Will Gardner OBE, Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, reflects on the huge success of Safer Internet Day 2019.
Yesterday saw the celebration of Safer Internet Day across the world in over 150 countries. As organisers of the day here in the UK it was absolutely incredible to see the range and variety of activities that took place right across the country.
The theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day in the UK was ‘Our internet, our choice: understanding consent in a digital world’. The campaign saw so many come together to help inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. Over 2,100 organisations across the UK delivered activities for the day, including schools, police forces, government, companies, football clubs, charities and others – more than ever before.
Throughout the day it was great to see the impact of Safer Internet Day on social media. On Twitter the #SaferInternetDay hashtag trended in the UK throughout the day, accompanied by the hashtag emoji. On Snapchat there was a filter available right across the UK. We saw schools, organisations, football clubs and wider make #OurInternetOurChoice pledges, showcasing how they are taking positive actions to build a better internet.
In the weeks leading up and on the day itself, our educational resources have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and used in schools across the country as well as the films on SID TV being viewed and our quiz being played. The message at the heart of all of these resources was about the way that young people can think critically about how they ask for, give and receive consent online.