it represents a real part of their life.
And just I remember then that when I talked about the risk on the deactivation of the Facebook account, I advise you to read a post written by a colleague called: More problems in Facebook. And I advise you to read it. Thank you.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thank you. And now I would like to present our remote panelist from Egypt. His name is Ahmed Rashad. Ahmed Rashad is one of the co-founder of the Netaman team. The Netaman team is the Internet Safety Focus Group. Ahmed Rashad works in solution architect at Nokia Siemens Networks whose main profession is to design networking solutions on the regional and global level.
Besides his technical work experience he has been working as Netaman growth knowledge for the social side using ICT technology as he was involved in a lot of events for these issues in the past three years.
He was also elected at the World Youth Representatives in the ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 that were held in Geneva. We are trying to connect Ahmed Rashad now. Ahmed, can you hear us?
Yes, we can see his video.
>> AHMED RASHAD: First --
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Ahmed, you may start now if you can hear us.
>> AHMED RASHAD: The growth -- what we're starting to see -- okay. Can you hear me?
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Yes, we can hear you.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Ahmed?
>> AHMED RASHAD: Okay. So you can hear me now.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Yes, we can. You may start your speech now.
>> AHMED RASHAD: Yeah, okay. This is a very poor connection.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: We will then maybe --
>> AHMED RASHAD: Okay. So I would like to start by what we did --
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Okay. Until we can connect with Ahmed, I'll start now -- the audience, I think we can just get back to them again.
So I'm asking you all if you have any questions to the distinguished experts. And speakers. Please go ahead. I would like to start this kind of dialogue to just exchange -- over there. The microphone.
>> AUDIENCE: I was hoping that we could reflect on the use of the term addiction, why they want to use the term addiction for young people's use of the Internet or indeed excessive use or too much use or long hours spent on the Internet.
That seems to me to be a very particular way of thinking about it as an issue, which intends actually to convey something problematic about people's use. We don't use the term addiction for reading books or for children painting, gardening, cooking, talking to parents, being involved in politics, all of which can be using 60% of their time to do.
So why is it that the Internet has been talked about in terms of addiction, though it has to be said that of course we've had video games, we've had cinema, we've had television. We've had pop music as a 60% of the time addiction, as well. It's a language of effect. It seems to me really, really disappointing to find it used in this sphere. And I think also when you're talking about children learning life lessons, where do they learn life lessons, where do young people learn life lessons? They may well be doing it on the Internet with their friends that they are sharing with.
I have a 15-year-old daughter who chats with ten different people on Facebook. And she spends long hours on there. She is not addicted. She is an involved, experienced and I would say that she's both informed and educated in ways that I have no possibility of being. Because you know I'm not as savvy as she is. I'm also not a teenager any longer.
So there's a whole range of things here where I think there's an imposition about adult ways of thinking about the world all in the name of protection when in actual fact it's about wanting to be involved I was very disappointed with John's earlier discussions of these issues and I think that that needs to be addressed as a real commentary about what kinds of language you want to employ here. That's it.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thank you.
>> LUCINDA FELL: I think you make a very valid point about we often impose our values on children and young people in talking about what they are doing. In terms of the use of the word addiction, I think I can defend the whole panel saying we were picking up on something that was first raised on the floor. So using an example from the first question that came to us.
>> AUDIENCE: Can I just say, though -- (off microphone).
>> LUCINDA FELL: Yes and my response to the original point --
>> (Off microphone).
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: It's very annoying, I know.
I'm asking the Technical Team to just mute the background voice so we can continue.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Yes, we are trying to fix the connection and we'll come back -- we are hearing some other sessions but yes totally different than ours.
Are we done? Okay. All right.
Actually I think you would like to continue.
>> LUCINDA FELL: Yeah I will finish the point that was raised and then I'm going to pass onto Vladimir here. My response to the original question on addiction would have been when we -- first coming back to your point, when we talk about addiction, it's the not something that we focus on. And when we do talk about -- when we talk about it we talk about overuse of the Internet when it's a detriment to the child and I think every individual and every case is different I'm not an addiction specialist so I'm not going to talk about addiction. But the point I wanted to make is actually there are young people who do use the Internet a lot who wouldn't be talking to people and connecting with people if they weren't connecting with them in that way and that's the flip side of it and we always need to consider the flip side of things.
