CSR India

For better and for worse, digital technology is now an irreversible fact of our lives. In a digital world, our dual challenge is how to mitigate the harm while maximizing the benefits of the internet for every child.” – Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director

What we’re also witnessing is the advent of more and more children and parents coming online to lead their routine daily lives. Now, education, business and pleasure are intrinsically linked with our online presence and communication. Internet has also become a major source of gathering and spreading information. Keeping in mind that we’re seeing all citizens being urged to make online profiles, we have updated our Online Safety and Security Toolkit to empower all internet users with knowledge of the threats they can face (children and adults), and the various tools that they can use to not fall prey to online abusers, trolls or scammers. We also work on Online Safety & Security through various projects.

Social Surfing is an innovative concept which helps develop a safe and sensitive online environment by empowering the users. Centre for Social Research in association with Facebook has conducted 450 workshops across the country (2015-2018) and the Social Surfing team has interacted with over 20,000 thousand students about online safety. In the interactive and youthful workshops, Social Surfing focuses on using Facebook as a platform for knowledge sharing and social change. Users are informed about the evolution of social media platforms and its growth. This is followed by discussion on numerous privacy settings and safety features present on the portal. Seeking support through social media to bring about a positive change in the society and Counter Speech are main elements of the workshop. In the year 2018, Social Surfing covered 25 states, 4 Union Territories and colleges in over 92 cities. At the close of the year, we logged in a record of completing 250 workshops in 5 months.

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Centre for Social Research and Twitter collaborated to create #TweeSurfing in the year 2016. It is a twitter literacy programme designed to spread knowledge on how to use the platform for better purposes. #TweeSurfing intends to leverage the cyber conversation on how the users can have a positive online presence by maximizing the use of twitter for social good.  #TweeSurfing connected with over 100 influencers from diverse fields and interviewed them on their twitter journey and their understanding of the safety mechanisms for various issues on social media. These interviews are easily accessible via the twitter handle @TweeSurfing and the web resource www.TweeSurfing.in In the months of April, May and June 2018, #TweeSurfing interviewed D. Roop (IPS) and Preeti Shenoy (Writer) as opinion leaders on Twitter and how they use the social media platform for self-expression and social change. In the months of July, August and September, Mohammed Kaif (Cricketer), Shilpi Marwaha (Theatre Director) and Gautam Rode (television actor) were interviewed. The dynamic exchange revealed the power of Twitter to connect with people, exchanging ideas and advocating for social causes. In the month of October, November, December, the TweeSurfing Interviews with Sneh Sharma (entrepreneur) and Manasi Salvi (television actress) were informative and enthusiastic. The year 2018 ended on a high note with TweeSurfing launch in Kolkata. We are gearing up for a productive year and exploring more avenues to harness Twitter for social change.

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The Digital Safety and Online Wellbeing workshops have been a project that the team is proud to be a part of. We can see the positive impact of our words, on students, teachers, principals and parents alike, in real time. These workshops and their importance are well-known with many recognized educational organizations now, thanks to the efforts made by the team.The CBSE collaboration helped us reach hundreds of schools and thousands of students. We have also made other national and international organizational collaborations through our network, because we believe each and every student be it in villages or cosmopolitans can have equal rights to and can benefit from online safety training.

Covid-19thrusting our children in the online spaces in an accelerated manner has opened up a vast possibility of children and adults facing dangerous situations online, like cyberbullying, cyberstalking, scamming, doxxing and many more. To ensure safe navigation, we have been conducting Online Safety and Security Workshops in collaboration with Facebook and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to ensure students will learn what it means to be a digital citizen, the power of positive online engagement, how to identify and combat dangerous situations, digital wellness, importance of reaching out, how to spot fake news and understand the damage it can do and many more skills and tools essential to keeping safe and secure, while online.We have successfully completed over 80 workshops with schools all over the nation and have trained more than 9000 students so far. We continue to conduct these training everyday and encourage students to refer to our Online Safety and Security Toolkit for more details and regularly update the toolkit with the latest developments, new information packets and relevant links to other resources.

In the last quarter of the year itself we were able to train approximately 20,000 students.

The module has now been translated in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu & Kannada. This year we plan to add many more languages to this list like – Tamil, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Konkani, Manipuri etc.

We have also collaborated with renowned educational and child’s rights organizations like CRY, Pratham, Teach for India, Deepalya, and Wonder Parenting Moms. Through them we have been able to cover regions like Delhi & Haryana, North East, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka,Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka. We were able to successfully train 744 children ranging from ages 10-18 years, from remote parts of the country. Sessions were conducted in Hindi, English, and Kannada.

There are many more organizations with which collaborations are in the pipeline Social Media Our efforts on social media with regular and consistent good content have played a big hand in garnering support in terms of spreading the message and organizational collaborations. Thousands of pieces of original content have been created/posted over the span of the projects.

To join us in this endeavour to make the online spaces safe, secure, and inclusive for effective engagement, fill the form below and we’ll get in touch with you with further details.

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The boom in usage of digital platforms for expression has given rise to a great cause of concern. Which is that the representation of women and girls on these platforms lags significantly behind men and boys, in India. Among the youth social media users, the majority of 78% are men while only 22% are female (UNDP). This is in contrast with the population proportion of youth, which is almost 50% female according to the census of India.

Issues like – online harassment and bullying, parental concerns about who girls are engaging with, and negative online experiences can limit women’s willingness and ability to express themselves well.  Many leave the platforms entirely, rather than suffer abuse and/or harassment. In this way, social media has become a place where women’s voices are not adequately represented and women are not fully empowered to participate.  It is essential to build youth capacity to engage safely and effectively.

For this purpose we at CSR in collaboration with Twitter India have organized a  Digital Citizenship & Civic Participation for Gender Equality Workshop, and would like to extend an invitation to the students of your college. Through these trainings, we seek to empower young women in their engagement in civic dialogue on social media and also influence policy development on issues of digital gender equality.

Embrace your roles as teachers, mentors, parents and stakeholders in the lives of young women and ensure maximum participation for this event. To join us in this endeavour to make the online spaces safe, secure, and inclusive for effective engagement, fill the form below and we’ll get in touch with you with further details.

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Social media in today’s times is not only a place to exchange messages but a place of information dissemination, access and global participation. It is an instrument, if used effectively, has the power to harness the potential of the youth and direct them towards civic participation. However women’s’ and girls’ representation on social media lags significantly behind that of men and boys in India. And COVID19 has deepened this digital divide further. Online harassment and bullying, parental concerns about whom girls are engaging with, and negative online experiences can limit women’s willingness and ability to express themselves well. Many leave the platforms entirely, rather than suffer abuse. In this way, social media has become a place where women’s voices are not adequately represented and women are not fully empowered to participate. This is a cause of great concern and it is essential to build youth capacity to engage safely and effectively in online activities and to foster effective stakeholder and government response to create an enabling environment for women’s online participation. For this purpose CSR is organizing a panel discussion with experts in the field, to effectively identify the issues on the ground and help us build a concrete plan for combating them. CSR aims to publish a recommendation document as a result of this discussion and address it to all stakeholders responsible for making a positive change, like government agencies, media organizations, educational institutions, CSOs and individual activists.

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