The ‘Keep it Real’ online safety campaign enters its second phase today with young people being prompted to help keep themselves safe, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today.
“We’ve spoken to parents about the online harms children face and now we want to reach young people directly,” the Minister says.
“The internet is a great place for young people to learn and connect with each other. But it can also expose them to bullying, pornography, contact from people they don’t know and requests for nude photos. It’s important that young people know how to deal with these issues, and currently many don’t.”
The latest campaign, which largely uses digital media, directs young people (ages 12-18) to the Keep It Real Online website, which has been expanded with information, advice and support that is tailored to them.
“Supporting parents is an important part of the equation, but to keep children and young people safe online, they need to know what to look out for, what kind of online behaviour is safe and when to go to a trusted adult because something is unsafe,” Minister Martin says.
“Research shows that many young people are learning about sex from pornography online, which is a lousy teacher. We also know that a quarter of young people are bullied online each year.
“Because these are topics that young people sometimes feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about, parents and caregivers might be unaware of the challenges they are facing. So it’s really important to connect them directly with the knowledge and support they need to deal with these issues.”
The Minister said the campaign doesn’t shy away from what are difficult topics. “But it directly addresses the issues in an appropriate way.”
Keep It Real Online was created and launched earlier this year in response to the increased risk of online harm to children and young people who were spending more time online under the COVID-19 lockdown. The first phase of the campaign was aimed at parents and caregivers, with four ads showing what happens when the online world shows up in real life. The ads were viewed over 32 million times online and received international attention.
Phase one of the campaign was funded by $1.5 million from the Covid-19 Recovery Fund. A further $1.5 million was granted from the fund for phase two which has been supplemented by $0.6 million of internal funding that was reprioritised by the Department of Internal Affairs.
The campaign is led by the Department of Internal Affairs with support from the Ministry of Education, the Classification Office and Netsafe.
More information is available on the campaign website www.keepitrealonline.govt.nz.