The Online Together Project is a co-created initiative between Internet Matters and Samsung Electronics UK – with the first phase focusing on gender stereotypes.
The new interactive tool, launched today, encourages children to take part in building a positive, inclusive culture online.
Recent research from The Cybersurvey by Youthworks in partnership with Internet Matters found over one in 10 girls and boys aged 11+ have received sexist comments online, increasing to one in five for those children who prefer not to state their gender.
The new tool is designed to help children and young people develop critical thinking skills to recognise and challenge gender stereotypes in online spaces. Built for children ranging from six to 16 years old, the age-appropriate resource encourages respectful interactions online, regardless of differences.
The Online Together Project is part of an ongoing partnership between Internet Matters and Samsung Electronics UK, working together to give children and young people and their parents the tools to thrive in a digital world.
It features a series of multiple-choice questions for three different age groups, with prompts for discussion and information for further learning. There is also the option to download a companion guide for parents, carers and teachers on completion – which includes key tips to support children and young people.
Backed by the Global Diversity Practice, The Online Together Project follows recent research from Samsung that found gender equality is a reality for less than one in five UK workers.
Jessie Soohyun Park, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Samsung Electronics UK, said: “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Internet Matters to help make the online world a more positive, inclusive environment for children and young people.
“At Samsung, we believe in fostering a culture where conscious inclusion is a part of everyone’s every day and we recognise how important education and regular conversations are to achieve this.
“We want this easy to use tool to be the start of many new resources for children and young people, so no matter what their background they are equipped with the tools to thrive online.”
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, said: “We know that gender stereotyping online can be harmful to young people’s mental health and can significantly limit their opportunities.
“That’s why we want to help parents support their children to challenge these stereotypes, encourage respectful interaction and acceptance of others online, no matter what their differences are.
“We’re proud to be launching this new tool with Samsung and hope parents and carers will encourage their children to use the tool and continue the conversation.”
Dr Linda Papadopoulos, child psychologist and Internet Matters ambassador, said: “From online gaming to social media, children and young people encounter gender stereotypes in various ways. However, this preconception of gender can impact the way young people interact with others online.
“By helping children think critically about gender stereotypes, we can give them the freedom to be themselves and not need to question those that don’t adhere to those stereotypes.
“Parents can support The Online Together Project by demonstrating empathy and openness to their kids, creating opportunities for young people to share their experiences and discuss any concerns.”
See more resources and articles to support children online: