Have you got the power of speech?

João Pedro, Portugal

João Pedro, Portugal

Internet has become one of the most efficient means of communication in our days. When we are online we are able to contact people from everywhere in the world, exchange experiences, learn new knowledge and extend our culture. However, restrictions imposed to the freedom of speech on the Internet make us think about who really has that right.

Freedom of speech is the right to share one’s ideas and opinions. It is the basis to modern democracy where censorship should not exist.

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Ethical principles

Nowadays, it is very easy to access and provide content and that is truly exciting to bring people closer and to get to know varied knowledge. However, we know that this reality raises concerns about the potential inappropriate use of this knowledge by population groups with less critical capacity and / or selection of content adapted to their interests.

When I was surfing on a Portuguese TV cable provider website I found an interesting document called Principles for the Safer Use of Connected Devices and Online Services by Children and Young People in the EU. It contains a range of principles designed to improve online safety for children and young people and it was created by several organizations from all over Europe.

This document ensures that signatories follow those principles and they are also pleasant to take individual initiatives to promote them.

There are seven main subjects set in the report. Within each subject there are several key principles. I decided to select a few principles of the two first subjects.

1. Content

Signatories should:

· Indicate clearly where a service they offer may include content considered not to be appropriate for children and display prominently options which are available to control access to the content. This could include, where appropriate for the service, tools to manage access to certain content, advice to users or a recognized system of content labelling.

· Display prominently and in an easily accessible location the Acceptable Use Policy, which should be written in  easily-understandable language.

· State clearly any relevant terms of service or community guidelines (i.e. how users are expected to behave and what is not acceptable) with which user generated content must comply.

· Ensure that reporting options are in the relevant areas of the service.

· Provide notice about the consequences for users if they post content which violates terms of service or community guidelines.

· Continue work to provide innovative solutions able to support child safety protection tools and solutions.

2. Parental controls

Signatories should, as relevant for their products or services, assist parents to limit their children’s exposure to potentially inappropriate content and contact. It is recognised that parental controls have limitations and cannot replace parents’ engagement in their children’s online use. Measures that are available or appropriate to each service/product will vary, but may include:

· Manufacturers seeking to optimise hardware design to provide products which simply and clearly help parents to set appropriate levels of control on devices.

· Network providers seeking to provide necessary tools and settings across their services to enable parents to set appropriate levels of control

· Service and content providers making available the necessary tools and settings across their services to enable parents to set appropriate levels of control.

In my opinion, it is important to know the correct and most ethical way to use online services to ensure that our experiences in today’s digital world are more responsible and enriching.

If you want to access the original document, just click here.

Videogames and Facebook Groups

Playing videogames

According to information from school portals (Teach Thought and School20) and other specialists, videogames help learning the knowledge and competencies associated to twenty-first century, especially in five different abilities.

When you play you develop the capability of making decisions and strategic thinking because managing resources and functions, as well as action planning are necessary to play games. These skills also match everyday life needs.

Many games, such as Minecraft or World of Warcraft, are built to stimulate problem solving models. Practicing a way of thinking that tries to find solutions for certain issues has direct application in real life, too.

Moreover, several games require team work and contribute to promote cooperation.

Any game, even the most popular Call of Duty, teaches you that in order to live in community you have to establish rules and standards and ensure that all its members follow them.

Finally, and according to researchers, practicing the digital citizenship could be a key factor to succeed in real society, once that the digital experience is connected to processes of selection of information, development of critical thinking, digital skills and autonomy.

How to create a Facebook group

                If you have things you only would like to share with a small group of people in Facebook, it is possible. You just have to create a group, add friends and start sharing. Once you have your group, you can post updates, poll the group, chat with everyone at once, etc.

                Groups let you share things with the people who will care about them most. By creating a group for each of the important parts of your life — family, teammates, coworkers — you decide who sees what you share.

                In any group you can control who sees your group, so it can be:

–       Secret: only members see the group, who’s in it and what members post.

–       Closed: anyone can see the group and who’s in it; only members see posts.

–       Open (public): anyone can see the group, who’s in it and what members post.

To create a Facebook Group follow these three basic steps:

1. Go to your home page and click Create Group in the left hand column. If you have existing groups, you may need to click More before you see this link.

2. A pop-up box will appear, where you will be able to add a group name, add members and select the privacy setting for your group. Click the Create Group button when you’re finished.

3. Once the group is created, you will be taken to the group’s page. To get started click on Definition Button at the top right of the page and select Edit Group. From here you can add a group description, set a group email address, add a group picture and manage members.

                (This section contains information from www.facebook.com)