WINDHOEK - The Internet Society of Namibia has called on young people to create a better internet by being kind, polite and respectful to other online users.
Nashilongo Gervasius, the President of the Internet Society of Namibia, said this can be done by protecting online reputations and by seeking out positive opportunities to create, engage and share online content.
According to Gervasius, parents and carers play a crucial role in empowering and supporting children to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively, whether it is by ensuring an open dialogue with their children, educating them to use technology safely and positively or by acting as digital role models.
“Teachers, educators and social workers can help to create a better internet by equipping their pupils and students with digital literacy skills and by developing their critical thinking skills, which will allow them to better navigate the online world. They can empower them to create their own content, make considered choices online, and can set a personal example of positive online behaviour for their pupils and students,” said Gervasius.
Industry can also help to create a better internet by creating and promoting positive content and safe services online, and by empowering users to respond to issues by providing clear safety advice, a range of easy to use safety tools, and quick access to support if things do go wrong.
Gervasius added that decision makers and politicians need to provide a culture in which all of the above can function and thrive for example by ensuring that there are opportunities in the curriculum for children and young people to learn about online safety, ensuring that parents and carers have access to appropriate information and sources of support, and that industry is encouraged to self-regulate its content and services.
“They must also take the lead in governance and legislation, and ultimately ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people through effective child protection strategies for the digital world,” emphasised Gervasius.
She further stressed: “Everyone has a responsibility to make a positive difference online. We can all promote the positive by being kind and respectful to others and by seeking out positive opportunities to create and connect. We can all respond to the negative by reporting inappropriate or illegal content and behaviour online.”
She made the remarks in light of Safer Internet Day, which is observed 5 February.