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Latine Data Detox Saga: stories and recommendations from teenagers in Latin America.

02.11.2022 | Autora: Soledad Magnone

Para leer en español, cliquea aquí


Latin America has made great strides in child rights in recent decades. However, significant disparities prevail between countries. By 2020, almost half of all children under 14 years of age in Latin America were living in poverty. In this context, UNICEF identified mental health, violence, access to education and climate change as priority areas.

How are Latin American youth issues affected or can they be addressed in the digital age?

1 in 3 people on the internet are under the age of 18, and this representation doubles in Majority World regions such as Latin America, where a significant percentage of the global population lives. Nonetheless, at the moment there is a great lack of knowledge about these issues in our region and solving their emerging problems depends largely on civil society organisations. Thus, there is a prevailing gap in policies, practices and resources to sufficiently address the new challenges that younger generations face as societies become digitised.

To learn and educate about these issues we created the Latine Data Detox Saga (Saga de Detox de Datos Latine) campaign with organisations and adolescents in Latin America. The LDDS is a continuation of our project carried out in 2021 under a similar slogan. This year it aimed to: (a) raise awareness of the Data Detox Kit educational material among youth in Latin America and (b) contribute to the DDK by adapting and developing new content by and for youth in the region.

How did we do it?

With the support of Tactical Tech, we invited digital rights and cibersecurity activists to work together with youth organisations and educational organisations. The team consisted of Hiperderecho <> Sin Tabúes from Peru, Fundación <> Colectivo Coroico Art, Hijas de Internet <> Escuela Pedro Poveda from Mexico, and Conexión Educativa <> Unidad Educativa Jaime Roldós from Ecuador. The pairs from each country designed characters representing different local cultures to tell stories, risks linked to the use of digital technologies and alternatives to minimise them.

For the co-creation process, we developed 3 hybrid online workshops in September, to which participants connected in groups or individually. The facilitation of each workshop included the completion of asynchronous virtual and face-to-face tasks by the different organisations. Through these activities, we advanced the design of characters representing the realities, interests and contexts of the group of adolescents. The stories were then adapted into a digital campaign based on a collective action plan. The publications connected the recommendations of the adolescent group with the DDK resources and similar materials from the partner organisations.

As in other projects from Causas Digitales and JAAKLAC, we focussed on the collaborative process of prototyping participatory methodologies. These are then openly disseminated to be used by tech developers, digital policy makers and researchers. The online workshops (Oficinas) take the form of spaces for horizontal dialogue, valuing the different opinions of the group in the decision-making and elaboration of results. At the Latine DD Saga we created a character-based digital campaign to encourage teenagers to freely express their views on the use of digital technologies and their strategies for better use of these. These were summarised into social media publications to amplify their reach among younger audiences.

Privacy, security, misinformation and digital wellbeing are often presented in a way that is decontextualised or that privileges the needs of adults.

As a result of the Datos Latine Detox Saga, we raise these issues by linking them to the daily lives of adolescents in Latin America. How does online misinformation affect sex education when the internet takes the place of schools on these issues? How does violence move into digital spaces and what are its technical and non-technical solutions? How do we feel about the time we spend on screens and how can we control the persuasive design of apps that capture our attention? These are some of the points emphasised by the group of teenagers from the Latine DD Saga campaign.

Tactical Tech’s Data Detox Kit is a valuable resource in over 30 languages presenting recommendations and raising questions on several of these issues. Through the LDDS digital campaign we explored the needs and values of Latin American teenagers and designed new inputs for the DDK. The recommendations, technical and non-technical, were complemented with resources from local organisations. We have much to learn across the different regions, generations and actors that are part of this digital ecosystem. Above all, there is an imperative need to promote the perspectives of younger generations, share them in an accessible way and integrate their active participation in issues that affect them.

Don’t miss out!

  • Follow the campaign (10-21 October) on social media @jaaklac with the hashtags #CausasDigitales and #DataDetoxKit on Instagram and Twitter.

  • Discover the stories and recommendations in the short videos about digital security, privacy, wellbeing and misinformation.

  • Get inspired by the two podcasts where the team shares their experiences and ideas to innovate solutions for and by young people.