I'm sorry I didn't speak up and say that at the beginning. When that point was raised but there are a lot of children and young people when we talk to in schools who don't have people to talk to who don't have friends in school who do have all of their friends in online communities who talk to them when they come off school and we are not making a value judgement on the time they spend on the Internet talking to them although it is addiction and a serious problem but that's not something that I'm going to talk about now.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: I think Vladimir would like to reflect on that.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Yeah, just briefly -- I'm an engineer. I'm definitely not someone who can talk about addiction from the skin side. But my personal impression why I use the term addiction even though I fully agree with you that probably maybe excessive use may be better it doesn't mean it's overuse it's just a lot of use, right? But my personal feeling about addiction isn't about the time spent on the Internet but about the effects of that addiction to me means if you're addicted to alcohol you can't get rid of it or drugs you can't get rid of it of course I'm not making a comparison between this and the Internet don't take it that way I'm just saying when I went to Cuba and I didn't have Internet for two weeks I felt bad. And that's bad. That's something that I should change in myself. It's just a matter of the fact that's how I feel it.
But I fully agree that addiction might not be the right way. I know as I said that in Belgrade they do have the programme that means somebody probably estimated I guess those are some of the specialists, I don't know, that this might be a problem. I don't know. But reiterate and that's the point it's not about addiction or whatever. It's about how we what our problems personal might be in our personal life and then just reflected to Internet. And it's not necessarily bad at all.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: I'll get back to you in just a minute to give the audience a chance. I'll get back to you.
The mic in the back.
We will hand you the microphone.
You can actually come and present from here. No problem. Come here. So that we . . .
>> AUDIENCE: Sorry for technical disturbing. But I begin talking about addiction of the Internet. And I want to explain what I'm with the addiction.
I don't mean that it is bad behavior to be connected to the Internet to the social networking. I would like to say that addiction is not to the Internet itself. Because the Internet could be used for really interesting and useful things, even for youth and for adults and for everyone. Even we are here in the Internet. Some people are watching us, participating in our session. This is useful behavior. This is social network. But I'm thinking like addiction like for drugs and alcohol like Vladimir said is destructive in constructive forms in behavior in social network. So as some people said that -- about we are living in the social networking in the atmosphere of criminality, prostitution and things like that.
So young people with their psychology -- they haven't been educated. The process of education is not finished here. And so this atmosphere when they are involved in these forms of destructive behavior. This is the addiction. This is things we should overcome. Maybe providing them things to do better for example in the social networks, as well. Thank you.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVICZ: I just wanted to make sure that we do not compare Internet with drugs and alcohol I'm guilty for that I was just talking about the affects of a need to do that. And nothing else. Let's stop it.
>> CHARITY EMBLEY: Hello. I'm Charity Embley from the Philippines. Just a very brief input. I would like to say we should be careful about believing or looking at statistics like saying 60% of kids are addicted to social networking or stuff like that. Because we should be careful about maybe those who are coming up with these statistics, with these numbers should take a look -- should consider whether they are looking at everything. For example, I'm online probably all of my waking hours. Why? It's not always in front of my Netbook. My phone, my iPod or my friend's laptop that I might use. They are all online. So does that mean I'm addicted? No. So my point is we should be careful because these numbers might not really be true because they are not taking into account current technologies which allow us to be online the whole day if we want to.
But does that mean at that I'm overusing or abusing? I don't think so. Thank you.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Yes, over there.
>> HELEN BELCASTRO: I'm Helen Belcastro from the Swedish Programme for ICT in developing regions. Yes, I think it's important to have a definition of what we're talking about at the beginning of the workshop. Mean even on the word of addiction. I think there is an official definition. It's something negative. And what you were talking about is something about the positive use and of course there's also a negative use. So that's just -- you can do a scientific definition in the beginning.
And then also on eParticipation, I've been working for a few years with ICT and democracy. For us or for me when I was working at CEDA when we talk about participation it's participation in social development and even in Democratic processes not really the same as social networking on Facebook or YouTube or MySpace. I'm not saying social networking and social media is unimportant but it's not the same as sort of the strategic use of ICT for Democratic participation.
So these are two different things that I wonder if we're talking about participation, how we can enhance young people's participation through ICT, through having good communication strategies with politicians, for instance. So -- and my second comment is: Is there a danger in young people not participating in social development, the development of their society, because they are networking socially and not meeting physically? I mean that's a really important question.
>> RAFIK DAMMAK: Just on the last comment that if young people are using more -- are more involved in the social network, they are not involved in the social development but I don't agree because like in many countries social networking can represent the only way, the only channel to be involved politically. And many people get -- how do I say many young people get aware about many particular issues through social networking. And then it's just a way to help them cooperate coordinate and organise campaigns. I see it in my country in other countries they start from Facebook from Twitter to organise some events and then to go to offline.
>> HOSEIN BADRAN: I would like to second that opinion that in many countries the initial way to organise an activity or to gather opinion is through the virtual world, through the Internet. And then from there -- so the first step to organise activity is through the virtual world, through the Internet. And then from there you can, if possible, if the conditions allow, go to the physical world and meet physically.
Unfortunately this is more in the developing world. And the third world. In developed countries maybe this restriction doesn't apply. It's very easy to have activities and meet in public and so on. It's the right that's protected. Fortunately in other countries this right is not so much protected so the virtual world is a way to participate and that's why it's under scrutiny from many authorities.
>> LUCINDA FELL: And I was invited to speak about the Youth IGF Project and I think that's the main reason I'm on the panel and as part of that we realised the fact that those real life conversations were really important and I mentioned the fact we held a youth camp it was a three-day discussion and we had youth there but we invited speakers from Facebook, Google, Skype the International Music Organisation we had somebody representing the Becta which is the organisation in the UK that talks about ICT infrastructure in schools because when we are having these types of discussion, it is important to get and particularly from our project perspective to get the young people talking to the decision makers and they have had meetings with the MPs when they have been over here so I think that's a very important component of the participation maybe not eParticipation because it's very hard to put together and bearing in mind all of the children we have in the UK and the fact that it was I think only nine people involved in the project at that stage, that's a challenge.
But it is important to have those conversations.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: I'm getting remote participation from the online audience. So I'm -- we will just share the comments. And then get back to you again.
>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Hello, everyone. My name is Hanane. I have two comments here from Michael from Australia. You can read the contributions on the small chat window on the right-hand side of the screen. I'm not sure if it's big enough for everyone to see but I'll just summarize. Michael thinks that the social network phenomenon is just an era so he doesn't think it's a social -- it's not an addiction to Internet. It's mostly the trend. You know what's happening now. So he thinks it's normal that many people want to use the social networks to be fashionable or to be trendy. Because I know many, many people personally who were totally against Facebook when it was launched but just because everyone has an account now so it is feasible, you know, to open an account.
I have a long comment from ISOC Chennai we have a hub in ISOC in Chennai and I think it's just saying the same thing. It discusses I think the choice of people to adopt certain behavior or follow certain activity. And I think it's just we adapt -- it says at the end we adapt to the need of the times, acquire specialised skills and why do we underestimate the ability of the youth to adapt to social networks.
So here I think he meant to say that you know the youth, they just adapt to what's happening now. And they just adopt you know what's being used. I'm sure in the '60s and '70s people were doing something different. I'm not sure. I was not born yet.
So I'm sure, you know, some of you who were actually from that era, there were exercises and activities that maybe we don't know about now.
So Internet is fashionable now. So everybody is connected. So that's the deal.
We are trying to connect two of the panelists from Egypt. They have interesting presentations for you and we have a video as well at the end. Hopefully -- we are trying to connect them via WebEx but I don't think it's possible so we're going to use the easy way out, it's Skype so we'll try just to display the most as possible.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thank you we just want to connect the audio cable to my computer so we can initiate the call. Please initiate the call. A question? Okay.
>> JANICE RICHARDSON: Yes, I'm Janice Richardson from the INSAFE Network. I think we're amongst professionals here and we must be very careful when we use the word addiction in safe contact to -- contact medical doctors to see what addiction is and are we talking about addiction. And no we are not at all. Addiction requires the release of certain chemicals in the brain. I'm no doctor but this is the medical definition. So we do try to avoid this word.
Secondly, I think that what we're talking about is a fantastic power of user creation, of creativity, of participation. But I'm very disappointed to see that in Europe at least but apparently not in Egypt teachers are not allowed to use social networks in schools.
This is a great shame because I think there is one -- well it's a teacher's dream and I was a teacher way back in the '50s when by the way what we did was sport I think to use up all of this extra energy.
