Facebook cautions parents about rising cyber bullying related deaths in E. Africa
Parents have been urged to play a central role in determining what their children are doing online, this as the latest report indicates that only 38 per cent of cyberbullying victims are willing to admit to their parents.
Facebook for Safer Internet forum in Nairobi brought together young people, safety experts, influencers and parents to discuss online child safety and explore ways to better understand the challenges and opportunities that children and young people face online.
The forum follows this year’s Safe Internet Day (SID) that aimed to unite people globally to inspire and raise awareness of online safety for children and young people under the theme “Together for a better Internet”
Speaking at the event, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, East Africa region Mercy Ndegwa said the firm recognizes the need for safety measures online as Internet penetration deepens.
“Every day, millions of people across East Africa use Facebook and Instagram to share and connect with their communities. That’s why we offer a range of tools on our platforms to give people full control over their experience, and work with our partners to drive to protect their online wellbeing,’’ Ndegwa said.
The tech giant showcased several tools in its safety centre specifically targeting to protect and assist young people using its products.
It for instance it has a Youth Portal, which is a central place for teens to get a better understanding of Facebook’s products, hear from other peers, and get tips and advice on controlling their experience.
"We have new tools on Instagram that filter comments that may be inappropriate, offensive or bullying -including keyword filtering, sensitivity screens, offensive comment and bullying filters," Ndegwa said.
Watoto Watch Network Executive Director Lilian Kariuki said his organization is using digital literacy education that focuses on encouraging young people and their parents to emulate good online safety habits.
“We are excited to work with Facebook to propel our organization's mission - to create a safer, more secure online environment for children and young people,’’ she said.