DUBAI: Facebook parent company Meta has launched My Digital World, a pilot program for adults in Lebanon that aims to create a safer online experience and reduce the risk of bad behavior in the real world. It has been developed with local partner the Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training.
“Our partnership with (LOST) will allow us to localize the My Digital World — Adults curriculum to meet the needs of marginalized communities in the Bekaa, Balbeck and Hermel regions,” said Rama Halaseh, Meta’s policy programs manager for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.
The program is designed to be delivered as a complete curriculum using virtual and in-person teaching. It will be used to train between 30 and 50 members of local communities who in turn will train more than 2,000 people and lead public-awareness campaigns.
The program includes five learning modules covering privacy, security, avoiding scams, media literacy and digital citizenship. They aim to teach the skills required for positive and safe interaction with others in online communities.
Meta will work with local partners to incorporate a behavioral change analysis process that will be used to assess the effectiveness of its approach and program design.
“LOST cares deeply about digital literacy,” said Rami Lakkis, the organization’s founder and manager. “With our strategic partnership with Meta, we aim to implement the My Digital World curriculum to address the needs of the targeted marginalized communities in the country’s Bekaa, Balbeck and Hermel regions and equip people with the skills needed to navigate digital spaces safely and responsibly and succeed in an increasingly complex and digitally connected world.”
Meta launched its wider My Digital World initiative on Feb. 8, the annual Safer Internet Day, in the form of a web portal dedicated to educating users in the Middle East and North Africa. Through it, visitors can access digital-literacy resources designed to help keep users, particularly young people, safe on the internet. The documents are available in English, Arabic and French. It also features learning modules for students between the ages of 13 and 18 that were created by Meta through partnerships with experts in the region.
“As our society continues to grow, online education and training have become a critical resource in almost every aspect of life, be it personal or professional,” Halaseh said. “It has become a fundamental component of people’s growth choices.
“Accordingly, we devote significant resources to ensuring our platforms provide people with a safe and positive experience, which is why we invest heavily in tools and programs to safeguard people.”