Who Takes Responsibility For Digitized Reputation ?
Child Online Africa wishes to appeal to the general public as well as the responsible sector ministries that it is imperative that somebody owns up to do the proper thing to help address the issue of young people being caught in mistakes which are not easy to erase for sharing their lives online.
Social media tools are used by adults as well as young people and most often than not a lot of people use them to document their lives. Despite the good sides of the social media tools, there are potential dangers of maintaining a positive reputation to protecting one’s identity (children’s especially) from being stolen. Parents are now slapped with the responsibility of providing guidance to young people in an era they have never lived in but trying to cope with. Educating young people about how to manage their digital footprints and the potential dangers of bad habits being documented should a conversation for EVERY ADULT to understand and be able to hold with any young person.
The Ejisuman video, the Anomabu video and a couple of others in the media have the following implications for the participants in them:
- Contents of such nature are considered detestable and have the potential of affecting their opportunity to get scholarships.
- Sport disciplines are also considering regulating conducts in their camps and will not admit anyone of such poor showing in terms of reputation.
- Employment & Internship opportunities require people of high discipline and some level of responsibility and most institutions do not take bad footprint lightly.
- School admission /Military training are likely to be missed because it is very easy to sign a rejection letter for such candidates no matter how intelligent you might be simply because you have something immature or something of a low moral aptitude about you online.
- A person’s general wellbeing, overall reputation and safety has the potential of being compromised in this regard.
The issue has happened and there could be a number of them hidden and waiting to be released. Let us not wish it away nor leave it to die. Rather, we should be emboldened to take the right and pragmatic measures to safeguard the future of the children and young people in Ghana. Child Online Africa wants the following ministries & agencies with the support of other stakeholders to put in place a workable solution to the challenge since it will rather grow and not go away now: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ministry of Communications, The CID Unit of the Ghana Police Service and the Data Protection Commission. It is important to do the following.
- Review the non-educational use of mobile devices
- Design safety audit kits for schools (especially boarding facilities).
- Produce social protection programmes which could help empower young people in their engagements.
- Incorporate Digital Literacy and Citizenship in the curriculum at all levels.
We are ready to support the various stakeholders find a lasting solution to this canker.