August’s community bytes
We support a wide range of projects and organisations who share the same goals and vision as InternetNZ. To help create a better, more inclusive and safe Internet for all, we’re always looking at new ways to achieve this, and we’re proud to share some of the work taking place with our support.
Preventing child sexual offending online through effective digital media
We have a vision for an Internet for good, which includes a safe and beneficial Internet. However, given the limitations of filtering, we welcome measures that enable effective action against harmful behaviours. We also explored content blocking in a recent policy paper; To block or not to block.
In 2018, we provided grant funding to support Dr Claire Henry of Massey University. Her research set out to establish an evidence base for understanding and creating images and advertisements to ‘nudge’ potential offenders away from online child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) and toward seeking therapeutic intervention.
This approach to prevention is not focused on restriction, filters or monitoring of Internet users, but instead, on using the Internet’s potential to create better pathways for potential offenders to seek help. Ethics approval was gained from Massey University Human Ethics Committee.
The process highlighted the extremely sensitive nature of this research area. One of the staff reflected that clients who have been involved in viewing child sexual abuse material hold guilt and shame about what they have done.
Insights from this research have been instrumental in developing evidence based principles for effective online prevention to reduce consumption of this kind of harmful content.
At the same time, this research has provided a foundation for further work, benefiting Aotearoa and the global community, particularly given the lack of research in this area.
Underlying this research project is the vision of a safer community with reduced incidence of CSEM consumption, achieved through effective online interventions in this critical social problem.
An investigation of technology readiness for internet-based services for migrant owners of small businesses
Our 2019/20 grant round prioritised initiatives that focused on resolving the digital divide in Aotearoa. In May this year we released our 5 point plan for digital inclusion, and one of the priorities is “digital skills for displaced workers and our small businesses”.
In recent decades, the pathway to success for small businesses has changed. With more services going online, migrant owners of small businesses have strong motivation and need for Internet-based services. Small businesses need to equip themselves with the ability to quickly implement technological innovations. Those who are willing and able to use the Internet have an advantage. But what happens to those who face barriers such as language?
The Internet provides a fundamentally different economic environment for small businesses. In this research, Dr Caroline Qi of AUT seeks to explore their needs and potential barriers by looking at:
- the level of readiness to use internet-based services for the migrant owners of small businesses, and
- whether there are distinct segments that differ in terms of technology readiness among the migrant owners of small businesses? If so, what are the segments, and do they have any distinguishing demographic, industry, or business characteristics?
The findings of this project will provide useful insights for all of us working on digital inclusion. The success of small enterprises is important to Aotearoa particularly as the economy looks to recover from the pandemic. With the growth of migrants setting up businesses, we need to understand their readiness to use internet-based services to better support businesses’ sustainable development.
Our latest sponsorships
Social media impacts
Social media giants are everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, Tik Tok. The list never stops. We are consuming ever increasing amounts of content unchecked.
What happens when someone steps back and says, “hold up.” What are the ramifications of using these? Lucy O’Connor is that person, with the Selfie Reflective podcast. Every week, Lucy hears from ex-influencers, academics, creatives, and thinkers from around the world to unpack the seductive, individualised experience of social media and hone in on opportunities to leverage it for collective good.
InternetNZ found Lucy’s work inspiring, as it aligned with our approach to an Internet for good. With social media playing such a big part in our lives it’s important to realise the impact it has on us.
The Internet is constantly evolving. It’s becoming a place where everyone can be themselves without fear of being judged for being different. Communities are growing and changing in ways previously unimaginable. Accessibility shouldn’t be an afterthought, but something creators need to implement as a first thought.
Humphrey, or as he’s known online, NoHandsNZ, is a gamer, but not just any old gamer - he has epidermolysis bullosa, or EB. It has caused his fingers to fuse together and forces him to spend up to four hours of everyday bathing and dressing his wounds. He hasn’t let his condition slow him down, though. He has become an accessibility advocate for not only the gaming community, but the wider Internet community.
Humphrey has been featured prominently at conferences and in the news. He is highly regarded in both the accessibility and content creation industries. As his vision and content aligns with our Internet for all approach, InternetNZ is proud to support Humphrey in his advocacy of accessibility.
When you say mental health, most people shy away from the conversation, but not Lorii. With Loriipops, she addresses those tough questions head on.
Currently a full time content creator, Lorii has worked for a number of years in the New Zealand games development industry. Having seen first hand the toll excessive work can have on the human body and mind, she became an advocate for change. That change has led to the breaking down of barriers surrounding mental health not only in gaming, but wider society.
In the future, Lorii hopes to open her own studio that is both inclusive and diverse. This ambitious goal is what led to InternetNZ approaching Lorii about sponsorship, we were keen to enable her to continue both her amazing content creation, and support her future work in support of mental health and gaming inclusivity.