Digital citizenship – PL 06 2012
15 June 2012 | 14:30-16:00
Programme overview 2012
- Amelia Andersdotter, Member of the European Parliament
- Sébastien Bachollet, ICANN
- Deborah Bergamini, Sub-Committee on Media and Information Society
- Silvio Heinze, European Youth Press
- Jyrki Kasvi, Information Society Development Centre
- Pär Lannerö, Metamatrix AB
- Kimberly Sanchez, Microsoft
- Daniel Westman, Stockholm University
- Yrjö Länsipuro, ISOC Finland
Provided by: Caption First, Inc., P.O. Box 3066, Monument, CO 80132, Phone: +001-719-481-9835, www.captionfirst.com
This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the plenary 6. Welcome. Of course having a session right after lunch is always a challenge. I thank you who already have arrived. And I hope that more people will come.
This session is about digital citizenship. And, of course, it’s a very broad multi-faceted concept. And you could put almost anything under it, as long as it relates to the Internet and to the end-users and to the empowerment of individual users.
We have time for a few examples to illustrate the wide scope of issues that are relevant in this context.
Let me quickly introduce the themes and speakers, in the order of their appearance.
Mrs. Amelia Andersdotter. Swedish Pirate Party and member of the European Parliament. Actually, as far as I understand, the youngest member of the Europe Parliament. She will talk about the overlapping citizenships we have, because we are citizens, we are citizens in various entities of the cyberworld and of course in between.
Mr. Par Lannero will take a look at the fine print that we encounter on the Internet and that we usually don’t read. And even if we read it, we would not understand. That applies to what is 99 percent of people. So, basically, tell us what should happen, what – how you could improve the situation so we don’t just sign our digital rights away by clicking “agree” without knowing what we are agreeing to.
We will watch a video produced by students from the New Media Summer School and they will talk about what people want when they talk about the safety of the Internet and security.
And we will learn from Mr. Deborah Bergamini, chair of the subcommittee on media of the association of the Council of Europe, how the council endeavors to answer these questions, especially about the safety of children and also safety of the end-users as a whole, chair, subcommittee on media and information society. We will talk about how young people get their citizenship as a birthright. But it’s not always easy, because cyberspace can be a challenging environment for someone who is growing up into it.
And Mrs. Kimberly Sanchez, from Microsoft, is Director of Online Safety, and she will give us a preview of a 25 nation survey that has been done on cyberbullying.
On a more positive side, we have Mr. Silvio Heinze from Youth Press Europe on new opportunities for young digital journalists.
Mr. Sebastian Bachollet is the ICANN director who is elected by Internet users at large, and he will say a few words about how the voice of end-users is brought to bear within ICANN, where many other powerful constituencies are competing in making policy, as you well now.
Finally, Mr. Jyrki Kasvi, Director of Research and Development for the Finnish Center for Information Society Development Centre,
So let’s get going.
Mrs. Andersdotter, please.
>> AMELIA ANDERSDOTTER: I was asked to recap this idea of geographical versus identities that people apply in their lives. It’s not from me, because like many other people I hear people talk about a lot of different things relating to the Internet. And this was a very adequate description of new social communities and new social relationships that we build in our day-to-day lives. The Internet, and the digital environment, provides us in means we really haven’t had before to build biographical identities with peers from all over the world, rather than having the geographically limited relationships with peers in our close environments that may have been a norm in the past. And this brings a number of challenges for citizens and also, of course, as I’m experiencing now, for legislators. Essentially, information is the key tool that we use to form an identity for our cultural identity. For our personal identity, we use information, culture, we have our private data.
The Internet has provided us with tools to increase the amount of culture, and with that we are able to communicate within and with the outside world. And that provides severe challenges to the regulatory system which is still largely geographically dependent. What does it mean to have autonomy over your personal data when you use communication technologies? Clearly we cannot control so much in Europe what is done with data on American servers. We have seen this with private data where say the American or Chinese have jurisdiction, they are under someone else’s control, even though we feel it’s our personal data.
Even if we communicate with someone located in the American or Australian jurisdiction, we would feel that this is a personal relationship.
So for the European institutions that have a high ambition with data protection, this applies big challenges. How can we make sure that we maintain a level of control for our users that they expect in relation to these jurisdictional problems? This is also something that you see a lot in cultural rights, particularly with Intellectual Property, which is very nation state dependent actually. It only exists inside of the state that grants it, more or less, and you can only have as much power over it as the nation state in which you are based.
At the same time, people see their cultural relationships and the way they want to communicate it as something highly International, and they perceive it on a personal level. I think also what I observe is that this greatly stresses the regulators. For regulators or legislators who are comfortable working in their boundaries, they cannot always make International agreements. This is a big challenge, which is just coming to some kind of conflict point. So, the last two or three years I think we have seen in ways that we didn’t really anticipate communication technologies changing societies very, very radically. And it’s very clear that the personal data issues, cultural issues, other communication rights have been politicized in a way that maybe wasn’t even necessary in the past.
So maybe I should start off by saying that the big challenge for the digital citizen debate is how to create a stakeholder’s base for the biographical groups which is largely independent of geographical territory, versus a legislative which is confined to geographical limits. How can we make it work for everyone?
It’s not an issue where I have necessarily all of the right answers, but I think this would be a good starting point for discussion about the digital citizenship and how that can be exercised.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Thank you. Any reactions? Comments so far before we go on to the fine present? Jyrki? Any ideas?
>> JYRKI KASVI: Well, as you mentioned, people don’t necessarily identify them anymore as Finns or as Swedes but as belonging to a cultural group that is actually global. And when you think about what happened whenAl Queda attacked the United States, it was a global culture, a military conflict with a nation state.
Animals is another one where people connected with ideas and values, and methods of working, and then being – and being in conflict with, for example, nation test states, corporations, even military organisations. So, I think in the future, we shall see more and more of this. Probably we will see, for example, a military conflict between two global network cultures that are based on value identity instead of geographical accidents.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Intergalactic wars.
>> JYRKI KASVI: They are value wars.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Any other reactions, comments, questions?
All right. So, let’s go to the next topics under this umbrella concept of digital citizenship. That is to say we have certain rights as digital citizens, but we quite easily just sign off, sign them away. And Par?
>> PAR LANNERO: Let’s see if there are images here. I want to talk about terms and conditions. Because that is one area where being a digital citizen is different from being an ordinary citizen. What happens when you go from off line to online? Well, on one side here, you can see entering a subway train. What rules or terms and conditions apply? You can see some of the rules. You cannot smoke on the train, for example.
What happens when you enter an online system? Communication system? Like my iPhone. Well, I have to agree to terms that are 62 pages. That’s very hard to grasp. Most people don’t even read them. But we have to agree.
Entering into a shop or restaurant, as this is, you can see how payments can be made. Those are the most important rules or terms and conditions in the restaurant. If you enter a shop online, you have to agree to the purchase terms that are usually full of disclaimers and things like that. And you check the box and say I read and agreed, but you really didn’t, did you?
How about work sites? This picture is from a construction site. You can see even if you don’t understand Swedish that you need a helmet to enter.
And the last example, after work, perhaps you need to watch your clothes, you can see the terms and conditions for washing. There is a standardized language for that, with symbols that most people understand.
Something else you may do after work is log on to Facebook, and most of you did, I guess. So you all accepted the terms. How many of you read the terms?
(Showing of hands)
There are actually two or three hands, four. Well done.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Pretty good.
>> PAR LANNERO: But I’m sorry to say that they probably changed after you read them.
If you look at Twitter and ask people what is the biggest lie ever, you can find every – now and then people say well, agreeing to these terms and saying that you read them. That is the biggest lie in the universe, and this happens every few minutes, people react to this. This is the biggest lie.
And lying is bad. We should stop lying. People should not need to lie about this, I think. Because users can get exploited and the users don’t know the rules, so they may not use the services to their full extent, and some people don’t want to accept the terms that they haven’t read, so they get excluded. They are not part of the digital society. And there are several other problems as well.
And we use a few symbols. This is just a draft. We’re doing alpha testing of this right now in an Austrian company. Just to give you an example of what it could look like to have a preview of the terms.
And website owners can produce this kind of a preview by filling out a form. And we want to have standard topics, standard ordering, standard icons, standard formulations so that you can understand easily. But of course not every website is the same, and there will be need for nonstandard parts as well. So we are working on how can we combine recognizable standard things with flexibility. It’s a big task but we’re working on it.
So we have been doing this since 2010. We released the alpha version in January of this year. We have been testing it now, and friends of mine over there have been doing user studies, and we will improve the proposals. And I want from you to give me feedback. And I want to find people who want to share this work and join this task.
Do you want to get involved? Or do you know anybody else who wants to get involved? Please contact me afterwards. If you have design ideas or if you may have an idea for a better solution, please talk to me either today or Tuesday. If you understand Swedish, you can join the workshop hosted by ISOC here in Stockholm, or you can contact us online.
Thank you very much.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Thank you very much.
Any comments? Any other solutions as you asked?
>> JYRKI KASVI: I think there is the same thing here as it was about this identity, that it was so easy when this is based on geography. But when we are not limited to geography, we have to do everything by a contract.
Now, the other side is writing the contracts for us, we are not – we are not in genuine negotiation when we are making these contracts. We are just signing them, pressing a button and saying that okay, if there is some conflict in the future, I will go to court in Macedonia, for example.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Yes. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: Bretrand de la Chapelle. One question to you, it looks like a wonderful initiative. What are your connections or contacts with the main platforms and what kind of reception do you get on this? That is the first point, like the Facebook, the Twitter and so on.
And the second question is, what are your discussions, if any, with groups like Electronic Frontier Foundation or APIC that have worked on the types of closers that they would like to see? And I think there is a nice complementarity between the two exercises.
>> PAR LANNERO: First of all, everything that I understand about this, they understand the problem. It’s easy to get people to recognize the situation where you accept without reading and to see the problem.
Secondly, when it comes to cooperation with existing initiatives, during our first year we have been surfing the net to see what have other people done? For example, the EFF you mentioned, they have a service called Tossback, which monitors terms and conditions and reports changes. So you can subscribe to changes. And that is a very nice service. Right now it’s not up and running, but they are working on the second version to put up again. And there are maybe a dozen other projects that do something similar, and I try to keep in touch with all of them. And we cooperate, for example, within a mailing list that the Bergman center at Harvard hosts, it’s called the VRM project, for vendor relationship management.
This is a reaction to the customer relationship management that the companies have when they want to control their customers. And the idea is that customers should also control the vendors. So that is why the focus is on vendor – or relationship management. So we try to cooperate – and again I invite you to contact me or the project members afterwards, because this is a big task, and it’s going to take a number of years.
>> AUDIENCE: Do the forums themselves, how do they react?
>> PAR LANNERO: We didn’t reach out to the major vendors yet, because we want to work on a suggestion that is good enough before we propose that they use it.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. I’m if Wolfgang Benedict from the University of Gratz. Before the lunch break we had a session on Internet users’ rights. And one of the problems discussed there was actually how to make Internet users and users of these various services aware of their rights. And when I looked at your project, I had the feeling that this is something which could also help in this context. And so I was just wondering if you have already put some thought on this issue of the rights of the users. Thank you.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Okay. Thank you. I think that we have to rush ahead.
Safety has been talked about at this conference a lot, so much that some people call it the “S” word. And, of course, safety in the digital world, safety in the real world, is a great subject, also.
