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In an open letter to U.S. law- and policy-makers, Microsoft's Council for Digital Good is calling on government to address digital-world realities like cyberbullying and "sextortion" by modernizing laws and promoting in-school education to encourage positive online behaviors.
The letter, shared last week at an event featuring the 15-member council at Microsoft's Innovation and Policy Center in Washington, D.C., touts the benefits of awareness-raising of digital risks. The council also recommends that in-school online safety and behavioral education be supported and prioritized, and requests that laws be updated and brought into the digital age. The letter and its recommendations to policymakers is the culmination of the council's work after 18 months of other assignments, activities, learning and fun. In addition to the council members and a parent or chaperone who accompanied each of them to the event, the young people also hosted leaders from other technology companies, non-governmental organizations and D.C.-area influentials.
The contents of the letter and more information is here.
Learn more about Microsoft's digital civility initiative by visiting http://www.microsoft.com/digitalcivility. Look for our latest digital civility research releases leading up to Safer Internet Day 2019 in February and, until then, follow the Council for Digital Good via Twitter using #CouncilforDigitalGood.
Also see the Microsoft on the Issues blog.
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
Microsoft's Digital Civility initiative has evolved. It now promotes the Digital Civility Challenge:
I embrace the challenge to be a leader in making the internet a better and safer place. I commit to do my part every day by living up to the four Digital Civility Challenge ideals
Live the golden rule I will act with empathy, compassion and kindness in every interaction, and treat everyone I connect with online with dignity and respect.
I will appreciate cultural differences and honor diverse perspectives. When I disagree, I will engage thoughtfully and avoid name calling and personal attacks.
Respect differences I will appreciate cultural differences and honor diverse perspectives. When I disagree, I will engage thoughtfully and avoid name calling and personal attacks.
Pause before replying I will pause and think before responding to things I disagree with. I will not post or send anything that could hurt someone else, damage someone’s reputation, or threaten my safety or the safety of others.
Stand up for myself and others I will tell someone if I feel unsafe, offer support to those who are targets of online abuse or cruelty, report activity that threatens anyone’s safety, and preserve evidence of inappropriate or unsafe behavior.
As a leader in the movement to make the internet a better place, I will share my experiences on social media using #challenge4civility or #Im4digitalcivility and encourage others to join the Digital Civility Challenge.
The web site now also includes best practices for digital civility that call on companies to "create purposeful online environments, institute codes of conduct (and) offer remedies," for educators, school counsellors and school officials to "teach 'citizenship,' promote social and emotional learning (and) emphasize civility online and off," and for law enforcement and policymakers to "promote legal approaches that deter exploitation, grow public-private partnerships (and) support responsible industry practices." The best practices call on everyone to:
This Digital Civility initiative is a part of Microsoft's program to promote digital skills / digital literacy.
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