The Black Lives Matter movement has shone a light on the injustices, inequality and systemic racism that Black people face in the world and in the UK, as well as how we can all do more to combat it.
As an organisation our mission is to make the internet a safe and great place for children to be. We seek to be inclusive in our work, and serve all children, including the disadvantaged in society. But we also recognise from the movement there is much for us to learn, do and challenge ourselves on. We make a commitment to look at ourselves as an organisation and identify what we can do better to ensure equality and support our staff including recruitment, how we communicate to our audiences and developing inclusive educational responses.
We see children and young people, across the world, campaigning, educating and supporting each other online. We stand shoulder to shoulder with young people to demand equality in all spaces and will reflect, learn and work harder and quicker towards an anti-racist society. We hope to be able to support children to continue to do this in a safe way, as well as work with parents and carers, educators and other professionals to help them.
One of the key demands of the young people we worked with for Safer Internet Day this year was:
“Protect equal rights and opportunities online and offline: Everyone should feel that they are welcome, celebrated, fairly represented and given a safe space to be themselves online. In the last month, 4 in 10 UK young people have seen people bullying or attacking someone online because of their sexuality, race, religion, disability or gender identity. But this isn’t just an online issue. Government should ensure all children are given equal rights online and offline.”
We also recognise the emotional and physical toll on children and young people at this time, particularly those who are Black. This has played out online in a significant way, showing how much organisations like ours working on online safety need to do, to effectively support children and young people. For example, Glitch’s petition asks social media companies to implement new content controls to protect users from violent images and videos of police brutality, highlighting the disproportionate emotional impact on Black people. We support important actions such as these.
As always, we look to listen, learn and meaningfully consult young people to ensure that their voices inform the work that we do. This will take time. We also know that working towards an anti-racist world is hard, ongoing work and are committed to working with our partners, industry and other organisations to do this.
We have put together a few key resources and places that can help support children and young people online and offline.