So I would just like to know from Egypt you say that you are using symptoms in schools. How did this come about? What was the argumentation? Is it being used officially or is it just the teachers are using it from their own will? Could you explain that to us a little more? Because I think we have a lesson to learn and a very important one.
>> LUCINDA FELL: Yes the experience that I know about could be bigger. But what I know about from actual participation is that several private universities have initiated this a few years ago not too far, two, three years ago, open account on Facebook for the students that required students when they registered to have a Facebook account and these features as I mentioned, they post the assignments on this account on the university account and ask students to then when they have the responses to the assignment --
>> HOSEIN BADRAN: Private schools, also, utilize this for grades, different grades particularly, 6, 7 and higher as an official mechanism I haven't seen this yet myself. Although our discussions with the ministry and how to utilize ICT technology to promote better education, part of it could be social networks but it yet 100%.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: A small example from Serbia which I just remembered, I don't have it formally in the schools but there was a case because all of these companies want to bring their laptops to kids and then telecom said okay well bring the connection and no one really thought about safety but anyhow. So some of the features and I know one example from one secondary school the teacher of linguistics, she asked as a kind of exercise, she asked the kids to create Facebook page, a fun page, of a certain writer, any they choose from certain era of the literacy in Serbia, whatever. And they competed to do it and to collect all of the information and put it on and it was a kind of competition who was going to make a better front page for Facebook of a writer. It was an amazing idea but it came from one of the teachers. It didn't come from the system.
That might be a good way forward if you have younger people who are basically teachers or professors and if you give them the tools and if they understand the needs of kids they are going to make the school much more interesting.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Can I make a comment on that? Being one person involved in the education system in Egypt we have 40,000 schools. It was like 16 million students. Most of them are -- the basic infrastructure technical ICT infrastructure are not placed in all of those schools. So we are trying to get the basic infrastructure in schools like 100 by 100 and we are expanding so it's not easy to generalize that once and for all but what I can assure you is that in private schools, yes, they are usually the social networking platforms in order to communicate to -- for the eLearning purposes. But in governmental schools as Dr. Hosein elaborated it's not yet adopted. This is the truth. But we are advancing on that because the Ministry of Communication along the Ministry of And communication technology launched a project to just have like intelligent schools in Egypt.
So now we reached 2,000 but we have like I said 40,000 schools in Egypt. So we are trying to do that.
>> ANN KATRIN: My name is Ann Katrin from the Swedish Media Council. I just wanted to refer to what Janis Richardson said about addiction. I want to return to that word.
I think it's very important that we stop using the word addiction. I would even ask us to make a kind of conclusion at IGF to stop using it in connection with young people's use of the Internet and online gaming. It is a medical term. And to fulfill an addiction there are certain criteria just like Janis said. And these are not fulfilled.
We have research in Sweden that's very clear on this issue.
Instead we could use words like excessive use or even passionate use and I think it's important to look behind why are we always using words like addiction. I think the reason is that new media is more accepted by the adult world. I mean if you have a son who is playing football five times a week, you would never call it addiction. You would think it is healthy. You would encourage him to be better and better. You would drive him when he needs to be transported there. But people do not look at media in the same way.
So it's very much a course on changing attitudes. Media -- I think this change is so important to implement. That it's nothing else but having another passionate activities like you are, you are -- like you are really, really fond of. Thank you.
The second problem is my privacy and me. What I put on Facebook and what I might regret I will put on Facebook and for kids who are 18 plus in age. It could be a problem. So it's a matter of education I think here and the third problem is Facebook and others privacy. I mean what I can put about other people on Facebook. And so make Facebook users know that they can't do some things that they can't post some false stuff. They can't post some personal data from other people.
And so maybe in the policies that should be stated. And we think of a case in Italy on Facebook that the problem was the judge said Google should have won the users it was a case that they couldn't do some sort of things. I'm not really -- I don't really agree with that decision. I think that before the Court of Appeal won't stand. But there is a problem about letting people know what they can do or what they can't do when they are on Facebook. Thank you.
>> NADINE KARBACH: Thank you. This is Nadine Karbach from the European Youth Forum. Sorry.
So I just have the feeling that I have to give it a positive touch going away from this addiction story. You can discuss it in a scientific area where you feel -- which is appropriate for that.
So I just want to bring in a couple of new points like that are positive so I just wrote down a couple of things I just wrote them down quickly so listen quickly so for example I would like to broaden the horizon on social networks like from a personal example I know there's a network on knitting. And I know we're below 30 and we already start stitching and we can exchange this on a certain network. And you can get new creative ideas from that and can share and exchange with other ones so that's another sort of social networking but not in this Facebook area stuff.
