HK youths lack online awareness

THE awareness of local youths is inadequate on issues concerning privacy, information sharing, integrity and attitudes in the cyber world. According to a survey, many even think that they can do as they please on the internet. Some protect their privacy but transgress on the privacy of others.

The alarming situation was revealed in the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (香港青年協會) study which questioned 1,855 secondary students in November. The results showed that half of the respondents never tried to find out if the text and pictures they ‘liked’ and shared were false or not.

About one third said they ‘liked’ and shared content regardless of accuracy, with 33.8 percent thinking ‘being interesting’ is more important than accuracy when circulating online content. Also, 28.7 percent believed they can do what they want online, and 15.6 percent said online integrity is of no importance.

The federation’s media counselling centre head Ng Kam-kuen (媒體輔導中心單位主任吳錦娟) said some young people apparently did not differentiate between accurate and false information online. “This makes them vulnerable to being misled by false information and might even help to spread rumours inadvertently,” she said.

Some admitted sharing conversations, pictures and personal information of others without their permission. Others thought acting responsibly and being law-abiding are not important when they are online. She said young people are no longer passive receivers of information but also disseminators, and they take part in constructing the cyber world.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 9 December 2016)

Federation of Youth Groups survey results

Cyber ethics for students and youths