In November our Youth Board were invited by our partner Facebook to their headquarters in Dublin. They spent the day working with some of the lovely Facebook team to learn about the range of features Facebook have to keep users safe. I'll let Jack and Tayla from the Youth Board tell you about what we got up to during the two night trip....
Jack: On the Thursday we all traveled from our various locations and met at London Paddington ready to get the Heathrow Express to the airport. We had a picture around the Christmas tree then walked for what felt like miles to our gate! The flight took about an hour. When we landed we headed to our hotel and unpacked. We then had dinner at Dublin's equivalent of Pizza Express and I had a delicious American Pizza!
Tayla: It was an early start on Friday morning but this didn't bother anyone as we were all so excited to get to Facebook's European Headquarters. We arrived and were given personalised lanyards which stated we were 'special guests'...how posh! The lobby in Facebook was so cool, it had the 'like' thumb made out of a hedge. Facebook's offices were incredible!
We had breakfast and introduced ourselves to the lovely Facebook staff. We started the day with the Facebook staff doing a presentation to us on how Facebook work to try to keep everyone safe on their social media site. I learnt so many new things about Facebook that I'd never heard of before. It was also good to actually meet the people who deal with any reports people make about cyber-bullying. I can't wait to go back to my school and share with my peers what I've learned. We also had a tour of Facebook's offices where we saw their actual Facebook Wall which we signed, their Facebook wall made from pencils and their umbrella ceiling.
After lunch we took all of our new knowledge and worked in small groups to create a PowerPoint presentation on how to stay safe on Facebook and what you can do if you are being cyber-bullied on Facebook. All the groups presented these to some of the Facebook staff who were impressed and gave very positive feedback to all the groups, which was nice to hear. We are going to do these presentations in our school and spread the word. We then sat in our groups and discussed what we'd learnt throughout the day - if they hadn't stopped us we'd still be going, we all learnt so much! Sadly it was time to say goodbye to Facebook. We couldn't have thanked Facebook enough for providing us with such an amazing day!
Here are our top tips for staying safe on Facebook:
1) Block someone who is bothering you
2) Only accept friend requests from people you know
3) Remember you can easily unfriend someone without them knowing
4) If you are being cyber-bullied report it using Facebook's social reporting tool https://www.facebook.com/safety/tools/
5) Treat people online as you would offline
6) If you are being cyber-bullied keep and print any evidence of it
7) Think about the things you post on Facebook and never post your location if you have people you don't know on your Facebook.
8) Treat your password like your toothbrush - don't share it with anyone else!
As it was Jade's birthday the next day, in the evening we had an early birthday celebration and went for a meal at Wagamamas and then went to see Gravity in 3D. This was a perfect ending to such a brilliant trip and a great way to get to know everyone better!"
The Youth Board will be doing their presentations in their schools over the next few weeks and will be working together to create a document that informs staff, students and parents/guardians about the safety tools Facebook has if anyone is being cyber-bullied on their site.