Social Warning is a project on digital awareness in schools through a network of young volunteer trainers, all professionals, who work on a daily basis with digital technologies. The aim is not to alarms or, on the contrary, to ensure the safety of this area, but only to inform about the reality of the digital domain.

The project was born in 2018 with the aim of bringing digital awareness to Italian schools. The need to inform young people about the risks and opportunities of the internet has been identified, illustrating best practices and cases of successful young people, such as those who use the internet and social media to work, meet the needs of their daily lives and contribute to community projects. To achieve this, the Digital Ethics Movement has created a network of around 300 voluntary trainers in Italy, mainly young digital professionals, who can set an example for young people.

Find out more about this project

At the heart of each social warning intervention is the dissemination of information about the benefits of new communication technologies if they are used in informed, ematic and calm mds. The aim is not to warn parents, adults and young people, nor to reassure them, but to inform them objectively. The movement aims at:

  • Information on the risks and limitations of new technologies
  • Illustrating with concrete examples how these technologies affect our daily lives
  • Making it easier to find a constant balance between online and offline activities

The exchange of incentives and information aims to raise awareness of how digital technologies are changing our world, emotions and social behaviour.

The project consists specifically of two-hour training interventions exploring various topics such as the functioning of key social networks, personal footprint, reputation, phenomena such as hykikomori (isolation through abuse of digital services), digital professions (such as social media managers that many students still do not know) and other topics that each trainer deepens on the basis of their skills. Interventions are a conversation rather than a conference, and the most interesting ideas are taken from the conversations and demands of young people.

Why is this a good practice?

The association has also created a scientific observatory that collects anonymous data from young people on the use of the internet and social media and publishes an annual report on the subject. It is increasingly common to request training courses for adult audiences, especially for teachers and parents, as the need to raise awareness of the dynamics of the internet and social networks is becoming more evident. The social warning aims to address this need to build a better society online and offline.

Today, theDigital Ethics Movement aims to extend to European territory what has already been achieved in Italy. Firstly, the educational model and format are being developed so that more trainers can join and disseminate the project, and initiatives are being developed for young Europeans. The first is a hackathon in Rome, attended by 70 students from all over Europe, future decision-makers who came together to find solutions for a better digital future. Another major initiative is the European Digital Citizenship Day, which aims to promote digital education across Europe. The first edition took place in Rome in October 2021.