New Gen Z campaign to help tackle online abuse

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner has collaborated with Gen Z creatives to launch SCROLL: a new youth campaign on what to do when things go wrong online.

eSafety received more than one thousand reports of image-based abuse in the first quarter of 2022, compared to just over six hundred for the same period last year. More than 60 per cent (667 reports) were from people aged 13 to 24, almost double the number received for the same period last year (368).

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said image-based abuse is just one of the many online harms that young Australians need to protect themselves from – with support from eSafety, parents, teachers, police and online platforms.

“SCROLL is a campaign for Gen Z by Gen Z that aims to make young Australians more aware of what they can do, and the support that is available, when they experience strife online,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“At its heart, it’s about empowering teenagers to get the help they need to stay safe online, so they can keep doing all the things they love and reduce their risk of being abused, harassed or groomed for the purpose of sexual exploitation or extortion.”

Running across Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, SCROLL features real stories and examples of how young Australians can protect themselves, where to get help, and ways to support friends. Led by a team of six young creatives – Dante, Patience, Tobias, Nya, Elliot and Chloe – topics include cyberbullying, online consent and how eSafety can help swiftly remove intimate images shared without permission.

20-year-old Patience said she hopes SCROLL makes the online experience even better for her peers.

“Even though we are considered so-called ‘digital natives’, we can still struggle navigating the online world – but we still want to learn, help, support and share,” Patience said.

“Through SCROLL, I hope we can show young people that there are so many resources out there for us; that you should never feel shame or embarrassment if something happens to you online; and that there is always someone there for support if you need to seek help.”

Key research findings

eSafety has released two major research reports over the past year exploring young Australians online experiences and their engagement with online safety issues that guide this important work:

a. Youth Engagement Report

The Consultations with young people to inform the eSafety Commissioner’s Engagement Strategy for Young People report highlights the recommendations from young Australians and vision for the future for the internet and online safety. It outlines their expectations of eSafety and how eSafety should engage with them about online issues. The 2021 research was led by the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University.

Key findings:

• Young people are calling for more online safety education, tools and resources that directly address the key issues they face online, and for eSafety to work closely with young people on an ongoing basis to identify and respond to new and emerging concerns.
• Young people want more support when they are dealing with online situations.
They want resources for parents so they can provide information without judgement.
• Young people want more information about support services, how they can assist in resolving online safety issues, and which services are confidential and anonymous.
• During tough times, young people often turn to their friends. The report suggests the very act of storytelling and sharing experiences – can build confidence and resilience amongst peer groups.
• Young people want more online safety messaging that addresses concerns and to be involved in developing messaging.

b. Mind the Gap

This research examines children’s online lives and digital parenting practices. It is based on a survey of 3,500 young people aged 8 – 17, and their parents, in August/September 2021.

Key findings:

• Young people engage in a wide range of online activities and experience many benefits from using the internet: a third looked for emotional support online from friends and/or mental health support services.
• Significant numbers of children have had negative online experiences:
o Close to half were treated in a hurtful or nasty way online in the past year (45%)
o A quarter of the children had themselves treated someone in a hurtful or nasty way online.
o Exposure to negative online content and sexual content is prevalent among 14–17-year-olds. 71% had seen sexual images in the past year, while 47% have received sexual messages from someone.
• Almost all children (93%) did something in response to a negative online experience. The most common response was to tell their parents (67%), and analysis indicates a significant increase in young people taking action to address and prevent bullying and online harms:
o Blocking and unfriending has increased from 46% in 2017 to 64% in 2021.
o Reporting to a website or social media company has almost doubled, from 12% to 23%.

Meet the SCROLL creatives, learn more about the campaign, and stay up to date via Instagram: @scrollwithesafety.



Rachel Ganino – Marketing Strategist

Miriam Landa – Social Media Producer

Sue McAleer – Manager, Marketing, Events & Partnerships

Cara Webber – Expert Advisor

Zoe Allebone – Director of Media and Communications

Rebecca Lewis – Senior Media Advisor

Think HQ

Creative & Production

Jen Sharpe – Founder/Managing Director

Andy Lima – Head of Creative & Interactive

Nathan Barrow – Senior Art Director

Ryan Graf – Senior Copywriter

Steven Curcio – Finished Artist

Dom Evans – Head of Production

Natasha Brock – Production Assistant

Matthew Fregnan – Video Editor

Xiaohong Jiang – Motion Designer

Content, Social & PR

Stefan Delatovic – Head of Content and Owned Strategy

Saumya Poojary – Social Media Content Specialist

Zarah Garbrah – Social Media Coordinator

Beaurey Chan – Digital Content Manager

Gabby Brigden – Group Head of PR and Content

Julie Ursel – Senior Account Manager

Freddy Grant – Senior Account Manager

Matilda Hammond – Account Executive

Jess Glass – Senior Account Director


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