DCMS Round-up: Launch of a programme to protect journalists, World first online safety expo and toolkit to help stop the spread of vaccination misinformation

Published by Rupert Douglas on March 11th 2021, 4:04pm

In todays, Digital, Culture, Media & Sport round-up we take a look at what the government have announced over the past week. Including the launch of a new campaign to help tackle misinformation around Covid-19 vaccinations, a nationwide action plan to help protect journalist & the worlds first online safety expo.

Government launch national action plan to safeguard journalists

Following reports to the government that journalists have suffered abuse, being attacked and threatened while going about their work the National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists has been released .

In November 2020, a survey conducted by the National Union of Journalists found that over 50% of respondents had experienced abuse online and nearly 25% had been physically assaulted or attacked including being punched, threatened with knives, forcibly detained or in receipt of rape and death threats.

The plan aims to increase awareness of the challenges faced by journalists to go about their work safely. It introduced measures to tackle issues through joint co-operation of law enforcement, broadcasters, publishers, industry bodies, unions and the government. There will be commitments from social media companies to do more to root out online ‘trolling’ and increased training for police offices alongside current and future journalists.

The National Committee for the Safety of Journalists has endorsed the plan and it will be reviewed regularly to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

A statement from the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists:

‘’We strongly welcome the publication of this National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists. The work that journalists do is crucial to our society, and we are delighted that positive steps are being taken to ensure that they are protected. We look forward to working together to ensure that journalists operating in the UK can continue in their vital work of speaking truth to power.’’

To see the plan, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-action-plan-for-the-safety-of-journalists/national-action-plan-for-the-safety-of-journalists

New social media campaign to tackle false vaccine information launched today

DCMS has launched a new campaign to help tackle the spread of misinformation to minority groups around the covid-19 vaccination. A toolkit has been developed with content designed to be shared across all major social media channels and messaging platforms, including Twitter, Whatsapp & Facebook.

Concerns were raise by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) of reduced vaccination rates amongst ethnic minority communities. A recent Ofcom study showed that those from a minority ethnic background were twice as likely as white respondents to rely more heavily on contacts they know personally or leaders in the local area alongside information on social media about coronavirus.

The campaign is being fronted by trusted local community & religious leaders through short, shareable videos which include tips on spotting misinformation & point to trusted NHS sources.

Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage said:

‘’We want to harness the power of social media to tackle false information and encourage take up of life-saving vaccines among ethnic minorities.

Our new toolkit and campaign will help people access reliable and factual information on vaccines and builds on the good work platforms are already doing to promote trusted quality information.’’

Safety Tech 2021, a world-first Expo on supporting safe online communities hosted 24 March 2021

The first Safety Tech Expo, will be hosted online on Wednesday 24 March. It will feature over 30 industry leaders speaking on behalf of some of the world’s most iconic brands, including LEGO, Youtube, Match, EA, Roblox & Riot. It will be hosted on the CogX platform and is completely free to attend.

The expo will be looking at how technology can help to create safe and positive experiences for users online. Through identifying and addressing trolling and harmful online behaviours.

The agenda for ‘Safety Tech 2021: Unleashing the Potential for a Safer Internet’ will include:

  • Keynote speeches from US Presidential Innovation Fellow Clara Tsao and from Julia Cordua, CEO of leading Safety Tech company Thorn;
  • Contributions from senior executives from many of the world’s leading brands, including LEGO, Match, Meet, YouTube, EA, Roblox, Riot and Yubo;
  • Senior government executives including Oliver Dowden, DCMS Secretary of State and Simon Saunders, Director of UK online harms regulator Ofcom

Safety Tech 2021 will reveal how technology can be used to help companies tackle the growing levels of toxicity that see one in five people abandon online games and social platforms.

Tickets for this free event, which takes place on Wednesday 24 March at 15:30 - 18:00 GMT can be found on the CogX website.

Photo by Yaopey Yong on Unsplash

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Authored By

Rupert Douglas
Junior Editor
March 11th 2021, 4:04pm

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