Today marks 20 years since the Safer Internet Day was first introduced in the European Union in 2004 as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project. Two decades later, its importance is reaffirmed as the internet landscape evolves rapidly, which offers great opportunities but also poses great risks, particularly to the most vulnerable.

Over the past couple of months we have observed an advancement in policy regulation targeting misinformation and harmful online content but the complexity of these processes and the pace at which emerging technologies are evolving make the regulation process complicated despite the involvement of different actors. Because of this, and as the world becomes increasingly digital, the role of libraries remains more important than ever in this process as they continue to provide internet access, learning opportunities and to play a crucial role in the development of digital skills for many communities around the world.

This year we encourage you to take a look at the following activities:
  • UNICEF’s essay collection: ‘Children’s Rights in the Digital World’ (UNICEF, Kennisnet and Leiden University). Addressing the importance of protecting children and young people in the digital world
  • UNESCO’s and TikTok’s collaboration to support media literacy
  • Share and contribute to the UK’s Safer Internet Centre resources, including films, research papers, educational resources for children and information on social media literacy
  • Keep an eye on the discussions around the European strategy for a better internet for kids (BIK+), adopted in May 2022. And share the child-friendly version of the BIK strategy with your peers
Other possibilities?

If you would like to engage beyond single day actions, we encourage you to reach out to your local Safer Internet Day Committee in order to connect with the wider network that seeks to raise awareness in regard to this topic, to organize your own online event or reach out to other local stakeholders in your region.

IFLA also welcomes any contributions in regard to this topic to be considered/included in our upcoming Internet Manifesto.
If you would like to do so. Please click here to leave your comments via this board.