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Facebook rallies partners to unite for better Internet

FACEBOOK IS partnering with public sector agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations from across Africa, including two agencies from Ghana, to increase safety on the internet for African users.

Facebook has launched a series of initiatives to help make the Internet a safer and better place for people across Africa, especially children and the youth.

A statement issued by Association Press Organisation on behalf of Facebook, said over 100 countries were participating in an effort to start conversations and help people think about small steps they can take to stay safe online.

The statement was issued to coincide with the 2017 Safer Internet Day on Tuesday which is on the general theme: ‘Be The Change: Unite For A Better Internet.’

The statement quoted Ms Akua Gyekye, Public Policy Manager Facebook, Africa, to have said that nothing was more important to Facebook than the safety of the people who use it.

“Every day people come to Facebook to connect with people and issues they care about, and they should be able to do so in a safe, secure environment,” she stated.

Ms Gyekye noted: “This is an opportunity to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. We are proud to work with young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, and policymakers to create a better Internet.”

She said Facebook has redesigned its Safety Center, an engaging resource to help people get the information they needed about controlling their information and staying safe.

“It walks you through the tools Facebook offers to control your experience as well as numerous tips and resources for safe and secure sharing. It is available in over 50 languages, is mobile friendly and includes step-by-step videos.

According to the statement, the initiative was coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and the National Safer Internet Centres across Europe and beyond.

Facebook is working with Ghanaian partners “JI Initiative” and the Ghana Internet Safety Foundation to ensure the safety and education of their communities and address the needs of vulnerable people.

Ms Awo Aidam Amenyah, Executive Director at JI Initiative said her organisation was a passionate advocates for a safe Internet for young people and children, and so were pleased that Facebook had embraced its responsibility to keep people safe on its platform.

“We are pleased to work with Facebook to promote positive online experiences for everyone” she said.

“The massive support we have seen for this year’s Safer Internet Day is truly inspiring,” said Mr Emmanuel Adinkrah, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Internet Safety Foundation.

“It is heartening to hear about the ways young people are using technology to take positive action online to empower each other and spread kindness. We want to encourage them to keep building a better internet for all.”

Ms Janine Raftopoulos, Manager Communications and Public Education, South Africa’s Film & Publications Board, stressed the importance of having early and frequent conversations about how inappropriate content on the Internet may affect children, adding: “Parents, educators, guardians and industry all have a part to play in ensuring that children understand how to stay safe online.”

The statement named other partners in Africa as: Watoto Watch in Kenya, the International Center for Leadership Development and the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre in Nigeria, South Africa’s Film and Publication Board, JOXAfrica Association in Senegal, and Tech Women Zimbabwe.

According to the statement Facebook is providing financial and marketing support for the partners to use to raise awareness about online safety.

It is also hosting an event in Johannesburg, South Africa and Nairobi, Kenya to promote the importance of online safety to students, teachers, parents and policymakers. GNA

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