IGF 2017 WS #99 Is there a place for civility in our digital future?

Short Title: 
Is there a place for civility in our digital future?

Proposer's Name: Mr. Nicholas Carlisle
Proposer's Organization: No Bully
Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Clara Sommarin
Co-Proposer's Organization: UNICEF
Mr, Nicholas, Carlisle, Civil Society, No Bully
Ms, Clara, Sommarin, Intergovernmental Organization, UNICEF

Additional Speakers: 

Tommaso Waybe Bertolotti

Tommaso Wayne Bertolotti is a philosopher of technology. He earned his PhD at the University of Pavia, in Italy, where he is adjunct professor of cognitive philosophy. His research focuses on the ethical and cognitive impact of Internet technologies, especially as it concerns social cognition and other cultural and biologically inherited aspects of human life. He lives in Paris where he collaborates with the French engineering school Telecom ParisTech. Since Spring 2017 he inaugurated his own brand of philosophical consulting, MonPhilosophe, to leverage the importance of philosophy in addressing everyday challenges.


Welcome and Overview - 2 minutes Moderator
Overview of the Research – 8 minutes
Reaction from Discussion Facilitators - 10 minutes
Open discussion among audience participants facilitated by Moderator and Discussion Facilitators- 60 minutes
Summarize outcomes and next steps – 10 minutes


Is there a place for civility in our digital future? (WS99)
Tuesday 19 Dec 2018 – 16:10 to 17:40

Speaker: Nicholas Carlisle
Speaker: Clara Sommarin
Speaker: Jacqueline Beauchere
Speaker: Thomaso Bertolotti
Moderator: Jim Prendergast

27 to 30 audience participants at start
17 participants towards end


Introduction of Panelists……..

What is meant by digital civility?

Digital civility. When it comes to children it is about empowerment

MSFT defines it as interacting with respect and compassion of all individuals and all ages

Civility means politeness and compassionate towards one or another

Lens of bullying. Two things striking. Bullying and hate all with profound lack of compassion.

Research via Unicef: Children and ICTs: Released flagship report - Child empowerment and what harms they face online.
• 1 and 3 internet users are children.
• While being online has many benefits we also know it comes with many harms. They focus on the risks and harms: Sexual abuse and harassment.
• Research focused on late teenagers via surveys.
o 23% of children dislike violence
o 33% disliked sexual content without much of gender difference
o 8 out of 10 believe young peoples are concerned about taking advantage online
o 6 out of 10 prefer to know who they are interacting with online
o Less than half know how to help a friend when facing harassment online

MSFT Research:
• Safer Internet Day this February
o Teens 13 to 18 in 14 different countries
o Four risk categories
 Behavioral risks
 Sexual risks
 Reputational risks
 Personal risks
o Unwanted contact was biggest concern
o Trolling, sexual and harassment were also a top concern
o 43% lost trust in other people online; became stressed, lost a friend
o 5% contemplated suicide
o 4 in 10 changed their privacy setting and same amount reduce what personal information they shared
o 62% did not know or were unsure of where to go for help
o Adults – higher incident of online risk exposure
o Youth – higher optimism about online safety but concerned about future. They were also might likely to confront issues.
o Males – expected to have more interactions in the future and like you were more likely to confront the issue
o Females – were less likely to interact and stressed more than others.

• Connects to Jacqueline is the Unwanted Contact
• Social media use is reinforced with more positive feedback and interaction
• Being civil is not a choice, but something we have to do in order to live in a society we all benefit from
• Recognition – each of us are similar
• Trust – mutually enforcing system; something based in time and is reliable
• What are the signs we look for? What signs do you give as being reliable?
o In the past, forums and chat rooms – Avatar – no sign of reliability; now we use real pictures and real names
o Importance of Ritual – please or thank you. Would you do this online?
• Online civility is something we are becoming more aware of. Would this be ok in real life? Have the hope that the internet become the sandbox of civility.

• Neil Gamon - Stories: teach us who the world is put together and the rules of living in the world
• We are all governed by stories of what we tell and consume online
• Mission of non-profit to eradicate of online bullying
• Stats:
o 1/3 of adolescents around the world are a target of bullying
o Half of them is in the form of online
o Effects can be short lived to devastation to suicidal thoughts
o Huge and significant problem
• On the back of this are the stories we tell about the internet
o 41% of teens said the internet was a mean place
• Trust is a reality and story of what we tell ourselves what is likely to happen
• Concern with the culture that is emerging on the internet – Trust less and less willing to cooperate. Is your intention good for me online?
• Kids starting to withdraw from online contact – framers of the internet was inclusive, or I can start to feel under attack and start to contribute to downward spiral
• Great shared spaces – grazing lands across the world; but now being exploited online: Tragedy of Commons
• We’re at risk of damaging this space.

