Facebook partners with Ministry of Women and Child Development to push for digital literacy

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Facebook is expanding its association with government agencies and ministries to better target issues and promote digital literacy.

Facebook has announced a bundle of initiatives to promote digital literacy in India. These include a content partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, forming an Ideal Internet Consortium and launch We Think Digital in India. The partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development comes with two key verticals: #CreateCareConnect comic series and a special Thumbstoppers series.

While the former will be a collaboration with Delhi-based doodler, Neha Sharma, the latter will be a series of 10-second videos created by members of India’s advertising community.

Commenting on the partnership with the ministry, Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Zubin Irani said, “Our constant effort has been to progress the cause of equal opportunity for women and ensure a safe environment for children. Together with Facebook, we want to build ways, in which we equip and educate people to help them make smarter choices online and learn about Internet safety.”

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Efforts are being put by the media giant as well as the ministry to promote digital literacy, facilitate a safe experience for women and children online. This will be done by raising awareness about online privacy, safety, and security. On her part, Sharma will create a series with an aim to educate young users about online safety in a simple, fun and engaging way. The Thumbstopper videos will focus on empowering and educating people on gender equality, domestic violence, and girl child education.

Ideal Internet Consortium

Led by Aarambh India Initiative, Ideal Internet Consortium is a working group of child safety practitioners who will use real field experience and research to deliberate over safety issues and purpose recommendations for civil society, industry, and government. So far, the consortium has had seven focus group discussions with the youth in cities across Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand, and Kerala.

We Think Digital

Facebook wishes to help support economic growth and do social good in the countries it has a social media footprint. As a part of this effort, it has launched We Think Digital, a global digital literacy program. The media giant is working with partners with an aim to train more than 5 million Indians by 2021. The program will use learning modules to equip people with skills to critically about what they see online, how to respectfully communicate and engage in digital discourse.

To give insight into the efforts, Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy for Facebook India, South & Central Asia said, “Our digital literacy efforts are focused on addressing specific problem areas in the social media world, which are essentially about how we connect to and interact with people and our online ethics and behaviour. We are building programs, that are aimed at internet users’ digital hygiene and maintaining online privacy and security.”