Safer Internet Day, the worldwide day for a better internet, was back for its 18th edition. Turning the internet into a fun, fulfilling and safe space is more than ever a priority during this public health crisis, where children massively use screens for social contacts. An intergenerational dialogue is even more essential, as more than 60 per cent of children use the internet for more than four hours a day in Belgium. How can we facilitate this dialogue and promote a responsible and creative use of social media?
Each year, the Estonian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) focuses on one topical issue when celebrating Safer Internet Day in Estonia. This year, Safer Internet Day paid particular attention to misinformation. To this end, the Estonian Safer Internet Centre organised several events.
The traditional Safer Internet Day (SID) celebration in Spain was marked, for the first time, with an online event due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. INCIBE, the coordinator of the Spanish Safer Internet Centre (SIC), hosted the event over two days, 9-10 February 2021, under the slogan of “Together for a better internet: more connected, more secure”.
In 2021, Safer Internet Day (SID) in Russia was again held in the traditional form of Safe Runet Week, well known since 2008. Although some COVID-related restrictions for mass events were still in place, generally the programme for the week stayed as intensive as before the pandemic. The main difference was a shift for most events to online and the adoption of a “hybrid” strategy, having both offline and online participation in Safer Internet Day activities.
Making the internet safer remains a strategic objective in Portugal. According to the EU Kids Online 2020 report, approximately 1 in 4 children or young people say they have had an "uncomfortable" experience online (18 per cent for boys; 27 per cent for girls). Equally, more than half of children say they have difficulties in verifying which information online is true (53 per cent).
On the occasion of Safer Internet Day (SID) in the Netherlands, the Dutch Safer Internet Centre (SIC) published a survey on online well-being in the COVID-19 period, with a special focus on online love and sexuality.
In Italy, the Safer Internet Day (SID) 2021 event was hosted completely online and made available via live streaming. A debate took place between students, parents and teachers – the whole scholastic community – on how to help younger generations through a learning process on positive use of the web, the technological instruments available, and their role in good and appropriate use of the platforms.
For Safer Internet Day (SID) 2021, the Icelandic Safer Internet Centre planned multiple activities. On the day of SID, it launched a media campaign on the newly updated hotline reporting tool and website.
In an exceptional situation, exceptional measures are needed! This year, in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Safer Internet Day (SID) event organised by Media Animation, CSEM, Mediawijs and Child Focus (the Belgian Safer Internet Centre), took the form of an online inspiration day: #Betternet Inspiration Day.
The ninth national Media Literacy Week (MLW) celebrated a better and safer internet from 8-14 February 2021, including Safer Internet Day (SID) which took place on 9 February. Thousands of children, young people and adults were reached before and during the campaign week with well-planned and unique campaigns designed and implemented by several organisations.