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Facebook offers to train ‘digital safety ambassadors’ for every UK secondary school

Facebook has offered to train ‘digital safety ambassadors’ to represent every UK secondary school in a show of support for tackling online bullying while promoting more positive online experiences.

In partnership with charities Childnet International and The Diana Award, the social media powerhouse has pledged to train tens of thousands of pupils in 4,500 schools as digital leaders and anti-bullying ambassadors over the next two years through a combination of face-to-face training, online resources and forums.

The initiative was sparked by a ResearchBods survey indicating that 63% of 13-17 year old’s were crying out for more peer-led education programmes in schools, with many victims preferring to turn to other young people first for support. Estimates suggest that anywhere between 6% and 25% of children have experienced online bullying in some form.

Antigone Davis, head of global safety policy at Facebook,said: "This partnership is the next step in our ongoing effort to help young people build safe and supportive communities. Over the last decade, we have developed a wealth of innovative resources on Facebook that enable young people to look after themselves and their peers, from our updated Safety Centre, to our online reporting tools. By offering trained digital safety ambassadors to every UK secondary school we are now taking this commitment offline too."

This initiative will dovetail with House of Us, a London-based physical experience which offers participants the opportunity to view at first-hand some of the online safety challenges faced by young people – together with the positive difference they can make when working together.

Facebook has been prompted into action by the UK government amid the looming threat of £2m fines for failing to combat the threat.