First, let’s take a look at what people outside this hall are saying. That is to say, we have a short video produced by the new media school students who have been here for some time. So please run the video.
>> So much attention is drawn to the Internet now that it has become an important issue for society and politicians in the last few years, almost setting the agenda. It’s a political issue. But political not in the sense of politician, you know. In French we call them unpolitic. Like a political man, somebody whose life is to go into the business of politics, it’s the other way around. It’s the Greek approach of citizens caring about the life of the city.
>> We have to bear in mind that what has made the Internet so much of a really success is that we have been not putting too many regulations in place in order to foster the development.
>> I think the Internet created this environment, it’s not – it’s more than simply a network. It’s a way for networks to interconnect each other and for users to connect to these networks, and the two to communicate with the people all around the world. So, again, if we’re using this big richness, also from a technological perspective, it would be really a big loss.
>> I think we would need to be really, really careful to not put too many legislations into place, because then we will limit the development.
>> So the Government intervention I guess is the biggest threat to the Internet arena.
>> I would say with digital identity, like with most of the safety concerns, users should be informed, educated, different options should be available, and there should be transparency in how this works and what purposes it serves.
>> So it’s about people caring about their society and people caring about ultimately changing the world. And this is what we can do with the Internet.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: All right. Our thanks to New Media Summer School.
And now, the boys in the court of the Council of Europe, the subcommittee on media and information society of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, you are going to have a session very soon, and you are going to treat, among other things, of course, the subject of safety on the Internet. Please.
>> DEBORAH BERGAMINI: You are right. I’ve been here for the two-day conference and have been attentive along the panels and the workshops. And it’s true that the word “Safety,” the concept itself of safety has been very present, one of the main issues, probably the main one.
And this morning at the plenary session, I was very impressed by a very simple definition – because we’re talking about simplification as well, aren’t we, in this session – that one of the younger speakers gave of safety. She said “for me, safety is full knowledge.” And I thought that that’s really a very good definition of safety. Because at the Council of Europe, we have more and more to deal with Internet related issues. It’s a growingly important part of our work in the Commissions of the Council of Europe. And one of the issues of course dealing with human rights is safety.
Now, allow me just to give you – probably most of you know very much the Council of Europe, but I always think that it’s not well-known enough the work that we’re doing over there.
The Council of Europe is made up of 47 Member States. Very different one from the other, because we’re going from Finland to Turkey to Azerbaijan to Portugal. Different cultures, different views, different everything. 47 countries, up to 800 million citizens represented.
What concerns the issue of the Internet Governance? We try to apply a very simple standard, which is maximizing rights, minimising restrictions, which sounds perfectly feasible when written, a little bit more difficult when we have to put together all the differences, all the different points of view concerning matters regarding the Internet.
And that is why especially concerning the safety issue, we have decided, the Council of Europe has decided, to do something that in my opinion is very much needed at this time, after many years of development of the Web, of the net. That is, trying to build up a compendium of existing Internet rights. We know already, and that has been already discussed in these days, we know that it will be a very difficult, complicated work.
Nobody knows, in fact, how many and which are existing rights concerning citizens for what regards the Internet. Certainly we tend to think and we tend to believe and we tend to want that human rights as they are in the known digital world are the same in the digital world. But, the – our own personal and as citizens, as users, relation to the Internet requires – poses us new challenges, especially in terms of safety.
So I believe that this idea of composing this compendium with all the contributions – and I’m already inviting you to come and be listened to during the work of my Commission, in order for you to explain to all the members of the Commission your idea. I think that with all the possible openings to the different segments, that the forum, an Internet citizen, let’s call, we could reasonably do a very good job.
At the same time, the Council of Europe has been already working of course on issues related to the Internet, especially regarding three aspects. One is cybercrime. We have already delivered a Convention against cybercrime.
Another one is – concerns the protection of data online.
And the third one, a one that we cherish very much, is a Convention against child abuse, especially over the Internet.
Now, those three Conventions have been signed by Member States of the Council of Europe. It is important that the Council of Europe, through its intergovernmental and interparliamentary function, works on a sort of moral assuasion to put pressure on States in order for them to develop an awareness that there are solutions to the problems posted by the Internet. There are solutions.
And the last thing I want to say, just the last thing, is that these three Conventions are open, of course, also to the signature of known Member States of the Council of Europe. They are open and they can be considered a good shared basis on how to resolve those questions that are being addressed.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Now, this Compendium of rights in different member countries, is the idea that they somehow could be harmonized later on? You know? Learning from best practices and all of that?
>> DEBORAH BERGAMINI: Yes, thank you, of course. We have to do that. We cannot expect digital citizens to become experts in laws or human rights. We cannot expect that.
With all due respect to the industry, with all due respect to everybody’s sensibilities and priorities, we have to do the job for them. We have to do the job.
Again, when we get back to the concept of safety, I ask myself very often what do I consider safe when I’m getting access to the Internet? First of all, that I can get access to the Internet. And it is something that here is clear. But, for example, I come from Italy, a country that is the oldest country in the world, because we have a very long average expectation of life, and children are not so many. We are 61 millions. And only half of us get access to the Internet. So we have, first of all, before we start, a problem of digital access to citizens who have no digital access.
After that, I believe that safety for me is when I access the Internet, I am aware of what I’m doing. I am aware. I don’t expect anybody else to tell me. I am aware of what I’m doing, with who, according to which settings. And in the expectation that my freedom is not harmed, and I am not harming any others’ freedom.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Yes. Okay. Any reactions, any comments or questions?
If – yes, please.