Moving to interactive portion of panel. Open up discussion. If you disagree of what you’ve heard, please tell us.

Q: Martin Fisher: Game over Hate. Problem with definition of cyber bullying and stats seem over blown. We deal with discrimatory cases of abuse or rape and death threats. These numbers mentioned her makes our work more difficult. Our issues lead to legal action.
A: Nicholas – Survey are varied around the world. It’s a cluster of different behaviors that represent cyber bullying. Direct threats to putdowns, to posting of private materials. Broad cluster of behaviors
A: Jacqueline – MSFT – when internet cell phones or other internet devices send messages or images with intent to hurt the other person.

Q: If you had content that was laminated, pig beheaded.
A: Jacqueline - It depends. We give specific definitions and respondents respond based on those definitions

Q: Soledad from Obama Admin – online bullying. Do you bully, or have you committed any of these offensives. How were girls of different color treated? Children being more upset in lower income countries. What was the hypothesis that caused this disparity?
A: Clara – look at this in context of SDGs. Refer to transcript of their definition on cyber-bullying. Adopted definition from WHO. In our case did not survey one those questions. Don’t have data with me. Low and mid-income, definition and question was the same. Look at wide range of countries. It could have to do with more limited time on internet. Connectivity is less and perhaps related. High income use it more.
R: Soledad perhaps it’s become more normalized in higher income countries.

Q1: Is the internet a safe and respectful question? Why?
What did we hear? What do we think?

Online: Just like the real world, online can be safe and respectful but can also be the opposite.

Larry: Like physical places. I feel safe here in GVA, but also have heard experience where people were robbed usually because they made themselves more vulnerable. It depends on where you at. I work at home. I might interact with 3 to 5 people. Online I can interact with hundreds of people. That range is wide

Michael: It depends on what neighborhood you hang out in. it depends on who you build your social environment around you. It is easier to cross over in ways. It can be respectful. What does safety mean? In many ways, online world can be safer than real world.

David: offline parties or libraries are safe (ineligible)….

Thomaso – you seem to link that is not necessarily respectful or easier to get misunderstood.

David: Not really. Face to face interaction. Online world is usually non-verbal

Participant: very subjective questions. Someone who had adapted vs. another that has yet adapted. It needs to be from perspective of everyone.

Q2: How do we restore digital civility to the Internet?

Jinai: Did you ever have civility to begin with? What are limits that where can children go? Laws on internet is slow

Erin Online: We need to hold ourselves online as we do in real world

Jacob Online: Not sure we will ever achieve true civility online. Too diverse of populations

Michael: Survey with MSFT this year, 41% turn to each other for help before than parents. Perhaps that’s what should be reinforced the most.
Martin Fisher: Never really answered my first questions. Rotten.com registered in 1995. AOL and public forum were the safe spaces of that day. When we talk about civility are these public spaces and how to behave in them. The approach would be digital collage or civil collage. Reinforce with positive examples.

Larry: If Vint Cerf were here, online back in 60s and 70s was much more closed and much more civil. As cities get larger, crime grows in proportion. Reality is on the internet there is this great sense of other. We can find the civility in the past but we will never go back there.

Elizabeth: Go back to the basic. CoE looking at competencies. Values, skills, and knowledge. None of this is new. Majority of time peeps are respectful, but we see too often people with authority being disrespectful and that trickles down. It begins with parents.

Jim: Lets take it back to the panel.

Thomaso: Education and being polite. Virtue is something that informs and inspires direction. Practice gets you to virtue.

Clara: Back to report. Children in a Digital World. Six policy areas:
1. Affordable access
2. Protect from harm
3. Privacy and identities
4. Teaching digital literacy and civility
5. Leverage private sector
6. Place children in center of digital policy

Unicef works in over 150 countries. Work on research and policy advocacy that focus on 4 areas:
• Legal and policy reform
• Capacity building among stakeholders
• Awareness raising
• Data collection

New Campagin
• June 2016 – End Violence online
• #Reply for All
• #Thinkbefore you click

Videos from Unicef

Internet Watch Foundation – takes down images, working with content providers. Discussing the fact of platform of WhatsApp. Encryption end to end. We see these technologies in developing countries. How do you address a problem like that?

Clara: Last video tried to capture some of that. But yes, in many of countries, children being streamed online. We did not go into that risk today because topic was more on civility. Need to work with local law enforcement and legal systems to work through the issues.

Jacqueline – It is a regulated environment. We Protect ran by British govt but a MSM approach.

Slide presentation - In addition to research – digital civility index. Exposure of peeps to risk in a particular country. Higher level of exposure to risk is a higher score.

Too fast to keep up, refer to end of transcript.

Nicholas: Power of Zero presentation
Zero is……
Zero violence
Zero hate
Zero bullying

Launch campaign how to use that power well in a digital world. Targeting young children. Start well, we will end well.

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678