UK theme for Safer Internet Day 2022 announced
Safer Internet Day 2022 is on the 8th of February and will be celebrated with the theme ‘All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online’.
From gaming and chat, to streaming and video, young people are shaping the interactive entertainment spaces they are a part of. Safer Internet Day 2022 celebrates young people’s role in creating a safer internet, whether that is whilst gaming and creating content, or interacting with their friends and peers.
Using tailored learning materials, tips and resources for all ages as well as for educators and families, Safer Internet Day challenges everyone to play their part in fostering supportive relationships and respectful communities online. From discussing the ways the internet can be used to communicate, to creating positive change in online groups when bullying behaviours arise, the Day empowers young people to be at the heart of creating a better internet.
Speaking with young people is key to exploring their experiences on platforms where they can play games, interact with their peers and others, and take part in ‘live’ experiences such as video streaming. These platforms play such an important and positive role, providing young people with the means to interact with friends and as a great pastime, particularly during lockdowns.
However, there are some emerging safety issues in these spaces as well as issues young people have been navigating for some time; particularly the lack of respect individuals display towards each other, groups ‘ganging up’ against other groups, and the sense that it is easy to ‘get away’ with negative behaviour such as meanness, bullying and swearing. They speak about hate directed at particular groups, particularly LGBT+ users, and misogyny on gaming platforms. They tell us the apparent lack of consequences for negative behaviour has an impact on their safety and wellbeing.
We need to address these issues so that all young people understand what constitutes respectful behaviour online, and know what to do if they encounter hate or bullying directed at them or someone else. Our theme for Safer Internet Day is:
All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online
The impact of Safer Internet Day 2021
Each year we see a great impact of Safer Internet Day, which in 2021 saw 51% of UK children aged 8-17 years heard about Safer Internet Day, alongside 38% of parents and carers. As a result:
82% said they felt more confident about what to do if they were worried about something online
85% said they know what to do if they or someone else see misleading or unreliable content online
63% had a conversation with a parent or carer about online safety
26% said they spoke to someone about something that had been worrying them online