>> AMELIA ANDERSDOTTER: So maybe I could add here that I’m not sure it’s really useful to harmonize digital rights at this time, because this is still very much a live debate in the citizen layer, like the user layer, to get in touch with these technologies. And I think we come back a bit in the jurisdictional issue. So the problem is is the Internet a public space or is it not a public space? I think most users see the Internet as a public space, but they are the citizens that constitute this environment, where yes, in fact, the previous session we had before lunch on this hall on Net Neutrality shows that most of the owners of the infrastructure, the service providers, do not consider it the public space and we haven’t had any Government representatives coming out defending the Internet as a public interaction space for citizens at this time. This has not been advocated anywhere so far. So I think this is where we need to target first. We can establish the Internet as a public space where everyone is allowed to be. And then we can start defining our common rights and responsibilities inside of that public space.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Thank you. Yes.
>> DEBORAH BERGAMINI: Yes, I think in the end that should be attention. But if we want to be realistic, we are not able today to harmonize whatsoever in the Internet. It’s a very long type of pathway.
You’re absolutely right on the concept of public space. Public space means that it’s accessible by everybody. And again there are countries which are far from there, even in Europe. That’s why I was giving the example of my country. We still are striving with a huge serious problem of digital divide when we have people who are not able to access. And we know very well as legislators that the risk that those people would be out of that public space forever if we don’t do something in terms of education and development, and technological development, as soon as possible.
So there is also a risk, not every one of course, but in some States in this countries, where before geographical or nongeographical citizenship, some people will be just out of what we intend today as citizenship. So first we will have – that’s why we have different speeds, different priorities. And that is why it’s so difficult. And that is why it’s so important the work that the Council of Europe is doing, putting together different priorities of different States and trying to offer a solution that is as open as possible. Again maximising rights, but minimising restrictions or limits.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Thank you. Let’s move ahead. We will still stay with the subject of safety, as it interacts another issue that has been discussed here, that is to say youth, digital natives and all that. And Ms. Kimberly Sanchez from Microsoft online safety will talk about the study that Microsoft has made in 25 countries, and it’s going to be published in a week’s time, but she has kindly promised to give us a preview. So please, let’s have the second set of slides.
>> KIMBERLY SANCHEZ: There are a lot of different things that encompass digital citizenship. For us, it’s really making sure that our consumer, people that use our products, know that we have a commitment to building a safer and more trusted Internet, and that includes efforts to advocate for online safety and to foster this notion of digital citizenship, which is the responsible and appropriate use of technology.
Three components when we think of digital citizenship. It includes literacy, etiquette, and ethics. So our approach, broadly, we try to build technology solutions into our products where possible, where it makes sense. We have a lot of education and guidance that we prepare for consumers to use. And I’ll show you at the end of the slide deck where you can find all of this information.
And lastly, but most importantly, it’s the partnerships that we have with other industry players, with NGOs, civil society, with Government, with law enforcement, that help to get this notion of education awareness out there.
We can’t do this alone. We know that people don’t always come to Microsoft to find out how to be safer online, so we have to partner with others to go to where our people are.
Today instead of talking fully about the concept of digital citizenship, I’ll share with you the global youth online behavior survey that we will be releasing on the 26th of June. And this was a glimpse into how youth are treating each other online in 25 different countries, focused on kids 8 to 17 years of age, and what they are experiencing.
And when we think of the term “cyberbullying,” it’s not necessarily a term that translates into all of these countries. So we didn’t actually ask that term. And then again when we think about the range of meanness and cruelty online, we think of it as a spectrum, where meanness is the teasing, the name-calling, and poking fun at people. And then it goes into bullying, cruelty, and even harassment at the far end of the spectrum. So our survey really focused on have you experienced meanness? Have you had unfriendly treatment? Have you been made fun of or teased and have you been called names? And we asked this, have you done this or been a receiver of this type of information?
I also want to talk about terminology, since this is a theme that I picked up on here at conference. The word “safety.” I was very surprised yesterday to hear some of the reaction to that, and it was great and very eye opening. And the same thing with the term “bullying.” We found through some of our academic research, with the Microsoft research team, with Dana Boyd and others, in America, how do they feel about the use of the term of “bullying?” They say it doesn’t happen to us, that is what happens to little kids. That is in the past.
Well, do you have meanness going on? Is there conflict? Yes, there is a lot of drama. We have lots of drama at school, for example, and then they go on and give an example. But they said it’s drama, it’s not bullying. It’s not an empowering word.
So we have to think about how we characterize these words especially when it comes to youth.
Now, for the data. What our survey recipients told us is that 37 percent, they have experienced this online meanness. 24 percent of kids said they have been mean to somebody else online. Again, kind of the teasing. And 54 percent worry about being bullied. I think this was the eye opening thing. And I don’t think it’s terribly new to know that kids can be mean to each other and they may not treat each other well at times, but the notion that they were worried about being bullied.
The global perspective is Europe kind of fell in the middle of all of that, and France, their numbers are hard to see, but 23 percent said they experienced this mean behavior. 39 in Germany. Italy was 28 percent. Norway 35. Poland 40 percent and then Spain 37. So that is kind of our Europe sample.
Where we found that kids were experiencing the most meanness online was China. Singapore, India, followed by Argentina, Russia and Turkey. And the below average rates were coming from middle eastern countries.
So this notion that kids are really worried about being bullied online probably shouldn’t be surprising, because it’s hard to tune into the Internet, to a newspaper, whatever it is, wherever you get your news, without seeing some sort of story of some very bad behavior that goes on. And we certainly have seen some very tragic stories about kids committing suicide, and that’s certainly an extreme behavior. But there is a lot of media frenzy on these issues, and I don’t think that helps the notion. So it’s really no wonder that they are concerned.
But what they told us is that only 29 percent of the parents have talked to the kids about these issues; again, of our survey respondents. And this was market research, this was not deep academic research. And there wasn’t any common steps that parents took to help address these issues. Oftentimes parents and adults really don’t know what to do. So I feel that that is part of the role that we can play is to help parents along with these issues.
