“Engaging Youth to Promote Access Online Safety, Counter Speech, Cyber Etiquette” – Parallel Event at CSW 60

With the support of UN Women and Facebook, Centre for Social Research hosted a second parallel event on 15th March at the Museum of Tolerance in New York. The main agenda to this programme was to discuss the power and responsibilities in context with social media.


While Information and Technology continues to emancipate the users with free flow of information and provide with platforms to raise concerns, it is an irony that there are mishappenings which are leading us to rethink ICT as a bane. The need of the hour is to create a comprehensive understanding of cyber etiquettes and use of social media for social change as key components of internet usage.

Programme Agenda: Discussions were facilitated around ‘Access is empowerment’. The idea that has to be supported and highlighted, to fill the youth with a sense of security along with the benefits that they can actually reap of Internet.Important part of discussion was the awareness that has to be spread among the users so that they know all the mechanisms of their online safety, counter speech being one of the very important tools.

The tools that are provided on Internet or specifically on the social media networks do serve the purpose of securing information but being safe online is beyond this. Sensitization of the users to counter the bad speech is also a necessity.



The facilitators discussed various initiatives that have encouraged the youth to take up leadership roles and initiate their own campaigns on social media platforms. Dr. Ranjana Kumari shared the experiences from our programme #SocialSurfing and stated that safety has its own definition for each and every person, and it is the duty of all social media platforms to ensure that their users feel secure. While Mr. Ravi Karkara talked about the CSW Youth Forum which was majorly facilitated through social media, Cindy Southworth threw light on her personal journey towards integrating the gender approach with technology for change during her teenage days. Catherine Teitelbaum spoke about the role of technology in education and how awareness must be spread in schools about cyber safety and etiquettes. Antigone Davis shared examples of how Facebook has been constantly developing new strategies and tools to keep their users safe and look forward to hear recommendations for improvement.

Here is more about the speakers:

Moderated by Amitabh Kumar- Head, Media & Communications, Centre for Social Research

Dr. Ranjana Kumari

A renowned social activist and a prolific academician, Dr. Ranjana Kumari is the Director of Centre for Social Research as well as Chairperson of Women Power Connect. Dr. Kumari has dedicated her life to empowering women across the South Asia region, and is also a prolific writer of many well‐known publications. Having dedicated her life to significant social causes, Dr. Ranjana Kumari continues to impact the lives of many with her dedication and zeal.

Antigone Davis
Antigone Davis is Head of Global Safety at Facebook, where she works with internal teams at Facebook and with external safety organizations to ensure that Facebook remains a leader in online safety and that policymakers understand the steps Facebook takes to promote safety online.

Ravi Karkara
Ravi Karkara is a trained social worker with commitment to advance human rights, participation, inclusion and gender equality, accountability and social justice. He serves as a Senior Adviser Strategic Partnership & Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary-General/Deputy Executive Director of UN-Women.

Cindy Southworth
Cindy Southworth leads the communications, development, technology, finance, and international efforts of NNEDV. She joined NNEDV in 2002 when she founded the Safety Net Project to address technology and Violence Against Women. Through the Safety Net Project Ms. Southworth works with private industry, state and federal agencies, and international groups to improve safety and privacy for victims in this digital age.

Catherine Teitelbaum
Online safety expert and digital media veteran, Catherine Teitelbaum is the Chief Safety Officer at Ask.fm. Ms. Teitelbaum has held senior positions within Yahoo, Inc., including an extensive tenure as the company’s Director of Global Safety and Product Policy. Under her direction at Yahoo, Teitelbaum co-founded the Employee Foundation—a grassroots, philanthropic organization with global non-profit donations.

Discuss this article on Facebook