dtac launches online brainstorming platform for teenagers to fight cyberbullying

June 21, 2021 – dtac is about to launch its annual 72-hour brainstorming platform which allows Thai teenagers to meet online and devise solutions against cyberbullying.  Launched in conjunction with Stop Cyberbullying Day, the #BraveAgainstCyberBullying (#ให้ไซเบอร์บูลลี่จบที่รุ่นเรา) campaign is key to dtac’s continued efforts to make the internet a safe space for all.

The focus this year is on modernizing Thailand’s national guideline and lifting standards that would lead to better online safety for teens and children. A mass ideation session will run online from June 25 at 8 pm to June 28 at 8 pm The inputs from the campaign will then be summarized and proposed to relevant organizations.

On-uma Rerkpattanapipat, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability at Total Access Communication Plc or dtac, said: “As part of our continuous efforts to create a safer online environment, dtac has run its flagship Safe Internet program for seven years. This year, dtac will focus on driving public policy and regulatory compliance against growing cyberbullying problems. We see more and more countries developing codes of conduct, standards or even regulations to ensure the rights of victims and address the problems across bullying food chain. And it’s time Thailand join this effort.”

According to a study conducted by dtac last year, social media in Thailand generates 39 messages of hate speech every minute. The research also showed educational institutions are a key site to tackle cyberbullying as the bully-victim relationships often occur among groups of students who know each other in real life.

Thailand lacks a foundation of standards and regulations to set a shared baseline to break the cycle of cyberbullying, particularly among teenagers. To remedy this, dtac has partnered with the Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University and data storytelling studio, Punch Up. The jointly-developed  “jam ideation” program is designed to allow teenagers to express themselves in a safe space.

The campaign is divided into three phases. First, the initiative’s framework was established by conducting focus groups and academic research. Second is the jam session, starting from June 25. Last is the inputs summary to develop anti-cyberbullying guidelines.

“The #BraveAgainstCyberBullying jam will bring together our key stakeholders, teenagers, so that they can respond to the specific challenge of online abuse. Within 72 hours, we will compile their ideas, opinions and votes in a socially mediated process. This approach replaces ’top-down’ decision-making with the democratic values of ‘bottom-up’ creativity,” said Ms. On-uma

Following the campaign, dtac and the Faculty of Economics of Chulalongkorn University will publish a white paper on recommended anti-cyberbullying guidelines. It will then be proposed to the authorities as support for Thailand to develop specific regulations that address online abuse, as can be seen in the UK, Sweden, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines.

Thanee Chaiwat, Director of the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, said, “There are three key points to consider. First, the definition of cyberbullying varies among individuals, depending on their age or background. Second, bullying is an offshoot from the offline world, where victims often blame themselves for being bullied, simply because of physical differences; and where ‘bystanders’ play an important role in the bullying ecosystem. Thirdly, cyberbullying is more damaging than real-life bullying. It takes longer for victims to heal from the trauma of being bullied online.”

“Our study clearly showed that society should not take cyberbullying for granted. This campaign truly matters for the digital native generation as body shaming, gender inequality and sexual harassment are the top three concerns among teenagers. Thus, understanding cyberbullying patterns and promoting a new culture is our priority, and we hope it will result in a more peaceful society,” he added.

Thanisara Ruangdej, co-founder of Bangkok-based data storytelling studio Punch Up said, “Ideation jams are enabled by collaborative technology. They act as a catalyst to drive transformation through a transparent conversation and comprehensive discussion. This kind of session is gaining popularity globally, meeting the needs of younger generations who believe that every voice must be heard to make real change happen.”

Come join dtac’s ideation jam starting from June 25 at 8 pm till June 28 at 8 pm via www.safeinternetlab.com/brave