Positive Online Content Awareness Month

Positive Online Content Campaign - 2019 edition

***The last edition of the Positive Online Content Campaign took place in September 2019. This information remains here as an archive of how the campaign unfolded and the resources made available to support it. In addition, the messages below still stand to illustrate the importance of utilising positive online content and concepts all year round. ***

Children nowadays interact with modern technology and online content from the earliest of ages - which is why it is crucial that their first digital experiences be of the highest quality possible.

The Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC) aims to raise awareness about the importance of positive online content for children, to foster a discussion with youth, parents and teachers to make them aware about the state of positive online content for children in their country, and to encourage a discussion with industry and content producers and providers to encourage the production of more positive online content for children.

There are various ways in which the different stakeholders can both get involved and benefit from the campaign. With a view to obtaining a better shaped and targeted campaign, the generic tagline "Positive online content: for a better digital childhood" has been devised, and is further tailored to each of the following key stakeholder groups:

Children (0-12 years of age): "Positive online content: a better digital childhood for you!"

Children have the right to enjoy the best possible online experiences the internet can provide. By providing them with positive online content from an early age, we can help children to learn, develop and express themselves and, above all, have fun in a safe online space in which they are free to participate without risk of harm.

More generally, we believe that children's digital literacy skills should be developed from an early age in order to allow them to assess the content they find online critically, while in turn protecting them from future online risks such as grooming, cyberbullying, sextortion, revenge porn or simply if encountering inappropriate content while surfing the web. By exposing young children to high-quality online content from their very first online experiences, they can learn how to recognise the basic components of appropriate and positive content and services.

Parents and carers: "Positive online content: a better digital childhood for your children"

It is in all parents' interests that their children have access to the best online experiences and that they are safe, while at the same time stimulated, informed and empowered. The Positive Online Content Campaign therefore intends to raise awareness and inform parents and carers of what they should be looking for in online services/apps/content that is respectful of their children's needs and learning capacities.

What is more, by developing parents' digital literacy skills, this will empower them to act as digital role models, providing positive examples for their children right from their earliest online experiences. Children need to be monitored and seconded, which is why parents should be able to establish boundaries and guidelines for them. Parents cannot do everything, of course, but as informed consumers, digitally literate parents can play an active role, also by challenging industry, content providers and even politicians to make sure their children gain access to the best available online content.

Video interview with Martin Schmalzried, Policy and Advocacy Manager at COFACE - Families Europe

Teachers and educators: "Positive online content: a better digital childhood for your pupils"

Digital content is playing an increasingly significant role in children's education, from an ever-younger age. For this reason, teachers and educators should be equipped to properly and effortlessly navigate through the wide array of online content available, in order to ensure the safest, most informative and engaging experiences for their pupils. Positive online content and services have the potential to enrich lessons - and indeed any educational activities - by taking advantage of children's almost innate fascination and motivation to learn through digital media.

Content providers and producers: "Positive online content: a better digital childhood for all"

Producers and providers of digital content who design, develop and distribute online content and services targeted at children up to 12 years of age probably play the biggest role in ensuring that younger generations have access to age appropriate, safe, informative and empowering online experiences from the outset.

Thanks to our revised, tailor-made checklist, content providers and producers from across Europe may design, adapt and customise their products so as to contribute to raising an empowered and digitally-skilled generation of active citizens.

Positive Online Content Awareness Month 

The Positive Online Content Awareness Month is scheduled took place from 2 to 30 September 2019, with each week dedicated to one of the above mentioned stakeholders:

  • Week 1 focused on promoting general positive online content concepts and, above all, the updated positive online content criteria checklist.
  • Week 2 targeted teachers and parents.
  • Week 3 targeted children and young people.
  • Week 4 was dedicated to content producers and providers, culminating with an industry-centred Focus Group on Thursday, 26 September 2019, in Brussels, Belgium.

The Awareness Month concluded with a positive online content-focused edition of the BIK bulletin.

See also social media promotion on the campaign on Twitter using the #positivecontent and #BetterDigitalChildhood hashtags.