Emphasise The Positive: How To Deliver A Culture Of Online Respect
14 Apr 2016
Interacting online can be difficult and confusing, especially for young people. We expect high standards of behaviour and respect for one another in the classroom and society, but online discussion is often ruined by disrespect, prejudice, and abuse.
This article shows the dark side of online dialogue, and is an excellent starting point for exploring these negative online cultures. It provides data analysis of the comments written by readers, and reveals disproportionate targeting of certain groups.
If we want young people to build a culture of tolerance, we need to give them the skill set to do this.
Students in today's schools are sadly used to this kind of behaviour. They encounter it daily: on their Facebook timelines, through interchanges in gaming environments, and in YouTube videos. They believe that it is normal and acceptable to behave this way online.
If we want young people to set higher standards of behaviour and build a culture of tolerance, we need to give them the skill set to do this.
Our experience of working with students is that, once they have learnt the fundamental tools of dialogue, they can apply these online. When they encounter negative narratives, they can meet hate with respect. This helps to undermine those who have a negative impact online, and builds confidence.
To support you in working with students to help them counter negative narratives, both online and offline, we provide free of charge resources through our Face to Faith programme.
If you would like to know more about how we support young people, or how your school can get involved, please visit our webpages.