Every year on the 7th of February 2023, we celebrate Safer Internet Day (SID) a flagship campaign to raise awareness of the importance of staying safe online. With a theme of “Together for a better internet”, today encourages everyone to join together to make the internet a safer and better place for all especially for children and young people.
Safer Internet Day came to existence officially in 2004 under the EU SafeBoarders project and has since been commemorated every second day of the second week of February.
Due to the gags and intolerant policies in main stream media towards sexual and gender diverse persons, we have found that our communities seek solace in the internet. In fact Kuchu Times Media Group is the pioneer of alternative media use in Uganda and East Africa and continues to run almost 90% on the internet aside from a few print publications that also have online versions. As we continue to grow as a community and use the internet as a tool for advocacy, it is important to constantly come up with innovative ways to be safe online.
According to the stories on intimate partner violence and the hate crimes that reached our desk from January 2022-December 2022, 70% of these crimes had a direct link to online violence that spilled into the physical world. As we take precautions to be safe offline as a community, it is important to come up with innovative ways to maintain our digital security. Thankfully we operate in an environment that recognizes digital human rights defenders and there are organizations dedicated to that specifically here in Uganda. For more information on online safety reach out to HERINTERNET or iFreedom and any other organizations that offer digital security services.