Facebook and Instagram launch $1m school ambassador campaign with Project Rockit to fight bullying

Social media services Facebook and its Instagram offshoot have announced a $1m partnership with online safety organisation, Project Rockit in an initiative to reduce online bullying.

Project Rockit, founded by Melbourne sisters Rosie and Lucy Thomas in 2006, runs face-to-face and online workshops teaching young people strategies to improve the digital world.

Lucy Thomas said about the Facebook deal: “Our vision for a Project Rockit Digital Ambassador is to be a powerful source of leadership in the online world. Digital Ambassadors recognise their power in the online world and use that power for good. They use their unique strengths to stand up, challenge the status quo and reclaim technology as a tool for positivity.”

“We know that the most powerful way to dismantle hate is to build a kind, connected world, online and offline. We can and must go further than tackling (cyber)bullying by equipping young people with the skills, empathy and peer-based support to lead positive online communities.”

“With the support of Facebook and Instagram, we will be able to scale our youth-driven approach to grow 10,000 Digital Ambassadors from 600 schools over 2019-2020 and connect them to a powerful network of peers creating social change.”

Antigone Davis, Director and Head of Global Safety at Facebook added: “This ongoing partnership with Project Rockit is the next step in our ongoing effort to help young people build safe and supportive communities.

“Over the last decade, we have developed a wealth of innovative resources on Facebook that enable young people to look after themselves and their peers, from our updated Safety Centre, Bullying Prevention Hub and Youth Portal, to our online comment moderation and reporting tools.

“We are thrilled to take this commitment offline and into schools by offering trained online advocates to high schools across Australia.”

“Project Rockit’s Digital Ambassadors program aims to bring young Aussies together to explore online safety issues in the real world in a safe, supportive environment. We look forward to getting feedback and input from students that can add even more peer-led ideas and initiatives in the future.”

The partnership will be rolled out in three stages with Stage 1 featuring a series of face-to-face workshops for students in metropolitan and regional communities across Australia.

In the second stage, the ambassadors will have access to the project’s online action hub and supported learning program while the final stage sees the expected 300,000 ambassadors helping others deal with cyber bullying and online hate.


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