Thanks to the internet and social media like Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok, it’s easier than ever to share your views and encourage others to join you in making change. And, due to research conducted as part of the Digital Ecosystem Research Challenge (DERC), we know a lot about how some Canadians are using digital media to get involved in politics. This guide will help show you the ways you can use social networks to make your voice heard and make a difference.

What should I do if someone sends me a sext?

So, you’ve received a sext that you didn’t ask for. Now what?

Delete it right away

If someone sends you a sext that you didn’t ask for, delete it. You can also ask the person not to send more if you feel comfortable doing so.

Block the person

On social: If they keep sending you sexts (or other unwanted messages) that you don’t want, you can block them. Most social networks have Block and Mute functions.

As a parent, you may find some relief in learning that fewer youth take and send sexts (nude or semi-nude photos) than you may think. However, almost half of youth who have taken and sent a sext say that the recipient then forwarded that image to other people without their consent. This culture of sharing among youth is a major concern and can have devastating consequences for the person in the picture and the person who forwards it.

There’s no excuse: confronting moral disengagement in sexting

In this lesson, students learn about the “sneaky excuses” that can convince us to do things that we know are wrong. After learning about the different types of these excuses, students watch and discuss a series of videos in which the excuses are used to justify forwarding sexts without the original sender’s consent. Finally, students create their own videos in which the excuses used to justify sharing sexts with other people are illustrated and most importantly, countered.

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Family Guidelines for New Tech Devices

MediaSmarts’ research has shown that kids with rules in the home about tech use are less likely to do things like post their contact information, visit gambling or pornography sites and talk to strangers online. Having a family agreement or set of rules for using devices is also a great way for parents and kids to work together on how to be safe, wise and responsible online.

Digital Skills for Democracy: Assessing online information to make civic choices

In this activity, students :

  • think about the importance of making sure they have trustworthy information before they make a decision on a political or electoral issue
  • explore a series of scenarios designed to teach five strategies for verifying information: find the original, verify the source, check other information, read factchecking articles, and turn to places you trust 
  • reflect on the impact of false and misleading information in politics
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Break the Fake Lesson Plan: Verifying information online

In this lesson, students participate in a workshop that teaches them four quick, easy steps to verify online information. After practicing these four steps they create a public service announcement aimed at teaching one of these steps and spreading the message that it is necessary for everyone to fact-check information we see online every time we are going to share it or act on it.

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Break the Fake Tip #2: Find the source

Because it’s so easy to copy and share things online, it’s important to find out where something originally came from before you decide whether or not to trust it. Someone might have shared it with you on social media, or a news story might be based on someone else’s story.

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