The Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection Dr. Eleonora Lilova opened an online meeting dedicated to the International Safer Internet Day. The event is organized by the National Center for Safer Internet for the 18th consecutive year under the motto: "Together for better internet. Fake news or truth.”


Safer Internet Day has been celebrated since 2004 at the initiative of the European Commission in more than 150 countries. It aims to promote the safe and responsible use of online technologies and mobile devices by children and young people around the world.


The main focus of this year's forum is a discussion about false information on the Internet, the risks it carries and how to distinguish true from false content. The idea is of the young people at the National Center for Safe Internet, who in recent years have repeatedly offered this topic to be in focus.


Nearly 30 of the members of the Children's Council under the SACP from Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Gabrovo, Dobrich, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Sliven, Sofia, Smolyan, Stara Zagora and Haskovo also took part in the discussion. The representatives of the children's voice in Bulgaria expressed the opinion that it is good to have separate classes on safe Internet at school, in which through examples, discussions and advice children can be informed how to learn and have fun safely in a digital environment. They also describe getting reliable information on the web as a challenge.


"The rules for limiting harmful content on the Internet must be discussed with children so that they are not perceived only as prohibitions and restrictions, but as a way to reduce child abuse. That is why I especially congratulate the organizers for the discussion of the Youth Panel in the program of the event with the active participation of the children in it," said the Chairperson of the SACP, Dr. Eleonora Lilova.


She added that in order for children to be safe on the Internet in 2020, the State Agency for Child Protection in partnership with the DGCOC, the National Center for Safe Internet, etc., as well as with the participation of the Children's Council at the SACP, prepared a Manual with useful tips and rules for them. It also has a short dictionary with useful information on how to recognize fake news, what is profile theft, phishing, etc. The developed manual "Network Safety" is published for free use on the SACP website and is distributed in educational institutions.


"Fake data creators are becoming more and more inventive and are constantly using different media techniques to get the reader's attention, such as provocative headlines, misleading them into believing that the information they are reading is true. The more time we spend in the digital environment, the more we need to be aware of the risks we are exposed to. The more and different information we receive over the Internet, the greater the risk of coming across manipulative and false information that can even endanger our health - mental and sometimes even physical. Therefore, the recognition of large arrays of information puts before all of us the task to learn to constantly distinguish between true and false, logical from illogical, real from fictional and correct from incorrect facts, data or phenomena," said Dr. Lilova.


As every year, the organizers announced the winning teams in the national competition under the Cyberscout program. This time these are the three teams from the town of Saedinenie and the town of Stara Zagora. With the support of their teachers, the cyber-scouts prepared and conducted various activities and initiatives to pass on to their peers the knowledge and skills for risk prevention online.

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