Guwahati: In order to create a safer online environment, Meta on Friday partnered with Assam Police to launch a 'Digital Literacy and Awareness' program for adolescents and youth of the state here at Royal Global University.
The program -- We Think Digital -- will focus on digital safety best practices and will provide easy access to youth to digital literacy awareness sessions, training resources, knowledge repository including child and adult safety self-help material, safety videos, resources, and help guide.
With the launch of this program, Meta aims to promote safe online behavior by spreading awareness around increasing cybercrimes and equipping adolescents with tools and resources to tackle online harm.
The training modules will focus on all aspects of cyber security and the basics of digital literacy including browsing the internet, Cyberbullying, Sextortion, Darknet Services, Trolling, Identity Theft, etc.
The event was graced by Ghanshyam Dass, IAS, Secretary, IT Department, Assam, and The Commissioner of Police, Guwahati, Harmeet Singh, IPS. Kanishk Gaur, Founder, India Future Foundation, Col. Sunil Kapila, Senior Adviser, India Future Foundation and Cyber Security Expert, and Ankita Nayak, Trust and Safety Lead, FB & IG (Central, East &North East of India) were also present at the event.
Sharing his views on the launch of the program, Commissioner of Police, Guwahati, Harmeet Singh, IPS, said, "to be safe, you need to #think. Social media is the new idiom of communication. We must navigate to stay safe.
He also encouraged students to use social media for the good parts and not give up on it altogether because of the bad side of it.
''Follow good creative pages, learn and engage using social media platforms for learning creative arts and educating ourselves, rather than aimlessly scrolling and not getting the most out of it. The support from Assam Police is always there for reporting any issue or cybercrimes,'' he added.
He also asked parents to avoid sharenting as it invites financial cyber frauds.
Addressing the audience in Assam, Ghanshyam Dass, IAS, Secretary, IT Department, Assam, "encouraged students to double-check before sharing any information on social media platforms, be it with friends or any known or unknown person after all prevention is better than cure."
Built on Meta's We Think Digital initiative, this partnership aims to train around 10,000 youth from various schools and colleges covering Assam.
Previously, Meta has conducted similar training and programs in various schools and colleges across Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Assam. Meta's We Think Digital outlines the digital citizen's rights and responsibilities, encourages them to think critically about their digital behaviour and interactions and get the most out of the online world. Working in partnership with experts from across India, We Think Digital provides resources to build a global community of responsible digital citizens equipped with skills for a digital world.
Speaking on the collaboration, Satya Yadav, Head, Trust and Safety, Facebook India (Meta) said, "When it comes to young people our platforms are designed to ensure responsible empowerment along with building age-appropriate safeguards. We are constantly innovating technology to ensure that youth benefit from our platforms while they continue to feel safe. As per a report from 2019, around 31% of internet users in India were between the ages of 12-19. With that in mind, this partnership will create an ecosystem that will help in educating young people to use the internet that is not only safe but is also enabling them to grow."
Col. Sunil Kapila, Senior Adviser, India Future Foundation, and Cyber Security Expert, delivered the technical session for all the attendees, including many excited young school students and faculty of leading schools in Assam, present at the event today.
Assam Police has always been at the forefront of innovative and tech-aided interventions to raise awareness on various aspects of cyber safety and security.
Their creative campaigns, such as 'The Think Campaign' and 'Don't Be A Sharent', have been widely acknowledged for being the first of their kind in the country.
Meta, whose monthly global reach on its platforms is 3.5 billion people, builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp have further empowered billions around the world. Meta is now moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.
India Future Foundation is a leading Not for Profit Think Tank working on Digital Literacy, Cyber Safety, Public Policy, Capacity Building, and Research. Today it advises policymakers and Governments in Europe, Asia Pacific, and South Asia.