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Together for a Safer Internet

Published on : 6 Feb, 2024

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Eswatini Communications Commission joins other global organisations in the ICT space to commemorate Safer Internet Day 2024. This year's theme is "Inspiring change? Making a difference, managing influence, and navigating change online", and aims to explore what young people are seeing and experiencing online. This is a global event that takes place annually, and falls on the 6th February this year.

Safer Internet Day focuses on promoting the safe, responsible, and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. The main issues amongst children and young people currently include;

1. Cyberbullying: This includes harassment, threats, or humiliation directed at someone online. Cyberbullying can lead to emotional distress, anxiety, and even self-harm.

2. Doxxing: Revealing someone’s personal information (such as home address, phone number, or school) online without their consent. This can result in stalking, identity theft, or physical harm.

3. Hate Speech: Spreading discriminatory or harmful content based on race, gender, or other factors. Hate speech can perpetuate stereotypes and fuel real-world violence.

4. Trolling: Deliberately provoking or upsetting others online for entertainment. Trolls may engage in offensive behavior, disrupt discussions, and create a toxic environment.

5. Online Harassment: Persistent, unwanted messages or threats that cause distress. Harassment can affect mental health and well-being.

6. Grooming: Predators build trust with minors online to exploit them sexually or emotionally. Grooming can lead to dangerous offline encounters.

7. Fake News and Misinformation: Spreading false information can harm reputations, influence opinions and create social divisions.

8. Privacy Violations: Sharing private conversations, photos, or videos without consent. Privacy breaches can damage relationships and reputations.

ESCCOM, working with other stakeholders, continues to promote and encourage digital literacy, empathy, and responsible online behaviour to mitigate these risks and create a safer internet for Eswatini's young people.  The Computer Crime and Cybercime Act, 2022 provides for the protection of children and young people, and includes penalties for perpetrators of Internet related crimes.