Today, Facebook, MediaSmarts and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) released a series of newly translated guides for Aboriginal teens, which provide tips for sharing and making decisions online. The Think Before You Share guides were released in Winnipeg during the opening of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.
Like most young Canadians, Aboriginal youth rely on social media to keep in touch with family, friends and their broader communities. In remote areas, social networking is an especially important platform for communication. Young people depend on these networks for sharing, whether it’s their thoughts, photos or their latest favourite video.
In MediaSmarts’ Young Canadians in a Wired World (YCWW) study we looked carefully at the habits and attitudes youth have towards sharing things online, as well as their worries, bad experiences and strategies for avoiding problems and fixing things when they go wrong. Our findings, along with the best international research on how youth share and make decisions online, provided the basis for a guide developed in 2013 by MediaSmarts and Facebook. The Think Before You Share guide has since been translated into over a dozen languages and released in Singapore, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, UK, and India.
To help Aboriginal teens make smart decisions when sharing online, Facebook, MediaSmarts and APTN partnered to translate the Think Before You Share guide into three common Aboriginal languages: Ojibwe, Cree and Inuktitut. The new resources are freely available on the Facebook Family Safety Center, MediaSmarts and APTN websites.
The guides offer teens advice on safe, wise and ethical online behaviour. Research shows young people prefer to deal with online issues socially, rather than relying on technological tools. That’s why the guides recommend dealing with unwanted sharing by talking to the person responsible offline. They also give young people tips for dealing with “hot” emotional states like anger or excitement that can lead to making bad choices about sharing things online, and remind them to turn to friends, family and other trusted people in their lives for support if things go wrong.
Young people want to make good decisions about sharing online. With the Think Before You Share guides they have the tools they need to do just that.