Google campaigns for digital responsibility via poetry, animation

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    THE discussions over the online session of the Google and Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM) were full of appreciation and the exchange of ideas soft and accepting. The ambiance of the whole hour, both artistic but filled with teaching moments.

    The collection of spoken word poetry and animated videos interspersed the discussions which revolved around teaching digital responsibilities, sort of a Google Meet version of a “good manners and right conduct” class without being preachy or nosy. The goal? To help Filipinos be better netizens and stewards of the Internet.

    Led by Google and supported by TPBPM, an NGO which aims to build peace online and in vulnerable communities nationwide, presented videos on kindness; the value of strong passwords and online security; critical thinking, oversharing prevention, and courage online. Together with YouTube’s reach of over 40 million Filipinos, digital responsibility can be effectively taught to more people online using videos of creative expression.

    The spoken word poetry is written and produced by TiTik Poetry, a youth group from Cavite that strives to use words and art to make a social impact.

    “Poetry is powerful and we can use it as a tool to make the internet a safer place. Each of us has a unique talent or skill and if we use it for an important cause like digital responsibility, we can make a positive impact in the community,” said Verlin Santos, founder of Titik Poetry.

    The animated videos were illustrated and animated by Christwin Felix, a volunteer, who has been teaching multimedia arts for more than 10 years. The stories were written by Grace Bufi, a housewife and a passionate storyteller. Grace, along with her husband Rey Bufi, established the Basa Bookstore and The Storytelling Project, a non-profit organization that aims to spark hope, inspiration, and imagination through storytelling.

    Actor Dingdong Dantes provided a voice over in all the five animated videos playing the role of the “Badge Giver”, a character who explains the moral of the story. Meanwhile, YouTube creator Janina Vela introduces, narrates, and concludes each of the stories to highlight the lessons.

    “Sa panahon ngayon, napakahalaga ng responsableng paggamit ng internet. Gamit ang aming boses bilang mga miyembro ng entertainment industry, sana’y makatulong kami upang maitaas ang kaalaman ng lahat tungkol sa proper iInternet etiquette at online safety, lalung lalo na sa mga kabataan,” Dingdong shared, highlighting his support and belief in the purpose of the campaign.

    “YouTube creators play an important role in teaching digital responsibility. We can use our voice and platform to raise awareness on how we can all be better stewards of the internet. I hope that beyond Safer Internet Day, we can always practice healthy digital habits online and offline,” Janina Vela said, underscoring the important role of creators.

    “At Google, we believe in enabling partners, communities and volunteers so we can all build a safer internet. The campaign is a shared effort of individuals from different walks of life to demonstrate that everyone can make a valuable contribution and be a better netizen. Everyone can use their passion, talents, or skills to promote digital responsibility in their own way,” Bernadette Nacario, Country Director of Google Philippines said.

    On Safer Internet Day of 2020, Google and TPBPM launched a campaign called Cyberpeace to teach at least 10,000 high school students about digital responsibility. Amid the pandemic, with the help of several volunteers, the campaign reached more than 416,000 netizens nationwide through digital means such as social media and webinars.

    Check out the spoken word poetry and animated videos on Google Philippines YouTube Channel. You can also join the conversation online using the hashtag #SaferInternet4Filipinos.

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