#2 How Much Should I Share?

Mind the risk. Once you put things out there in the digital world, it is nearly impossible to take them back.
Take heed: real names can help foster better dialogues, but they can also put people at risk and discourage taking positions or acting on controversial issues. Consider how much you should share. Which part of your persona do you want to see live online? Can you keep your offline and online selves separate? If so, how? Or do you have to expect them to merge? Which features of your offline responsibilities and roles should limit what you do online? Help your community consider how different audiences may react to their posts and how a post might impact them years down the road. Give them choices about how much to disclose, and make it possible for them to change their minds.

What It Can Look Like? 

Global Voices: Global Voices is a community of writers and analysts from around the world who contribute, largely on a volunteer basis, to a news site that publishes under-reported stories on topics ranging from digital rights and activism to religion, labor, and LGBTQ rights. There is an option for authors to contribute anonymously if their safety is at stake, and the site provides specific guidelines for how to maintain anonymity when publishing online.

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Related Resources

About Student Privacy

The Youth and Media team at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University have released curricular materials for the first through third grade level on digital privacy and safe Internet use: The Internet and You: Curricular Materials for Educators Grades 1-3. Featuring Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius from PBS, The Internet and You provides interactive lesson plans and worksheets that help young learners “explore what kinds of information should be kept ‘private,’ as well as consider what kinds of situations might involve their parents or other important people in their lives.” Though this material is targeting kids younger than those of the population of the YPP Action Frame, it echoes the core issues important for self-protection. Early conditioning can do good!

Check also the Student Privacy Initiative  at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. SPI shares a variety of issues and resources on student privacy in formal and formal educational settings. For example,  Student Privacy: The Next Frontier Emerging & Future Privacy Issues in K-12 Learning Environments offers interesting case studies that highlight some major issues from the perspectives of the students themselves.


"Protect Your Privacy"

Interview and illustration by Desmond Meagley

Q. How do you help authors think through how much about themselves they should reveal?

A. Many places around the world suppress free speech and sometimes simply having a dissenting view is enough to attract dangerous attention to your movement. Sahar Ghanzi, the managing editor for Global Voices' international online newsroom, illustrates why doing a simple "risks assessment" is critical when voicing support for a cause. She also outlines how she handles contributions from countries where people's voices often go unheard. Listen to the interview that follows.

Even if they’re an expert [and there is this] dynamic happening, we have a conversation with them about whether they want to use their name. “It’s very difficult for them to realize things could change very quickly in their country…but things can trickle over pretty fast.”

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