Over 90% of young Canadian internet users are between the ages of 14-18, and upwards of 30% of Canadian youth use social media platforms before the age of 14. Due to the large numbers of youth engaging with the internet and social media platforms, Canada has seen extensive collaborative research projects as well as the development of policy and community programs to help youth engage with the online environment in a positive way. The Canadian Kids Online Project is ideally placed to further research on Canadian youth and their online experiences, and to contribute to future international comparative analyses.
eQuality project partner MediaSmarts developed and launched the Young Canadians in a Wired World Project (YCWW) in 2000 in order to investigate the use of the internet by Canadian youth. Since then, they’ve conducted focus groups and surveys of youth, parents and educators to explore young Canadians’ behaviours, attitudes, and opinions with respect to their internet use. You can read their reports here.
The leaders of the eQuality project previously collaborated on The eGirls project – a three year SSHRC-funded research project that examined the relationship between gender, privacy, and equality in online social networking platforms. The project focused on better understanding the perspectives of girls and young women and exploring their perspectives on online exposure, and how their experiences are shaped by the their understandings of gender, privacy, equality, and safety.
Launched in 2000, PREVNet is an umbrella network of 130 Canadian research scientists, and 62 national youth service organizations with a shared mission to end bullying in Canada and to promote safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian youth through a combination of education, research, training, and policy.
As more children around the globe use the internet, comparative research is required in order to develop and inform evidence-based policies and international standards that ensure that the online environment is a safe an positive space for children and youth everywhere. The Canadian Kids Online Project – with the support of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) and UNICEF Canada – will launch an online survey in 2018 to not only investigate young Canadians’ experiences with the online environment, but also to take part in a global comparative analysis of children and youths’ online experiences. The survey is comprised of two parts that examine the ways in which the online environment can amplify both risks and opportunities experienced by young internet users, and how youths’ sensitivities to online privacy issues relate to those risks and opportunities that they experience.
Results from the survey will be published on this site by early 2019.