And only 5 percent of the kids who took the survey said that their parents had engaged with schools when an online bullying issue arose. And not very many parents have a clear set of rules of how to deal with the behavior, the online behaviors.
Okay. I forgot to build the slide. Sorry about that.
So when we release this information on the 26th of June, we will be giving some resources to people as well. And we will have this online bullying widget that people can take. It’s a quiz. It’s really aimed at adults to know the types of things that they need to look for with the kids that are in their lives, and the types of things that they can do to help kids get through the issues. Sometimes the adults feel they need to go to the police, and if the kids’ physical safety is in danger, absolutely. Oftentimes that makes things worse. And so we want to make sure that parents have strategies to deal with it, and the appropriate responses for some of these issues.
Then our approach is to also make sure that anybody has these tools available. This is our digital citizenship in action toolkit. This is a version with the CD-ROM. You can get all of this information, and it has guidance on how to deal with not only online meanness, but all types of online safety issues, and making sure that the seniors in your lives are connecting safely and what have you. And here we have videos and brochures, PowerPoints, you name it. But this is all free and it’s a resource to use, please do use it.
You also will find kind of the call to action for all of these audiences here.
And just lastly, this is our resources page, where you can find all of the content that I’ve just mentioned. And you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook and watch our videos. So I encourage you to use all of this. We make it for everyone.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Thank you.
Yes? There is a question here.
Do we have – okay. Okay.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi. I’m Leticia from the European Youth Forum. My question is kind of – I mean, it’s kind of more of a remark or a reminder. Like, again, is digital citizenship or – yes, or our identity online defined by how safe we feel online? Because here is – I mean, I’m sorry to go back to the “S” word debate, but this is what is going on also on Twitter, on every single panel that we have seen. We come back to this eternal question of – and I was hoping that maybe this panel would be able to go a bit farther and go more into the empowerment part and what kind of innovation can digital identities bring. And I do share your comment on the fact that we need to work on digital accessibility. But I still think that also those citizens that do not access Internet right now, do not access digital environments right now, their identities are also defined by the fact that our world, in spite of them, is becoming digital. So even the ones that are left behind have their identities defined by being left behind.
So I would like to hear a little bit more what we can do to enhance our digital citizenship, instead of going back to the safety again.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: I think we will come to that later in the panel. But before, I would like to – I know that we have at least one remote participant. And he is online, phone line, from Brussels. David Miles, Director of Europe, Middle East Africa area of the Family Online Safety Institute.
>> DAVID MILES. So thank you for inviting me today. I’m really – what I wanted to do was I wanted to talk about perhaps a new perspective on digital, which actually speaks to some contributions of Iran. We are big advocates as a policy framework for bringing people together, for law enforcement, teachers, parents and kids, and of course the Internet industry. And Microsoft and Google and others are loyal members of our organisation.
And the thing that we have done with digital citizenship is when we take it out to young people – and Kim and I were in Nairobi in November, and one of the interesting things that comes back is that people find it hard to relate to an idea. They understand the concept of being able to take responsibilities off line and online, they understand that logic and the empowerment of that, but they are reticent to regard it. In fact, in the scoring system at IGF, many people rated the benefit as a five out of ten. So that really baffled me in terms of what was really applying.
And in my travels, when testing some young people – and what came back to me was startling – was that if you go to developed countries, many don’t have the same notion of citizenship so maybe their ideas are not the same in the off line and online world. So in developing countries, citizenship is different. So that is quite a challenge. I also think what it also points to well is that we have seen teachers from Europe, Africa, a breakdown, and the way that people operate. And a new generation is coming through much more peer-to-peer and taking a very different perspective. So what I just wanted to add was what we’re beginning to see is a kind of new literacy in which computer technology is just part.
And the terms were put to me by a leading literacy expert is the real terms (inaudible)
Now, the challenges that education is facing is that there are poorer attention spans, there are issues in the classroom, as youngsters are no longer happy just to receive knowledge. And so there will need to be fundamental changes in the way things are taught. And that children are going to be a much larger part of future education, which I think is hugely exciting.
So what are the implications for guidance for online safety? Well, I think, and this is really important, some of the literacy experts are now talking about the importance of digital or just general subcultures. What I mean by that is teaching through the age and stage development levels of a child all the way from school age to teens. So think Harry Potter, Hunger Game, World of War Craft, and others, and start to teach guidance through those subcultures to youngsters on their terms, rather than trying to teach them through books and through the normal way of society.
So that subculture thinking is being developed progressively in some schools amongst literary experts. And what it also talks to is the fact that digital citizenship is going to have to be more of a one-to-one relationship in terms of guidance, rather than a one-to-many. And I think that would lead back to social media and other technology that is changing the dynamics of the way that people interact. So we will have to relook at citizenship and we will have to look at what Kim pointed out earlier, the terminology that youngsters use. It’s different in this generation.
So I hope you find that useful.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Thank you very much. And we will continue on that theme. First a comment from here and then we will go on.
>> PETER MATJASIC: I think it’s great what Microsoft is doing on that. But building on what was said, I think when we talk about youth, like when we talk about safety, we had different notions of how we define youth. And I think what I said yesterday morning, it’s important to keep in mind that everybody under 18 by law is considered children still. We don’t think that, and in terms of online behavior of certain youth or youngsters, that doesn’t necessarily apply. So we have to redefine that. So I think when we talk about, and you said 8 to 17 in your survey, and that’s already quite a big range.
