Digital Wildfires

CaSMa hosted, in collaboration with the Wildfires team, a workshop on how rumours, provocative content and (mis)information flows and goes viral on social media.

Baroness Beeban Kidron, Keynote speaker at the Digital Wildfires.
Baroness Beeban Kidron, Keynote speaker at the Digital Wildfires.

This is a serious problem which can lead to confrontation between freedom of information and societal safety. Self-regulation is a solution, however, how to promote self-regulation and awareness is the real challenge.

Winners of the competition 'What makes a good digital citizen?'
Winners of the competition ‘What makes a good digital citizen?’

The event took place at the convenient location of the Digital Catapult and attracted interest from a varied audience including artists, policy makers, police commissioners, government office, and researchers among others. Baroness Beeban Kidron honoured us with a great keynote speech on children digital rights. Her engaging style and ability for storytelling kept us all mesmerized with a very provocative speech that focused on how corporations are surreptitiously grooming children and young people and the need to look at online normalised behaviour instead of exceptional occurrences if we want change to happen.

Elvira Perez with Molly Hands, one of the winners. Artwork title 'I spy with my little eyes'.
Elvira Perez with Molly Hands, one of the winners. Artwork title ‘I spy with my little eyes’.

In order to engage with a younger audience on this timely topic, we organised a creative competition on ‘What makes a good digital citizen?’  We received numerous essays, poems, videos and drawings illustrating youth thoughts around this topic. Choosing five winners was not easy and finally we decided to award not just the best five entries with a £100 gift voucher generously donated by Santander but also nominate ten more entries that were considered worthy of being highly recommended.

Youth Panel winners at the Digital Catapult
Youth Panel winners at the Digital Catapult

This e-safety poem by Ayed Salem from St. Peter’s Catholic School (Solihull) says it all:

There were no personal details

Or even any names

Only some pictures

And a few drinking games

He worked hard in the day

But there would always be a night

When he would drink too much

Uploading photos that would fright

He was a hard worker in school

Always trying his best

A dream to be a teacher

And be better than the rest

The grades said it all

He couldn’t do much more

Leaving university

Thinking a job was for sure

But was this the case?

Was he so clever?

Maybe he wasn’t

Regretting something forever

It was the day

Applying for his dream job

But would he get in

Or was there something he forgot

He never made it!

The reply said it allA link to the photos

and a “look at your Facebook wall”

There were no personal details

Or even any names

Only some pictures

And a few drinking games

Go on, leave us a reply!