My Digital Rights: British Library and BBC Radio 1 join forces to discuss Social Media Etiquette

"Visual minutes" by Sandra Howgate, created for Magna Carta: My Digital Rights with the help of Year 9 girls from Maria Fidelis School at the Web We Want Festival, hosted by the Southbank Centre

Do we need an equivalent Magna Carta or a new bill of rights to protect the future of the internet?

A new schools project - Magna Carta: My Digital Rights - designed to challenge young people to consider the issues affecting their online lives, such as free speech, censorship, surveillance and cyber bullying, has launched on the British Library’s website this month. The issues will be debated in classrooms across the world, before individual clauses are put forward for inclusion in a ‘Magna Carta for the digital age’ to be unveiled in June 2015. 

The British Library has teamed up with BBC Radio 1 to bring these issues to their millions of listeners, as part of a week of activity (7 to 13 February) on their channels devoted to online bullying, and internet safety.

Tonight (Wednesday 11 February), there will be a special edition of The Surgery exploring the topic of Social Media Etiquette, drawing on some of the scenarios outlined in the British Library’s My Digital Rights resources.

The video scenarios featured on the site outline issues such as the right to be forgotten, cyber-bullying and its consequences, the internet as a human right among others, and are voiced by young people offering their own perspectives on the issues. They are accompanied by supporting films, including Shami Chakrabarti on ‘Privacy in the digital age’, and Caroline Criado-Perez on her own experience of cyber-bullying.

Magna Carta: My Digital Rights has been jointly conceived by the World Wide Web Foundation, the British Library, Southbank Centre and British Council as part of twin celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of Magna Carta and the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. The British Library is working in partnership with the British Council Schools Online team to share the Digital Rights resources with classrooms around the world.

This collaboration with BBC Radio 1 is part of a broader partnership with the BBC’s Taking Liberties season, to tie in with the British Library’s own celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of Magna Carta. The Library owns two of the original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts, and is opening a major exhibition, Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy, on 13 March, as well as publishing a range of new digital resources for schools relating to the history of Magna Carta on www.bl.uk/magna-carta.

From now until 30 April 2015, teachers are invited to use the My Digital Rights online resources to start a debate in their classrooms, before uploading a clause to a new ‘Magna Carta for the Digital Age’, which will be presented to the world in June 2015 to mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of Magna Carta.

Notes to Editors

Watch our short film to find out more about Magna Carta: My Digital Rights and how to take part.

For more information on the history of Magna Carta and how it shaped the world visit our website.

The special edition of The Surgery is broadcast on BBC Radio 1 tonight at 21.00. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b051r1bm

For more information on Radio 1 anti-online-bullying initiative, visit the Radio 1 website here.

For more information:

Sophie McIvor
The British Library
t: +44 (0)20 7412 7790
e: sophie.mcivor@bl.uk

Evenings and weekends:
+44 (0) 20 7412 7150

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