Interview of the Group from Bulgaria after the Training Course in Berlin "Staying safe online, youth workers and digital security" in 2020
According to your opinion, what drives online hate speech?
According to us one of the main reasons for online hate speech is that the people are just an account. If you are eye to eye with somebody is much harder to insult or say your opinion out loud. Being in “secret” makes it easier to express your negative opinion for someone. Of course we need to learn the difference between saying our opinion out loud and insulting someone. Some people think that if they say what they want from a hidden account no one will understand it was them. Yet nothing in the Net stays hidden. People should learn that we need to be more tolerant with one another. Using hate speech online shows only the weakness of the people using it.
What is the role of youth organizations/NGOs in the prevention of "online violence"?
The role of the youth organizations / NGO`s is to educate young people how to express their opinion without insulting or invading someone’s private space. Being educated young people will learn how to make a difference. By organizing seminars and courses in schools or in team building will improve people knowledge about this problem, which is common not only with the youngsters but with the older people as well. Learning how to make a difference among people about how to express themselves without using online violence is the key to success for destroying this aggression among young people. We need to understand that our differences make us unique and we need to help each other. Children as long with adults can be cruel sometimes. The work of the NGO`s is to prevent abusing people online. We need to learn how to protect our mental health not only in normal life but in the Net.
What can we do to ensure digital security of young people? What are your tips for staying safe online?
There is no 100% sure way to be safe online, especially for youngsters, who are the main victims of online crimes and violence. However, we should try our best to protect ourselves and our siblings by trying to incomplement some tips while using the internet. First of all, we should use strong passwords which are different for every site and application and which contains capital letters, numbers and signs. It also shouldn’t contain easy to guess information as our name, birthdate, etc. Second, our social media profiles should be locked and be visible only by our friends and we should not accept every friend request send by people who we barely know or even by strangers. Furthermore, we should be careful of the pictures and things we post because when something is on the stays on the net forever. Everybody should read terms and conditions carefully before accepting them because there could be some hidden conditions which could harm and affect your privacy.