Happy Safer Internet Day! Today marks the 18th anniversary of this important day with European roots, a global reach, and the catalyst of a powerful movement. With the theme “Together for a better internet”, this special day is calling upon us all to join and make the internet a safer and better place for everyone. 

As the Director of Trust & Safety for Two Hat, our vision for a more optimistic, healthier, and safer internet drives everything I do. When I think about Safer Internet Day, I think about the daily work to achieve that vision. In the trailing twelve months, Two Hat has processed more than one Trillion human interactions online, deeply analyzing cultural context to provide our clients with the insights and processes needed to set the right community tone, build and foster a healthy digital space.

We are builders helping companies craft the world’s biggest online communities, helping our clients make their communities bigger, better, and healthier. 

To deliver that, we need more than technology. We marry tech with the humanities. The latter is embodied by our cultural and trust & safety expertise, and our veteran team who has worked for decades building some of the most successful online communities in digital entertainment – especially online games.

My role is to empower better community management not just through purposeful content moderation, but by consulting with companies to help them set the right context to their communities from the ground up, removing the need to filter and moderate user-generated content in the first place. Working with the leading digital communities, I’ve come to see their passion and dedication to a healthier and safer internet. 

That’s why today I’m especially celebrating the work that industry peers, friends, clients, and partners are doing to create a better internet. 

In that spirit, I’ve gathered my favorite Safer Internet Day highlights and insights to share with you. Enjoy!

Microsoft released new data in conjunction with Safer Internet Day, showing improved civility online, driven by teens. The report shows that in 2020 their DCI, a measure of the tone and tenor of online interactions as reported by their consumers in 32 countries, stands at 67%, which is an improvement of three percentage points from their 2019 stats;

Yubo is introducing a new safety feature – if any of their users attempt to make inappropriate requests in private chat, they’ll caution their members by sending a pop-up alert and they’ll block that content from being shared;

The LEGO Group has put Captain Safety to work with their new Quiz aimed to develop digital empathy skills for young digital citizens;

Roblox has highlighted some of their ongoing digital civility work in a latest blog. I’m especially looking forward to their new podcast with Jordan Shapiro, author of The New Childhood: Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World. It will be launching in the next few months, and it will include guests like game developers, some of the world’s leading academics, pediatric specialists, educators, and people dedicated to making the internet a nicer and safer place;

My good friend Sameer Hinduja, co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, has shared the news that their most popular fact sheet! “Cyberbullying: Identification, Prevention, and Response – 2021”  has been updated. It covers their latest research and continually evolving best practices. 

There are many other friends and organizations doing incredibly important work. While I can’t exhaustively list them here, I’ll leave you with a few more tips. If you are not familiar with the following organizations and  groups, I recommend learning more about them:

Family Online Safety Institute – here’s an excellent article by their CEO Stephen Balkan;

The incredible work of the eSafety Commissioner in Australia;

The new Safety Tech Innovation Network efforts that have effectively defined a whole new segment in what they coined “Safety Tech”.

As I face the challenges at hand, consider the path ahead, and look at all the inspiring work being done, I can’t help being optimistic. Times are hard – no doubt. But we are builders who don’t leave things to chance. Together we can intentionally build a better internet.

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