Then the second, for example, if young people are working on a project, the ways of funding are getting much more easy because we can set up easily something online, create it with a button and there we go. It's complementary to offline pharming and another opportunity online.
Coming back to job opportunities for young people. It's just great that you can have your online profile and you can be found, you can provide yourself in a beautiful and perfect way like you would like to be received from a potential employee and create contacts which most likely wouldn't be possible in the offline world. So that's another great thing.
And what's also great thing in terms of attitude. Like we are using online is like we have maybe a different attitude to share things and to feed back on things. Because we work collaborative. We have good experience in international teamwork. And I think it's beneficial for every employee in the future.
So think about that.
And another skill we maybe apply a little quicker is we filter more easily relevant from irrelevant information on the web today. So that's a beautiful skill we develop through networks so that's a few positive points from my side. Thank you very much.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Now -- (off microphone).
>> AHMED RASHAD: So now you can hear me clearly, right.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Yes, thank you, perfectly go ahead.
>> AHMED RASHAD: Okay. Because of the time and this technical problem we faced so I'll just be very brief and getting to the point that I want to talk about. I actually want to talk about like three points but now I'll just get to one point and I'll talk from the perspective of the youth. Not only in Egypt because actually the initiative and the team I was honoured to be the co-founder of this team works on a local and regional level so we also can talk about the whole overall experience with youth in this context. If I can start I would say like there's a lot of things in applications that we can say this is Web 2.0. But mainly the social networking is the real Web 2.0. Because actually the Internet and the whole idea of Internet is networks of people, networks of persons. Other networks of networks. So at the end of the goal is to connect people together.
And this perfectly fits this definition of the social networking.
And I can definitely talk about some researchers created at the Netaman team on youth and private settings and how people interact with it and know or not know it but I don't want to get into these details I want more to highlight some personal experiences and some experiences that people can experience through Facebook and through other social networking.
And I would say two years ago I was working for a company and I used -- I wanted to change my job and the first thing that I did was that I just talked to the Facebook. And tried to find some of my friends working for some companies that I wanted to work for and I just sent them messages if there's vacancies and stuff and they said Ahmed I'm searching for a job and the first thing I did was logged on Facebook if you want to make sure you have social interaction with some of your friends living abroad you would go on Facebook actually two days ago when Mohammed Fathy sent me the link on this session actually sent me a link on Facebook when we talk about addiction or the social -- addicted to social networking sites we're not -- we are addicted because we do many services and many things that used to be different things before now it's only in one thing which is the social network.
It provides us with a lot of services that we use through one thing and that's why we spend more time on this one thing either for work, for pleasure, for connections, for anything.
And for this it's more of a living instinct because there's people interacting with it there will never be rules for this I mean this is my opinion we can talk forever about relations and how people should interact but the best thing in social networking sites is you can talk to anybody and you can accept this or not accept this. It's an open world and this is the whole idea about it and the beauty about it. And this will increase much more the importance of raising awareness rather than preventing and making some guided using -- this is what we do at Netaman we tried to guide people.
One thing we used to do for children and youth in our sessions in schools and universities is we always say don't talk with strangers. Don't have a chat with strangers and then we realise this is wrong. We should go back and say: Yo, the whole thing is about talking to strangers and getting to know people and with certain rules not giving privacy and information and other things so it's all about getting connected and knowing new people and interacting with different cultures and bridging the gap between a whole world but in a certain specific safe manner and that's how the social networking is all about. So this raises much more the importance of awareness than preventing or than guidelines. This is the point I want to add and the last thing I want to add it's not a point just a comment about how the social networking can really get people together and work together.
At this session -- I mean last year was in the ITU TELECOM WORLD Youth Forum and there was -- I was elected by 300 youth fellows from 150 countries over the world to represent them with a very professionally organised Irish girl and totally by chance the Irish girl Marie Casey is sitting here in this room, in this session and when she saw me on this screen she just saw me right now a comment on the Facebook saying I'm seeing you on this screen. And then -- yeah and then there's this Austrian guy -- sorry Australian guy from Australia and he was one of the fellows in the youth network and actually he's a remote participant in this session also and she commented and said I can see you also I'm there I'm a participant. So I'll just say that this particular thing, this particular session we -- we have participants from Egypt with a girl over there online site from Ireland and a remote participant from Australia and we didn't know this and we would have -- we would never know it unless for Facebook and social networking and actually we know it instantly so this is the whole point I'm facing it's not about addiction it's about getting people together it's not about preventing thing as much as it is about awareness how to use these things effectively.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thanks. An interesting intervention. I'm trying now to connect to Nada. She's on board, as well. So I'm calling Nada. Nada Rady is one of the co-founders of the Netaman team, as well.
