Constructing Australian Youth Online: Empowered but Dutiful Citizens?

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    When I started to write this chapter I noticed that it was national Cyber Security Awareness Week in Australia and the federal government agency, the Australian Communication and Media Authority, announced a number of new initiatives: including Cybersmart Hero, a new online anti-cyberbullying activity for students in the last year of primary school; a new SMS spam reporting tool; and Cybersafety Outreach – a programme to provide pre-service teachers with the skills and confidence they will need to manage cybersafety education and awareness issues in schools today, including a section on e-security. Earlier in the year we celebrated ‘Safer Internet Day’. While the Authority’s tagline is ‘communicating, facilitating, regulating’ it is quickly apparent that the discursive energy of local governance structures is mostly spent on discussing risk and safety issues to do with the Internet. While there is a nascent focus on facilitating digital literacy this has been overridden by a discourse of protection from cyber risks and focus on policy-making (see Osborne 2010). This focus was also seen in the high-profile Australian debate about Internet filtering and blacklisting of particular websites. The federal government proposed this policy in 2007 but due to widespread public and political disquiet, and innovative online campaigns, it has not yet been passed through Parliament or implemented.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSocial Media and Democracy: Innovations in Participatory Politics
    Editors Brian D Loader and Dan Mercea
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9780415683708
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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