Young people in Germany are clearly committed to democracy: 96% of 14- to 24-year-olds surveyed in a recent forsa poll commissioned by klicksafe said it was important to very important to them to live in a democracy. Almost 70% of respondents see the factor of misinformation as a threat to democracy. As the nationwide coordinator of Safer Internet Day in Germany, the EU initiative klicksafe is therefore calling for commitment to a vibrant, diverse democracy today. Throughout Germany, numerous companies, schools, youth organizations, educational institutions and associations are following the call with over 200 events. The motto of Safer Internet Day 2022 is "Fit for Democracy - Strong for Society". The associated online campaign #FitForDemocracy is receiving prominent support from Minister President Malu Dreyer (Rhineland-Palatinate), Minister President Hendrik Wüst (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Anne Spiegel, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Other campaign ambassadors are the well-known influencers Jokah Tululu and Gardinia Borto.
Ludwigshafen/Düsseldorf, 08.02.2022 | According to a forsa survey commissioned by the EU initiative klicksafe on January 28, 2022, 96% of young people between the ages of 14 and 24 consider it important to live in a democracy. Two-thirds of respondents believe that young people can change society if they actively campaign for it. However, 30% of respondents also say that while it is important to them to live in a democracy, at the same time they do not feel they can make a difference.
More than two-thirds say they have actively campaigned or advocated for an issue - both online and offline. Examples include young people taking part in a demonstration (47%) or taking on a volunteer position (44%). 60% have already signed an online petition and 52% have already liked or shared politically relevant posts on social networks.
Young people are very sensitive to false information, with a slight increase compared to the previous year's survey (88% in 2022 say they have already noticed false news, 86% in 2021). The assessment that fake news leads to hatred, agitation and general insecurity remains at an unchanged high level among young people (89%). 78% of respondents even believe that false information not only leads to problematic ways of thinking, but very specifically - as in the case of info about corona/vaccinations - can also be physically dangerous.
The occasion for the survey is today's Safer Internet Day, which takes place worldwide on February 08, 2022. In Germany, this year's action day has the motto "Fit for Democracy - Strong for Society" chosen by klicksafe.
To strengthen democratic competence, the EU initiative launched the online campaign #FitForDemocracy in the week before Safer Internet Day. In social networks and at klicksafe.de/sid , a wide range of knowledge and hands-on activities can be found:
- New klicksafe quiz #FitForDemocracy for young people
- Participation challenge "What do you stand up for?"
- Info videos with influencers
The goal of the online campaign is to get young people excited about democracy and raise their awareness of media literacy. Because democracy is not a given state, but must prove itself again and again in everyday life. For this to succeed, we need to train regularly. With the new klicksafe quiz #FitForDemocracy, young people can train their knowledge of democracy in a playful way. The join-in challenge enables young people to participate at a low threshold, right where they spend their time: on the Internet. Under the slogan "What do you stand up for?" they can create a virtual demo poster and share it online. Another component of the campaign are information videos with the campaign ambassadors and role models for young people Jokah Tululu and Gardinia Borto. While Jokah primarily speaks out about the corrosive effect of hate and incitement, Gardinia offers good reasons for a courageous commitment to freedom and diversity in democracy.
Malu Dreyer, Minister President of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate:
"I experience that democratic values such as justice, equality or the threat of climate change play a major role in the lives of young people. They are committed to this. The web plays a major role in this and becomes a marketplace for opinions and ideas. To ensure that things are fair and that the digital space is also a democratic space, rules must apply. Freedom of expression is a valuable asset of our democracy, but the line is crossed when hatred and incitement, violence and lawbreaking become rampant. For young people to participate, they must be fit for democracy and thus strong for our society, regardless of their social background."
Hendrik Wüst MdL, Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia:
"Addressing safety and responsibility online is of elementary importance for our democracy. The theme of this year's Safer Internet Day vividly demonstrates that Internet use is not just about pure security technology, but rather about the media behavior of each individual with its effects on social interaction. To do this, you have to be able to move around the Internet in a fit manner, understand the rules of the game and, above all, abide by them."
Anne Spiegel, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth:
"Fake news, scurrilous lies from conspiracy entrepreneurs and hate and agitation are often difficult for children and young people - and also for many adults - to expose. That makes International Safer Internet Day more important with each passing year. It is crucial that so many schools, youth organizations, educational institutions and clubs join in and support young people in staying fit for democracy and becoming strong for our society. With this commitment, we are jointly setting an example for peaceful, democratic and diverse coexistence, also online."
With more than 200 events and projects, foundations, companies, schools, youth organizations, educational institutions, associations and also private individuals are participating in Safer Internet Day across Germany.
The EU initiative klicksafe is calling on people to take part in the wide range of digital formats and workshops, or to get involved at short notice in today's hands-on activities. All information and an overview of events can be found at klicksafe.de/sid.
On 07.02. at 18:45 klicksafe organizes a Instagram Live Talk: The Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate Malu Dreyer and Influencer Jokah Tululu discuss why it is important to stand up for democracy.
On 08.02. klicksafe publishes the latest results of the forsa survey among 14- to 24-year-olds on false news and democracy.
In the electronic press kit, available at klicksafe.de/sid/presse , you will find:
- Teaching material: New klicksafe material #fitfordemocracy for schools and interested parties to download and order.
- Knowledge quiz "FitForDemocracy?" for young people.
- Join-in action: digital demo poster template "What do you stand up for?"
- Infovideos with Gardinia Borto and Jokah Tululu on #FitForDemocracy.
- forsa-survey: detailed results (from 08.02.)
- Statements by Minister President Malu Dreyer on Safer Internet Day (audio, video)
- Video interviews with young people on the topic of democracy (from 08.02.)
- klicksafe podcast on the topic "Can democracy be learned?"
Safer Internet Day (SID) is a global day of action for more online safety and a better Internet for children and young people. Since 2004, it has always taken place on the Tuesday of the second week in February and each year sets a new thematic focus as part of the international motto "Together for a better internet". In Germany, Safer Internet Day is coordinated by the EU initiative klicksafe.
klicksafe aims to promote people's online competence and to support them in their competent and critical use of the Internet with a wide range of offers. The EU initiative is politically and economically independent and is implemented in Germany by the media institutions in Rhineland-Palatinate (coordinator) and in North Rhine-Westphalia . On the website www.klicksafe.de , users can find a wide range of up-to-date information, practical tips and teaching materials on digital services and topics. The target groups are teachers, educators, parents, children, young people and multipliers. klicksafe is the national German awareness center and is funded by the CEF Telecom program of the European Union. Since 2008, klicksafe has also coordinated the Safer Internet Centre DE,which includes the Internet hotlines of eco, FSM and jugendschutz.net as well as the helpline Nummer gegen Kummer .
Link to Safer Internet Day
#FitForDemocracy (thematic reference)
#SID2022 and #SaferInternetDay (general, international)