>> NADA RADY: Oh, it works. Oh, good there are all of these wonderful threads to pick up on that I've been hearing through here I'm with connect safely in the US and we did a wonderful digital citizenship panel yesterday with Mohammed and Nevine and I'm so excited about what's happening in Egypt. And I'm going to be blogging about that. But I just -- the threat on political and social activism is really interesting. I really appreciate your point that in developing countries sometimes social networking or ICT enabled activism is the only way and in the US there is some concern as well as maybe in Europe the political activism and social activism in Facebook groups and such isn't really translating into real live activism. But in the developing world, we really need to support that. That's fantastic.
The other thing that occurred to me to say that I'm not hearing a lot is that how incredibly individual social networking is. So often people of my generation talk about it as sort of a single monolithic thing. And every single person I think we have just heard that uses it in a very different way. Even in my family I have a 13-year-old and 18-year-old and neither of them ever does status updates in Facebook they just do real-time chat and one of them sort of has a social network of skiers, Alpine skiers and they swap videos and produce their own videos and they show them and they post them and their Facebook experience really revolves around that and real-time communication. And then the other one does a little teeny bit of social gaming but it's really sort of alternative to texting on a phone. It's real-time chat.
And then there was a really interesting study of the University of Hamburg I believe that was reported on in Hirschbiegle (phonetic) that talked about sort of back to the addiction issue, you know, when we -- when we were young, we would have our stereos on when we were doing our homework at University and the music was always running in the background and that sort of came out in the study out of Germany which was reported in Hirschbiegle is that the Internet is just running in the background and they are socializing with their friends off and on they are doing their homework and we can sort of talk about whether or not multi-tasking really works. But it is just running in the background to the other person's point about how it's just on all the time. And young people don't distinguish between online and offline or whatever device they are using.
They are just conducting their lives.
So anyway, I just -- I love all of these threads. And it's been so interesting and I've learned a great deal.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Thank you very much. Now we have Nada Rady, one of the Netaman co-founders from Egypt. Nada, can you hear us? Nada? Nada, would you start, please?
Actually we can have one more question until Nada -- okay.
>> MARIA CASEY: Hi, my name is actually Maria Casey and I was the person actually talking to Ahmed a little while ago. I'm from Ireland and I'm also an ISOC ambassador I don't have a question I just want to make a comment on something that Ahmed said. He said at the very, very end of the day it is basically about connecting people around the world. And all of the good things -- in all of the good things, in all of the bad things, it still comes down to the fact that this has been a stupendous achievement to connect people and we showed while Ahmed was trying to get through to us he kept saying can you hear me. I was telling him we can hear you now it's okay so just from Facebook right now we were actually able to help that go on a little bit more. I just want to make sure people remember, it really is just about connecting.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: I think Nada won't be able to join because of the technical difficulties but Nada wanted me to show you something. They actually started to conduct awareness sessions everywhere in Egypt but we found out as much as they go they won't cover the 80 million or the 50 million of youth living in Egypt. So they tried to come up with innovative solutions using media in order to reach out to their peers. So they produced a promo. It's a kind of TV promo about Internet safety. And it is now being showed on Egyptian TV. So Nada asked me, Nada and Ahmed asked me to play it for you. It is not on YouTube because it is not yet publicized. So we'll post it on our Web sites.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: Yeah it's protected policy online. All of the actors are from the Netaman team. That production was done by youth.
>> MOHAMMED FATHY: I would like to conclude thanking our distinguished speakers, Dr. Hosein Badran, Vladimir, Rafik and Lucinda for your attendance thank you Doctor for flying to attend our session. Thank you very much. The discussion has been very interesting so I thank you all for the innovative and interesting debates you raised up and I would like to see you again maybe next IGF. Thank you very much.
(Session ended at 1113)
Social networking and e-participation; what do young citizens look for (18+)?