01 July 2019

Young people take the lead on internet security - together

As the first generation to grow up with social media, young people in Timor-Leste are creating solutions to their unique challenges and leading the way towards a safer online community. In a shady park in the heart of Timor-Leste’s capital of Dili, young people gather in groups under old fig trees. Among them are three volunteers from Hamutuk Ita…, A new challenge facing by a new generation , In recent years, Timor-Leste has seen a rapid rise in internet access following a long period defined by limited infrastructure, slow speeds and high prices. Now, increased competition and cheaper devices have brought the internet and social media to a growing middle class for the first time. But as the youngest nation in Asia, Timor-Leste is…, Language limitations , One of the biggest challenges to ensuring the safety of Timor-Leste’s young people online is that the most widely spoken language, Tetun, is not recognised by Facebook’s systems.  While most young people use Facebook’s Indonesian language option, the content is often in Tetun. This means that the nature of the written content can’t be picked up by…, Solutions by young people, for young people, Facebook was identified at the youth consultation as the priority platform to deliver a solution. “We asked ourselves: ‘As young people, what are the ways we can address this problem?’” says Maria. So, using their existing skills, the group creates simple videos, images and written content to share with their audience and provide advice based on…, One step at a time , Isac, also a member of Timor-Leste’s Youth Parliament Alumni group, has worked on several youth issues in the past. While optimistic about the potential to improve social media safety in Timor-Leste, he understands that the volunteers’ work alone can’t solve the issue. “This problem doesn’t have an easy solution, but we’re trying to do what we can…