My question to you is, as Microsoft in that particular project, do you plan or do you already distinguish within that group between different approaches on how to do things, and thus for you digital citizenship? And I subscribe to your digital ethics or literacy, what you mentioned, but to me they apply to youth empowerment. And I’m thinking 16 to 30 year olds that need that kind of empowerment. And Arab Spring wouldn’t happen with an 8 year old being protected. But it’s focused on 16-year-olds who are able to use it as digital citizens.
So if Microsoft does something or differentiates or has parallel programmes to target the other audience, that would be great.
>> KIMBERLY SANCHEZ: This was a market research survey, 500 participants in each the countries, for a total of 12,500 total. And we didn’t make that differentiation. But you’re right. It’s different for an 8 year old to 17 year old. I understand that. This was just a quick snapshot. We see a lot of research that comes out of the U.S, maybe UK, Australia on these types of issues, but we don’t have a glimpse into other parts of the world. We conducted it just to get an overview. As Microsoft, we don’t have services aimed at very young kids. Some of the other groups you might find here. But you’re right, generally speaking, we believe in education in the schools and that is something that we push. And support the notion of digital citizenship, digital literacy should be taught in our schools.
That is not always easy I know at least in the U.S. Teachers have a lot of requirements, and they say why do I do this? It’s interesting, some of the teachers think it’s the parents’ job, some of the parents think it’s the teachers’ job. So it’s hard. But you’re right, there is a complete different, you know, culture between all the ages. And it’s – we have to address all of it.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: In order not to speak just about the safety, and of course “safety” implies that there are threats that you have to be safe from, but of course Internet and the digital world, there is also an opportunity.
And we have Silvio Heinze here from Youth Press Europe talking about the opportunities and resources and tools that the digital world opens to young journalists. Please.
>> SILVIO HEINZE: I’m part of an organisation in Europe. I represent 50,000 young journalists in Europe. And of course we are part of the European Youth Forum and organizing the New Media Summer School as a way for youths to participate here in EuroDIG.
First of all, I would like to say that I was a bit happy about the comment from David Miles, because before I was disappointed on what was said here in this panel, except from the introduction from Amelia, because I was just hearing the old way of thinking. There was an online and off line world and there was a big divide. And we have to save all of our children from all of the dangers there are on this online world, this mysterious way in the world.
And I mean, for example, when I saw the presentation on Microsoft, you know, I was asking myself how many are afflicted by off line bullying? And I wouldn’t make this divide between online and off line bullying. I would say about what is in general the issue? And then I think that young people have a different mindset. It’s not that we are living in an online world, it’s more that we live a different lifestyle, how we are using tools, how we interact to each other.
And, yes, and for illustrating this a bit, let me let me tell you a story. I read it today. It’s from Martha Payne from Scotland. She is nine years old. And she is a primary school student, and she had some troubles with the school meals, and so she decided to start blogging about it, about school meals. So each day she went to school with a camera, took a photo, and then published on the Internet, and to start discussing about it. And she said okay, she created something what she has called a food-o-meter. She said how healthy she thinks this is and also the price. And after a month she got over millions of readers from all over the world interested in the life of this little nine year old girl in Scotland.
I say this is one example, how media, journalists and the digital lifestyle is changing.
I think young people or youth are willing to have more transparency and more active participation in society. And so I think it’s also really hard for me coming from a journalistic background to say how media is changing, because everyone can be a journalist today, can be engaged in active conversation online by publishing their own points of view. This is one reason why there is citizen journalism.
And I think it’s an important thing that young people don’t want to be just consumers anymore. They want to have active participation in society and through the Internet.
And a second thing I want to tell you about, I mean, when I was young, younger, I was doing a school magazine, of course, and we had always a lot of troubles finding enough money for printing it. And last year, I did a small workshop with high school students to create a magazine and so on. And they invited me, and I talked a bit about them. And they told me they’re not printing it anymore. Because why to print it? It’s just expensive. They have to do a lot of resources into getting money for printing it. And they are publishing it online and also trying to get into discussions with the other students at school. And so they are having debates online about what is going on about the, what, the changes of the teacher, and so on. And they are using this as a collaboration and active discussion. And I think this is really also something which is really important, that young people want to have not just participation, they want to have collaboration. You know, they are more networked, and of course over the country borders. Like was said in the beginning.
And I think also they are focused much more on connections between than on financial issues, like was said yesterday in one of the panels.
And I would like to give you a third example of how media and journalism changes a bit, by the example of Nicola. Five years ago, I would have named him a computer nerd. But now, he is a data driven journalist. What he does is, to use all the data which is available on the Internet, the school opened that and other initiatives and put it together to tell a story with this. And of course he uses other technologies and other collaboration features just to create these stories. So it’s a new way of journalism and we are currently, which is more collaborative – which is more interactive, and which I consider finally really using online in a journalistic sense. Journalism before was just publishing the article, which was printed before just online. And I think young people have a really big part of this.
But, I mean, when I say what they’re doing and how they are actively participating, I think there is a really central point and this is access.
And I would also agree with the Council of Europe that access is really, really one of the central points. I think it’s also really important to demand this as a fundamental digital right to create this public sphere in the Internet, this public area. Because I mean to be honest, it is a public space. And but for having this public space, we need the right for accessing this public space and as less as possible interference from private companies into this public space.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Thank you very much and thank you for the examples. Let’s hope that there is a future Facebook, you know, growing up somewhere else. I didn’t see – I hope that your comment is to –
>> AUDIENCE: Bertrand de la Chapelle. It’s a nice segue. I wanted to piggyback on the notion of citizenship. When we talk about it in the traditional sense, it’s usually related to a country, like your nationality and identity. It’s attached to your rights and responsibilities that are determined by law, and this includes political rights, right to vote, right to participate in the life of the country. And, in particular, to participate in the definition of the social contract, which is the law of the country.
