July 21 2022 GM
Glitter Meetup is the weekly town hall of the Internet Freedom community at the IFF Square on the IFF Mattermost, at 9am EST / 1pm UTC. Do you need an invite? Learn how to get one here.
Date: Thursday, July 21st
Time: 9am EDT / 1pm UTC
Who: Hijas de Internet
Where: On IFF Mattermost Square Channel.
- Don't have an account to the IFF Mattermost? you can request one following the directions here.
Hijas de Internet (Internet's Daughters) - The Internet also belongs to children
Last year they conducted the research "The Internet also belongs to children" (La Internet también es de las infancias), in which they sought to know, from the own perspective of children and adolescents interviewed, how they live and enjoy the Internet. They found that it is during adolescence when children and adolescents develop their digital identity, and it is also the stage in which they are more exposed to experiencing digital violence. The research was funded from the Internet Addresses Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC).
Hijas de Internet is a collective of young women that seeks to promote a safer, diverse and inclusive Internet for all people, especially for young women, girls and adolescents in Latin America. In Mexico and in our region, these groups tend to be the most vulnerable to experiencing gender-based violence, whether online or offline. That is why our efforts are focused on listening to their experiences and their own voices to create tools for digital, individual, and collective care
Please, could you describe to us the “Hijas de Internet” project?
- Hijas de Internet (Internet’s Daughters in Spanish) is a collective of young Mexican women seeking to promote a safer, diverse, and inclusive Internet for all people, especially young women, girls, and adolescents in Mexico.
- In our country and region, these groups tend to be the most vulnerable to experiencing gender-based violence, whether online or offline. That is why our efforts are focused on listening to their experiences and their own voices to create tools for digital, individual, and collective care.
- Others initiatives alike is are Siasa Place in Kenya and the region with a recently translated digital safety handbook or the initiative Safe Sisters
How did you start as “Hijas de Internet”?
- The initiative was born in 2020, during the first months of the pandemic. It emerged from conversations among friends in which we sought to reflect, share and talk about how the pandemic and social distancing were changing our ways of relating to people and technology.
- This reflection led us to assess the urgency of developing tools and materials of individual and collective care to ensure the welfare, safety, and exercise of digital rights in a Latin American context of gender violence and groups' marginalization both on and offline.
What do the tools focus on? like what type of content do you find is the most useful.
- We try to reach young female audiences because we believe they are the most likely to experience digital violence.
How do you do it? You have a podcast, how is it?
- In our first episode we talked about how the pandemic highlighted the digital divide in Latin America, mainly affecting people without access to technology and historically vulnerable groups.
- We have also talked about other topics such as women and technology, cybersecurity, digital violence, safe sexting, among others.
How has the reception been to the “Hijas de Internet” podcast?
- Very good! After the launch of the pilot, we were surprised by the reception and the number of young women interested in talking with us about technology from a social and gender perspective.
Several friends in Latin America that were young women, were hacked (via facebook and social engineering) and their intimate pictures used publically in various places. Any advice or tools you have seen on this?
- Yes, sadly it is an increasingly common problem and at younger ages. What we try to do is to bring to our audience concepts and care tips and share materials from other civil organizations specialized in these issues.
- In fact, in Mexico it is already a criminal offense to distribute intimate content, so we also try to share the efforts of associations that accompany these cases from a legal perspective.
And how did you develop the "Internet also belongs to the children" project? And what did you find? What caught your attention?
- Last year we conducted the research "The Internet also belongs to the children" (La Internet también es de las infancias, in Spanish), funded by the Internet Addresses Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC). In this investigation, we sought to know, from the own perspective of the children and adolescents interviewed, how they live and enjoy the Internet.
- We wanted to know, from their own experiences and voices, how children and adolescents use and enjoy the Internet. We conducted interviews and focus groups with children and adolescents from two states of Mexico (León, Guanajuato and San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico).
- We did two versions of the research: an extended version, aimed at a more specialized audience, that contains a detailed literature review, the data analysis, and the methodology we used, and a user-friendly version for children and adolescents.
- We found that it is during adolescence when children and adolescents develop their digital identity, and it is also the stage in which they are more exposed to experiencing digital violence.
- As we talked before, according to official data in Mexico, young women are the ones who spend more hours a day on the Internet, and they also have lived to a greater extent a situation of cyber-harassment, especially sexual digital violence.
- We found that many of them have experienced digital violence. As a consequence, they are already implementing strategies to protect themselves from online attacks, like basic cybersecurity actions, digital wellness, and collective care strategies.
What guests and topics have you had in your podcasts?
- We have invited different guests (like members of the civil society, feminist activists or girls and adolescents) to talk about technology from a social and gender perspective.
- Among our three seasons we have talked about the digital divide, safe sexting, women's networks and feminist Internet, online gender violence, technoloslutionism, digital self-care, the inclusion of more women and girls in science and technology, among others.
- Also, we created a podcast series with the project findings and interviews with some adolescents. We talked with them about their experiences of digital violence, and the strategies they use to be safe on the Internet.
What do they do on collective strategies?
- The children and teenagers we interviewed try to protect their accounts (especially those who have experienced some kind of digital attack), not to talk to strangers on the Internet and sometimes develop community norms to protect themselves. Of course, in many cases all of these strategies are intuitive…
Do the strategies they use are doable and proven works?
- Usually make reactive strategies, once the digital violence happens. Often, due to the digital divide or the lack of access to content aimed at them, they do not have prevention strategies.
- The teenager who was hacked became interested in cybersecurity issues after the attack, such as being careful with his passwords, two-step verification on his accounts, etc.
- The teenager who experienced grooming talked about how she is more careful of the people she meets through the Internet since the event.
Could you develop some topics that you talked about with children and teenagers in your podcasts that took your attention?
- The children and adolescents we interviewed have a good perception of the Internet because they spend a great time of their lives there. They use it for entertainment, learn new things, and socialize with their friends. But they are well aware of the risks that exist online.
- In some cases, their parents establish limits on their screen time, but usually, it is their responsibility to establish screen time limits, which is very difficult for them.
- A girl adolescent we interviewed in the podcast shared how social media platforms (like Instagram) could affect their well-being and self-perception. She shared her concerns about the risks of misinformation regarding diets and other practices that can be dangerous for health.
- Another adolescent we interviewed got hacked and had to learn cybersecurity basics to protect his accounts. A girl shared with us a grooming experience in her digital community (a k-pop community) and how they helped to report and exclude the harasser of the group.
Do you also educate teenagers to limit their posting of intimate pictures online, along with sharing everything they do (Like hourly updates). Since those are used to stalk people offline?
- We have not talked about it in the podcast but it is a very important point, because many times it is the parents themselves who publish the information of minors on the Internet.
- In our research, we wanted to listen to them and find out first-hand what they need, without falling into adult-centric discourses that put aside their perspectives.
You can contact Hijas de Internet through:
- Twitter @hijasdeinternet
- IG: @hijasdeinternet
- Mastodon: https://mastodon.social/@hijasdeinternet
- e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org