On Thursday, June 29th, #TweeSurfing, a collaboration of Twitter and Centre for Social Research, was launched in Mumbai. #TweeSurfing, is a first of its kind, free for all web resource, to address online safety issues.
The web resource came into being after a year of CSR working extensively with Twitter, with youth and digital influencers on online safety workshops across the country. It aims to foster a culture of positive Twitter engagement by promoting the use of counter speech, issue specific campaigns, and developing and sharing user-created best practices.
“Twitter is working globally and locally to educate users about online safety and how to use the platform. There are two ways of looking at it. One is the people who are on the platform, and we want to educate them about the rules of the platform, how to use it for social change, positive uses. But we also want to incorporate other users, who might know of Twitter, but are not on the platform yet,” said Mahima Kaul, Head of Public Policy for Twitter India
The web resource uses short videos of Twitter influencers, to explain key Twitter concepts, and their own Twitter stories, in an attempt to demystify many of the common myths and fallacies associated with the platform and to empower users with knowledge on various Twitter tools and rules.
At the launch event, three of our influencers- Rohan Joshi (@mojorojo), Kaneez Surka (@kaneezsurka) and Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty), were present and shared their Twitter experiences with the audiences. We also had activists Trisha Shetty (@TrishaBShetty) and Harish Iyer (@Hiyer) who explained how Twitter is a platform which they use for advocacy and spreading awareness on a range of issues.
In addition to these public figures, the project has also received backing from a lot of influential users Gaurav Kapoor (TV presenter) @gauravkapur, Aditi Mittal (Comic) @awryaditi, Ankur Tewari (Musician) @ankurtewari, Priyanka Chaturvedi (Congress Party Member) @priyankac19, Anshul Tewari (Founder, Youth Ki Awaaz) @anshul___tewari, Amit Malviya (BJP IT Head) @malviyamit, Jay Panda (Member of Parliament) @PandaJay, Ridhi Dogra (Actor) @iRidhiDogra, Amrita Puri (Actor) @_Amrita_Puri, Suhel Seth (Marketing Guru) @suhelseth and more. In the coming
Dr Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Research had this to say at the launch event- “I’m happy to see that Twitter India is actively engaging with partners like us on such important issues, and we're glad to take our place on Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council to the next level with #TweeSurfing.”
Mr Amitabh Kumar, Head of Media and Communications at CSR and Founder @Tweesurfing says “We have a unique approach toward Online safety, Counter Speech, Cyber Etiquette, which is targeted at the millennials where we highlight the logic behind policies of twitter and the tools on the platform in a very conversational way. In the coming months we will reach out to all corners of India via Tweeship, our internship program to create Tweesurfers using Twitter".
In the coming months, Tweesurfing will roll-out an ongoing series of educational workshops, with a particular focus on rural India and government universities. Outside of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, #TweeSurfing will be travelling to colleges in Chennai, Kanyakumari and Coimbatore, before heading to the North East.
We'll also be introducing a new 14 day virtual internship program we call Tweeship. The program, delivered through Twitter DMs, and the @Tweesurfing handle, will train users who sign up on how to create Twitter campaigns for social social change, and then let them practice what they have learnt in a real campaign. The modules will be available in English and Hindi.
Stay tuned to our website for further details! http://tweesurfing.in