AfricTivistes speaks at responsible social media use event

AfricTivistes speaks at responsible social media use event

07 décembre, 2023

On Saturday 2 December, AfricTivistes joined its partner Ousseynou Aw in Bargny (Dakar district) for his novel autograph session “La toile du déshonneur.”. The event, which involved a fruitful exchange of ideas on the impact of the use of social networks on Senegalese youth, is aligned with the fight being led by AfricTivistes as part of the anti-harassment campaign Taxaw Temm! Aar Sunu Bopp.

On Saturday 2 December, AfricTivistes joined young people from Bargny in the commune of Dakar, Senegal, for an awareness-raising day on the responsible use of social media. It was also an opportunity for Ousseynou Aw to officially sign his novel “La toile du déshonneur” (The Web of Dishonour), which touches on the same topic. The event, which brought together a wealth of ideas on the impact of social media use on young people in Senegal, was in line with the work being done by AfricTivistes including the campaign against harassment, Taxaw Temm! Aar Sunu Bopp.

Author, entrepreneur and community activist Ousseynou Aw presented his book at the Bargny multimedia library. This was followed by a discussion session entitled “24h de sensibilisation pour un usage plus responsable des réseaux sociaux”, to raise awareness on the threats posed by social media to young people. “Through this book and the story of Maïmouna (the novel’s central character, editor’s note), we want to raise awareness among humanity, youngsters, and particularly young girls in Senegal, of the importance of social networks, which are becoming increasingly unsocial”, said Ousseynou Aw beforehis family, guests and partners.

AfricTivistes, through its communications officer Laïty Ndiaye,  hailed  this contribution, which comes at a time when “cyberspace occupies a predominant place in people’s daily lives, with its share of risks and dangers, but also opportunities”. “We hope that this book will help to change things and have a positive impact on our target audience, young people,” he added.

He also took the opportunity to point out that AfricTivistes is working on a number of projects to promote responsible use of social networks and digital security for Internet users. “In August, we launched a major campaign to raise awareness and combat cyberbullying, which affects a large number of women and girls”, he said, noting that a number of journalists from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal had previously been trained in digital security.  Ndèye Fatou Diouf, Digital Content Manager at AfricTivistes, added that the web portal showcasing this campaign had recently been launched to benefit internet users and victims. The aim of this platform, which is designed for a wide audience, is above all to raise awareness, prevent cyberbullying and provide support, using modern, practical features such as a service to report cyberbullying cases, a quiz to learn more about countering cyberbullying in a fun way, and a ChatBot that responds to various questions from Internet users on specific subjects.

Furthermore, this platform is designed to promote the AfricTivistes Women Cybersecurity project while also providing comprehensive content of the Taxaw Temm campaign against cyberbullying, both in real life and on the web.

Social media downsides top the agenda

During the round table discussion on the theme of “Legal attitudes and prevention in the event of disputes on social networks, with a cross-religious perspective“, the participants highlighted the abuses seen today on these platforms before making recommendations. “If we consider our traditional values of dignity (Jom), privacy (sutura) and prudishness (kersa), we wouldn’t need laws to regulate interactions in cyberspace. Because our traditional values go beyond our texts in many respects“, argued cyberspace law expert Emmanuel Diokh, one of the key players in the Taxaw Temm campaign. “Religion is at a higher level than laws when it comes to living together if, and only if, we take care to love our neighbour”, he continued. For the cyberspace specialist, given that “nothing disappears from the memory of the Internet“, we need to focus on communication and awareness-raising at family level.

Ndèye Fatou Diouf, focused her speech on the attitude of women in cyberspace, where they are considered to be victims. She called for a change in the mentality of women, who tend to give up in the face of adversity. She pointed out that this can only be achieved through training and resilience. “Faced with cyber-harassment or attacks of a sexist nature on social networks, women must show resilience by not losing sight of the fact that their opinions count above all else”, she said.

Earlier, the web columnist Abdoulaye Ly, better known as “Berger Hi-Tech”, and Mariétou Diedhiou, cybersecurity enthusiast and president of Daara.IT, had opened the debates by outlining the issues and risks linked to the confidentiality of personal data on the Internet during the round table entitled “Navigating the future: discovering the infinite opportunities of digital technology“. They put forward recommendations for paying greater attention to the use made of the data collected.

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