Kenya Youth IGF
Watoto Watch Network was involved in Kenya Youth IGF. We empowered the youth on the safer user of internet.
The number one issue that young people always bring to our attention every time we interact with them during training sessions is CYBER BULLYING and this is how they define it …
when I post a photo on the net which I believe is my best photo, all well dressed up, awaiting awesome comments and so many likes; it’s never the case; there’s that one or two people who write nasty and heart breaking comments which take my self-esteem to zero.
Another definition they give as cyber bullying is someone (bullies) downloads your awesome photos, alters them by putting humiliating texts on the images and reposting them to the web.
Ten years ago internet in Kenyan schools was almost inexistent, bullying did exist but in different forms like being told to give up all your school shopping by the senior students, being told to wash senior student clothes, being forced to do crazy things like -imagine the floor was a swimming pool, dive into it and swim….good thing this stopped after closing boarding school and going home for holidays.
First forward to this day and time if “any bullying occurs’” in schools the joy of going home and forgetting about it for a couple of hours or holiday weeks is no longer there because bullies have now taken on the internet to continue with the bullying.
Dealing with Cyber Bullying in Kenya has been a losing battle because of lack of a clearly spelled out law against this, the introduction of the Computer and Cyber Crime bill 2016 once passed to a law will come as a relieve to young people who are being bullied online. The bill clearly outlines bullying as a cyber crime which holds a hefty penalty of be a fine not exceeding twenty million shillings or to an imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to both. Our hope is that this will discourage harassment and negativity on online platforms and encourage awesome online experiences without fear of using online platforms by young people.
Something very unfortunate occurred a couple of days ago a child in primary school came across very terrifying images of one of the parents who had passed on through a tragic accident. The images were splattered online by strangers, people who wanted to be recognized as being the first ones at the scene and witnessing the ordeal first hand. But what has this done to this child who is currently undergoing counselling.
My question is to the people who take these photos, post them and share them on our social network platforms; Do you know once a photo is posted online it will forever be there? do you know how tormenting it can be for family members to access and revisit these photos over and over again throughout the years?
We have talked about this online practice during our programs with the parents, child protection workers and other partners, but now this has to be screamed out loud.
This Kenyan Online Culture is very worrying, when a road accident occurs people rush to the scene to take photos of the grisly incident and immediately start posting them online. For the past two years, it has been increasingly common occurrence.
As a parent / guardian have you ever exposed these photos/videos to your child unknowingly? Children as young as two years of age can navigate through a phone and access the photos. Question is before you give your child your phone to play games, do you remember to scan through the photos and see if they are appropriate? If you use a social network platform you are well aware that some of them automatically save photos on your phone!
So how do we stop this? Is it through policies and laws being put up against the posting of such photos and video’s online or is it just the humanity in us that will break this habit out of respect for the family members and respect for the departed.
We are writing on behalf of the children in Kenya who use ICT technology. Let’s lead by example and not scare them from an enjoyable online experience.
Watch this video to learn some things , we assume , and this could happen to anyone .. to your wife, child, husband or friends .. be careful and ” beware who your ” friends” are online….
How to set; Youtube Safety Mode