However, on the cyberspace, we have actually potentially, haven’t we, several citizenships when we go on one platform, we go under a certain name that we have chosen, and we can display a different identity on another platform. And the rights and responsibilities that we have on those platforms are largely determined by the terms of service of those platforms, which actually represent or should represent the social contract of those digital spaces or digital territories.
Which goes in the direction of what both Amelia and the last speaker mentioned about cyberspace and the Internet as a public space. I’m not sure or I would like to say that I’m not sure I completely agree with the fact that cyberspace is one single space. Actually, there are many spaces, and some of them are private. The funny thing about those private spaces is that they do have a public dimension as well.
An analogy that somebody gave to me is that if you have a shop in a street, it is a privately owned and managed shop. However, it has a public space dimension for things that may happen in that shop that are different from what may happen in your apartment on a completely private space. And I wonder whether the cyberspace one is actually a collection of spaces with variable public dimensions, rather than one single space.
And, second, when we talk about citizenship, we are not actually or we shouldn’t be talking about how users can or could or should participate in the elaboration and the refinement of the terms of service that apply to those digital spaces.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Well, thank you. With this notion of public space, actually, it goes also to public interest, which the institutions are supposed to serve. Of course, ICANN, this form of public interest has been discussed in ICANN, as you know. It’s part of the affirmation of commitments and so on and so forth. And Sebastian Bachollet is, of course, one ICANN director who represents at large, that is to say 2.7 billion people.
But a few thoughts from that end, about the citizenship. I mean, it’s – what rights the citizens should have as regards the Internet?
>> SEBASTIAN BACHOLLET: I would like to start with Carl Bildt, because this morning he told us that he was involved ten years ago in the ICANN arena after he was first minister and before he became foreign affair minister. He was the chair of a group in ICANN who were in charge of taking care of how we organise the at-large participation, that is the participation of end-users. And we must thank him. Because if some of us are here involved in ICANN, it’s because of the work he was doing with this group ten years ago. It allows through the role of ICANN to decide the creation at-large. I like at-large, (inaudible) who was in charge of setting up this part of the organisation to give the voice to end-users. It was a very complicated work. It took time. It took five years to allow in 2007 to have more than 18, 19 organisations at the local level who were both to join at the original level and now we have five regional organisations who take care of giving the voice of the end-users.
It’s interesting to know that the goal of this is building up the experiences and views of the at-large community. It facilitates inclusive participation of the general Internet user worldwide, aggregates inputs and brings their voice to bear in all ICANN matters.
And even if it was a long journey to arrive today with real at-large organized at different levels, and you have seen at the end of 2010 finally one representative – I can’t say one representative, I’ll be sticking my fingers if I say that. But to have someone who came from this part of the world who was supposed to come for the end-user and who was elected to the board at the end. I had the honor to be this one elected. I tried to represent the end-user. I don’t think that I can, because 2 billion or more than 2 billion, it’s not possible to represent that just with one people. But I hope that the other Board Members and all the participants of ICANN are doing that.
What do we bring to the question of citizenship? It’s that one part of the Internet is taken care of by ICANN. And to be taken care in the best way for end-users, we need the voice of end users. And we need more end-user participation. And I would like to take this opportunity to ask every one of you to think about are you a member of an organisation in your country who could become or who is a member or who could become a member of this at-large world? I hope that young people will join. We need more.
And in this room we have a lot of people helping with that, from the chair of ALAC, from the chair of EUralo here, and representatives from different countries. And what is important is that when you are participating to ICANN, you are not just participating to that. We are not splitting our world and saying you must do that and not that. We are trying to participate in various places. In IGF, it’s a EuroDIG here in Europe, it’s really a very important forum.
But at the same time, to have our voice or the voice of end users really heard, we need to have more power. And I will take two examples. So the first one is that when the reviews started about the at-large, the reviewers said you need to have two seats on the board. The board is 16 voting members, and five years – I don’t want to enter too much into these details. The goal was to have two and we finally get one. So it’s really difficult, for example, if you want to have some gender balance when you have one, you have just one. And when you want more representation by a different part of the world, it’s also difficult. We need to still work on that to be able to have more voice.
And the second is that when you look, there are two advisory Committees within the organisation who are really cross organisations. There is the Governmental Advisory Committee, GAC, who also claim to be the voice of the citizen. And we can argue on that. But they are one part of the voice. But I like the other one. Except that when the GAC gives advice, the board must take them into account. When ALAC gives advice, they can take into account. And it’s where equal footing, it’s not yet here. We have still some way to go, some enhancement to allow this equal footing. And I was not talking about all the people who are there to represent moneymakers in this organisation, because it will take me one hour to explain to you why it’s – we really need your participation, because they have the power and we need to take it from them and from the rest of the organisation.
I wanted to finish with something outside of ICANN. The model of ISOC Internet is for everybody. I hope that one day we will also be able to say Internet, it’s by everybody, and everybody it’s you.
And my last last point is that I am very surprised in these two days that nobody talked about peace. In this world we are talking about a lot of things, but I really feel that more important, it’s a world of peace. And I hope that Internet could be a tool to help us to come to a peace world and not a world with so much war.
Thank you very much.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Thank you, Sebastian.
We have ten minutes time before we should end. And I would like to ask Jyrki to spend those ten minutes by pulling all these different threads together. We have had this discussion, and perhaps adding a few thoughts of your own. Thank you.
>> JYRKI KASVI: Thank you. That’s quite a challenge, because there were so many different perspectives on citizens in cyberspace. But there was one word, actually, that came up every time I think in each and every representations in some form. Because if you talk about, use the word “Internet user,” then you’re talking about the private space. We are talking about contract-based relationships with the ISPs. But if we talk about Internet citizens, then we see Internet as a public space where the citizens interact and have these platforms of communication and forming communities.
And when we are talking about public citizenry, we are very easily talking about legislation instead of contract-based relations.
