Internet giant Google has launched a campaign called “Cyberpeace” to help teach digital citizenship in private and public high schools in the Philippines.
In partnership with the NGO Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, Google will mobilize YouTube creators, teachers, employees, and other volunteers to teach at least 10,000 high school students nationwide through 2020 on how to use the Internet in a more responsible and safer way.
Using Google’s “Be Internet Awesome” curriculum, the module will focus on five core concepts and values: online reputation, critical thinking to fight scams and misinformation, privacy and security, cyberbullying, and reporting inappropriate online behaviors. The initiative will also tackle other relevant issues such as catphishing and cancel culture.
The urgency for a safer Internet in the Philippines is aligned with the findings of Google’s Digital Wellbeing of Families report. According to the study, 71% of Filipino households rely on digital technology to connect with their families at least once a day (highest among the 11 countries surveyed) and 85% said that they worry about their child being exposed to inappropriate content online (second after Brazil).
“We know Filipino parents are concerned, with 85% saying they worry about their child being exposed to dangerous content through digital technology. At Google, we believe kids and the youth should be able to experience the best of technology — and that parents should be able to feel confident letting them explore online,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director of Google Philippines.
“Through the Cyberpeace campaign, we hope not to only help Filipino families stay safer online but provide a springboard for a shared, nationwide commitment to a more peaceful Internet, at the heart of a vibrant digital economy for all Filipinos.”
In addition, the Cyberpeace campaign aims to help Filipinos use technology with some of the tools today that make browsing the Internet even safer. Among these are:
- Google 2-step Verification that protects accounts with both passwords and devices;
- Incognito that allows private browsing;
- Family Link that helps parents supervise their kids’ online activities;
- SafeSearch which filters out explicit results; and
- YouTube Kids which features curated selections of videos for children.
“Digital responsibility and online safety are key Google priorities, and we believe that the youth will only be able to reap the benefits of the digital economy if they will thrive in a peaceful online environment. We strive to further strengthen this commitment by continuously creating programs and tools that help enable a safer Internet and empower families to build healthy digital habits together,” shared Yves Gonzalez, head of public policy and government relations of Google Philippines.
The Cyberpeace campaign kicked off on Wednesday, Feb. 11, with a pilot class at San Francisco High School in Quezon City led by volunteers local EduTuber Team Lyqa and YouTube creator Janina Vela. This will be followed by classes in public and private high schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.