With the goal of striking the right balance between giving parents the tools and resources for oversight and preserving their children’s privacy and autonomy, Meta Philippines has collaborated with National Privacy Commission (NPC) and the Child Rights Network (CRN) to deliver a webtoon series aimed at educating teens on how to protect their data and privacy online.
“At Meta, we care deeply about the safety and wellbeing of teens and young people on our platforms, and we take that responsibility very seriously. Last year, we introduced the Instagram Parent’s Guide and the Family Center…and now we are launching resources and tools that help parents and teens navigate their online time together,” said Meta (Facebook) Philippines head for public policy Claire Amador.
Amador said the webtoon series are part of a larger ongoing effort of Meta Philippines in developing tools and resources aimed at helping its users, especially young teens, in connecting online safely and responsibly.
The three webtoons include ‘Get Ready with Me’ (online privacy), ‘The Cat in the Alley’ (online interactions), and ‘From URL to IRL’ (data protection).
“The webtoons are developed in consultations with Filipino teens from different backgrounds…we want to make sure we have representation. We are also translating the webtoons in other languages – such as Filipino and Cebuano, and we are partnering with organizations and government agencies to expand the distribution,” added Meta Asia Pacific safety policy manager Malina Enlund.
Enlund also shared Meta’s commitment to working closely with experts, parents, guardians, and teens to develop relatable and informative resources designed to equip Filipino teens with knowledge and tools that will help them take control of their online experience and help them become responsible users of social media.
For NPC, the webtoons are efforts under its Kabataang Digital Campaign co-launched with CRN – a team built by an alliance of organizations and agencies pushing for children’s rights legislation in the Philippines.
The stories are driven by the perspectives of Filipino teenagers across socio-economic backgrounds from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“Privacy and data protection – that’s what NPC is regulating. It’s really very important to us and we are grateful that the advocates of child rights are also very particular. Aside from tools, there are also laws in the Philippines…it is very important that we also know our data subject rights especially among the youth,” said Maria Theresita Patula, NPC director.
Each title consists of three separate episodes available for viewing or downloads at the ‘Digital Tayo’ website. The platform also hosts interactive educational games, quizzes, and other activities for young visitors.
“We are always looking for more ways to educate Filipinos about data privacy and personal data protection and these Webtoons are a creative and innovative way to do so. We look forward to working more with Meta and other advocates in empowering and educating teens on responsible online use and data privacy protection,” Patula concluded.
As youth advocates and content creators from the Gen Z demographic, Janina Vela and Hannah Pangilinan were also present at the webtoon launch to show their support on initiatives that guide the youth in taking control of their social media experiences in a way that also promotes their well-being.