So maybe the first thing we should do is stop using the word, the concept of “Internet users,” but start talking about the “Internet citizens.”
Probably being an Internet citizen is not easy. It’s not a trivial thing. So growing up, to be a member or citizen, it takes years and it takes years to become active in the Internet citizens. And from the children’s perspective, we can think it’s easy, because we can grow them from scratch. We can educate them. The trouble is that at the moment, children are growing up quite alone. They are making this Information Society and this world by themselves, because their parents and educators are not up to the task. They don’t know how they should be adults for the children. Because there are quite a few students that pointed out that when children have problems in the Web, there are two people they do not talk to: Mother and father. Because their gut reaction, when they hear that their child has been harassed or their identity has been stolen, of course they say that you won’t go to the Web anymore or they restrict the Web use, which is of course total exclusion from their social networks. A punishment. Parents are punishing their children.
I didn’t get the name of the person who was addressing from the Web, but it was quite interesting to see how he saw that we should use youth culture as a means to teach our kids. The trouble is, movies like the Harry Potter, they have quite high age limitations. Young children are not allowed to see some of the latest Harry Potter movies, or are we again lying to ourselves like we do when it comes to Facebook? Oh, no, my son is on Facebook but he lies about his age. Facebook is where social networking takes place and where they grow up.
One of the things that people should learn, like Amelia pointed out, is to build up these identities. And in this world probably people will have several of them. One will be based on geography. One will be based on, for example, my hobbies. So when seven years ago when my son was born, I got back from the hospital and then I logged on to the Web to tell my friends online with whom I was playing online games, for example. And only when I had told them a healthy boy and blah, blah, blah, then I called my friends who were living in the Helsinki area who happened to be in the same area as me. But the trick here is how to be a parent in a world like this when you do not understand what is going on. For example, when your child comes home and tells you that his identity has been stolen in Runkuist and he is crying his eyes out because he spent hours and hours and weeks and months building that, or that my furniture has been stolen in Hubotle, again what is the point? It’s just virtual furniture. But it’s not only virtual furniture for him or her. What should a parent could? Discuss what went wrong with the protection of identity and data and find out where the mistake was, and then educate the child don’t do these mistakes again? So how many parents, you know, okay, to people present excluded, but how many people you know who are able to do that in terms that a ten-year-old can understand? Because that is being a parent nowadays. That is growing up a child for the Swedish space.
One thing is how we built this social capital that is required, because there are, for example, we all know this problem we have with Internet discussions, how they get very easily overheated, and how there are people who are quite social when we are talking face-to-face. But you should never give them a computer or Internet access, because that’s when they become somebody else.
They are not social creatures anymore. So how do we build the social capital? Children are better at it. Unfortunately, they also know how to misuse it, for example, as a tool of bullying.
But, for example, in the future this kind of social capital may be also very much required in the workplace.
Now the days, I heard that maybe some people might have some gaming, because that means you can lead people in virtual worlds, and in many workplaces they already organised the virtual organisations where you don’t see the people you are working with, except once or twice a year or week talking about maybe illiteracy. Maybe that is something that people forget. We are talking about skill mate, these kinds of media journalism skills. Because in addition to taking and soaking in information, we are also creating it all the time. So everybody should know what it means to protect your sources in the Web, to check out your references. Because if you are not careful, you end up like me earlier this week, I was in court protecting my sources for my blog. And there are laws to protect them, because Finnish law was written a few years ago. But there is a story of the 9 year old girl from Scotland. Did you hear how it ended? The school board banned it. They told that she cannot take the pictures anymore.
>> AUDIENCE: It just got reversed.
>> JYRKI KASVI: Great. Let’s celebrate it later, because we are running out of time.
The trouble here I think we are facing now is that we are having this kind of what I call instead of a digital divide, I call it an activity divide. With that I mean that with these tools, you can be an active member of the society. You can follow things. You can write about them. You can discuss, you can have an influence. But these very same tools are used by many people to become more passive. I mean that every time you see or hear or on the Web or in television or anywhere else, you see something that is about politics, you change the channel or the Web Page to get more entertainment, instead of being an active member of society. And that, I think, is the biggest challenge we are facing if you are to be a part of the active Internet citizens.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: I give you the last word on the condition that it lasts only one minute. Please.
>> AUDIENCE: Then you should never give a politician the microphone.
No. No. Really short. I think we have to be careful when talking about the Internet. Don’t make a mystery out of it. Don’t try to behave like a doctor or a lawyer, becoming too nerdy, talking in terms other people never would understand.
So this closes it up again. And I have a problem with the citizenship notice. Because they are not citizens. If you would be a citizen, you would vote on the right of how the Internet is designed. You could think about is it a public or private space? You could participate in a way that we know it in the analog world. Citizenship defined in the times of enlightenment, that is not comparable to the Web. I would consider it participation in the net, but do not sort of implement or give the impression to people that they have control of the Web where they yet do not have it.
I don’t think they have, Amelia. I mean, we have been discussing parallel on Twitter, which is actually quite fun. But if there is supposed to be citizenship, then make them citizens.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Okay. Your point is well taken.
It’s four o’clock. And I want to do something here. Half a minute. Okay.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you.
Just to add to the last speaker, I think for once Governments were not as shortsighted as they normally are reputed to be. Because in these – during the whole WSIS process, we struggled with the issue of public good or not, citizenship or not. We have a beautiful language finally which summarizes it all. It says “the Internet evolved into a global facility available to the public.” That is all there is in the end.
>> YRJO LANSIPURO: Thank you very much.
I don’t want to keep you from the coffee break, which is due to start now. And I take pride in finishing this in time. Thank you very much. I would thank all the panelists, and thank you audience, remote participants and everybody. Thank you.