IGF 2018 WS #49 The Future of Global Digital Civility in an Online World

Subtheme(s): 

Organizer 1: Henry Tuck, Institute for Strategic Dialogue
Organizer 2: Yuhyun Park, DQ Institute

Speaker 1: Jacqueline Beauchere, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Tommaso Wayne Bertolotti, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Henry Tuck, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Yuhyun Park, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Internet users of all ages, but particularly youth, are experiencing online activity that threatens the growth of usage of the internet and creates real challenges for researchers, users and parents alike. Bullying, “unfriending” and “unfollowing” are more common than ever with some behaviors escalating beyond. For many youth, the level of discourse online has stooped to such new lows that they lose trust in others and show signs of significant stress. What can be done to understand and reverse these trends and encourage digital civility online? This session builds on previous sessions at the IGF and other fora sessions by bringing new, updated research that can be used by researchers and practitioners in this area. It seeks to build upon previous work by showcasing new efforts that are being used around the world, creating the possibility for adoption of best practices. Global internet users, including teens, have suffered some sort of negative experience online, which has led them to be less trusting of others both online and off. Two different reports on the state of digital civility, personal online safety and digital interactions were made available on International Safer Internet Day 2018 and will be referenced during this session.

Format: 

Other - 90 Min
Format description: This is a hybrid of a break out group discussion, round table and a Game Show

Interventions: 

Our “Speakers” will serve more as discussants and help with audience engagement. After reviewing some of the research in this area, the speakers will share brief perspectives on the topic of digital civility and bullying. The key role for our speakers will be to engage with the audience and draw them into the conversation. They will ask questions of the audience during Parts 1 and 2 of the Program to get them immediately and throughout the session.

Diversity: 

The nature of our session, a highly interactive discussion with the audience, lends itself to an extremely diverse session. This will not be 4 speakers with 4 PowerPoint Presentation. Our experience shows that this topic is particularly suited to audience participation because everyone, regardless of where you are from or what stakeholder group you represent, is impacted and interested in advancing digital civility. While we have a small handful of speakers listed in the proposal, their role is quite limited. Their aim is to provide a variety of brief perspectives – from IGO and civil society to private sector and youth and to help engage the audience/participants in discussions and exchanges. Due to the global concern about civility online, we expect participation from across the multistakeholder community. If accepted into the program, we would ask for a room with seating flexibility that allows for the breakout sessions as described earlier. Fixed furniture is not a friend of interaction.

Internet users of all ages, but particularly youth, are experiencing online activity that threatens the growth of usage of the internet and creates real challenges for researchers, users and parents alike. Bullying, “unfriending” and “unfollowing” are more common than ever with some behaviors escalating beyond. For many youth, the level of discourse online has stooped to such new lows that they lose trust in others and show signs of significant stress. Can we reverse these trends and encourage digital civility online? According to the 2018 DQ Impact Report, 56% of 8-12 year olds across 29 countries have been exposed to at least one cyber-risk on average: cyber-bullying, video game addiction, online sexual behaviors, and/or offline meetings. Other research shows that these negative interactions led impacted users to be less trusting of others both online and off. Not content with these trends, there is a growing movement across the globe to restore the original promise of the Internet of connectivity and a common space for all. UNESCO, Facebook, and No Bully launched a global campaign to combat cyberbullying that is bringing together technology companies, the private sector, civil society organizations, educators, and youth to achieve collaborative impact on one of the biggest issues facing children and teens online. #DQEveryChild is a global education movement that seeks to empower every child on the Internet with DQ (Digital Intelligence). Beyond IQ and EQ, DQ represents the core digital skills that individuals must have to thrive in the digital economy - its framework is now being further developed as a global standard by IEEE, OECD, and the World Economic Forum. Goals of this Session • First and foremost – listen to the audience and learn from their experiences • Devise strategies to reduce online bullying and hate speech among youth • Educate others about the impediments to online civility • Share knowledge and gather feedback from the audience on existing initiatives and address what is not working • Raise awareness among key influencers about what is increasingly being perceived as a problem. Agenda We want this to be a highly interactive session where the audience drives the conversation. To that end, our session will be broken into 3 parts. Part 1 - a series of questions posed to the audience where we will ask them to gather into breakout groups and discuss the answers and report back to the larger audience. This will help inform our discussants as well as get the audience involved in the discussion from the get go. Part 2 – Overview of existing initiatives while gathering input and feedback from the audience Part 3 – We will try something new and have some fun – a Game Show exercise to keep the audience following along in Parts 1 and 2 – one of our discussants has agreed to play the role of Anne Robinson from The Weakest Link and prices will be awarded.

Onsite Moderator: 

Jim Prendergast

Online Moderator: 

Berry Cobb

Rapporteur: 

Jim Prendergast

Discussion Facilitation: 

As described previously, we have 3 parts to our proposed session: Part 1 – Breakout sessions for the audience to ponder questions Part 2 – Overview of existing initiatives with feedback from the audience Part 3 – A Game Show Except for the overview of the existing initiatives, the remainder of the of the program – over 2/3 of it - is geared towards interaction among the audience and the speakers.

Online Participation: 

Through the various networks of each of the participating organizations, we will publicize the session in advance to generate awareness in the community of those who are working in this area but are not able to make the trip to the IGF. Our onsite moderator will coordinate closely with the remote moderator to ensure that remote participants are given ample opportunity to offer comments, ask questions and make other interventions as we shape a truly global, multi-stakeholder dialogue. Because remote participants can’t participate in “in person” break out sessions for Part 1, we will ask them to use the chat feature in the remote participation module to conduct their own breakout group, and if possible, open their microphones to contribute directly. They will also have the opportunity to compete in the Game Show and we will ensure they are not disadvantaged by reserving some questions just for them. If possible and with the assistance of the secretariat, we will also conduct advanced outreach to the remote hub coordinators to ensure they are aware of our session and have a copy of any materials.