The online space is steadily turning into a domain of choice for many people wanting to speak out about certain social issues, or raise their voices. One of the most preferred platforms for people to share their opinions, engage in discussions and learn about other perspectives is microblogging site Twitter.
As the number of Twitter users has increased to an incredible 320 million, that has also risen are the cases of online abuse and harassment. Twitter Safety has been working constantly to ensure that reporting mechanisms are updated at regular intervals, to incorporate new kind of threats, and that these measures are user friendly.
Centre for Social Research and Twitter collaborated to create #TweeSurfing in the year 2016. A Twitter Literacy program designed to spread knowledge on how to use the platform for better purposes, #TweeSurfing intends to leverage the cyber conversation on how the users can have a positive online presence by maximizing the use of twitter for social good.
In our pilot phase, we conducted Four #TweeSurfing workshops across India, reaching out to 402 students. In our second phase we carried out four Tweetchats on varied issues pertaining to Twitter and Social Media in general.
1st Tweetchat on Community Standards on Social Media
2nd tweetchat on Annoyance vs Abuse on Social Media
3rd Tweetchat on Counterspeech on Social Media
4th Tweetchat on Social Media for Social Solutions
In the third phase of TweeSurfing , an online resource is being developed, to increase the awareness on online safety, counter speech and cyber etiquette. As we are taking this initiative to the web to engage the users with basics of Twitter etiquette, using the 140 characters to the maximum, engaging in effective conversations, collaborations, brainstorming and also, using Twitter more safely and responsibly.
The team with the help of Twitter India got in touch with celebs, experts, activities, comic artists to get their views on Twitter as a platform for conversations, record their journeys, and also, understanding how they have been deal with any sort of hate speech or trolling that they might have faced. The idea of interviewing the experts was to hear it from the ones who have championed the art of Twitter conversations and know how to put the idea across. So far we have had a chat with Apar Gupta, Anshul Tewari, Bijayakant Jay Panda, Sapna Bhavnani, Amrita Puri, Harish Iyer, Rohan Joshi, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Sorabh Pant, Kaneez Surka, Trisha Shetty, Elsa, Aditi Mittal, Rana Safvi, Ridhi Dogra and Gaurav Kapur.
Stay tuned in for more updates on our #TweeSurfing project!