Topical issues in the evolution of the digital space discussed at the Forum

Topical issues in the evolution of the digital space discussed at the Forum

On May 12, the 3rd Youth Internet Governance Forum (Youth RIGF) took place in Moscow. For the third year in a row, the Forum has become a platform for discussion on the most topical problems of the evolution of the World Wide Web. This time, the business program was divided into four main sessions.

Topical issues in the evolution of the digital space discussed at the Forum

The “‘Create Not Download’: National Content” session was dedicated to the fight against piracy and the prospects for domestic online art following the withdrawal of Western platforms and production studios. Speakers discussed the evolution of domestic content as well as the ways to motivate developers to create high-quality domestic content that sells.

Discussion on the pitfalls of generative technologies and the importance of fact-checking was held at the “How Deep Is Your Fake: Online Fraud Techniques” session. “You could block deepfakes and prevent the distribution of generative content services, but that would be tilting at windmills. Our experience shows that the only thing that works in the long run is educating people about the dangers of using certain tools in the digital environment, as well as demonstrating positive and negative examples. Unless we provide the masses with digital literacy skills, all the tools for tricking users will stay quite effective,” stressed Timofey Vi, head of the Strategy Department of ANO Dialogue.

The topics of safe online behavior and the dangers of hidden sides of the Internet were raised at the session on “Whirl of the Darknet: Protection from the ‘Dark Forces’ of the Web.” Yulia Goryachkina, head of Personnel for Digital Economy at ANO Digital Economy, pointed out that the dark web is most definitely a dangerous space where unlawful acts are being done, which is why public and educational organizations, businesses and the state should provide citizens with digital literacy skills, educate them about mechanisms and speak about the hidden dangers of the dark web. “Here, at ANO Digital Economy, we’re focusing a lot of attention on digital literacy topics by working on the ‘Digital Crash Course’ project jointly with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Digital Development of Russia as well as leading digital companies. This kind of work, carried out by specialized ministries, the business community, parents, university professors and schoolteachers, will help protect our children from online threats and even walk adults through the steps necessary in case there are any online dangers. However, black-and-white thinking should be avoided; there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ people, since it’s always a matter of choosing your own path, and our common goal is to carry out learning activities that improve digital literacy skills, to help and guide both children and adults, mapping out the right and safe route,” she added.

At the session on “IT Volunteers and Information Security: Digital Innovation for the Benefit of Society,” discussion centered around a new kind of voluntary help that can become a great way to start a hi-tech career. Speakers also talked about information security, which, over the past year, has become a topical problem not only for companies but also for regular users of the World Wide Web.

Besides, as part of the Forum, the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ organized a quiz to mark the birthday of Runet. On May 12, the day that Youth RIGF took place, the .рф Cyrillic TLD celebrated its 13th birthday. The .рф TLD was delegated to Russia on May 12, 2020, becoming the world’s first Cyrillic domain. More than 691 thousand .рф domain names have been registered to date. The most active forum participants among those who had answered quiz questions received memorable prizes.

The Russian Znanie Society, one of the Forum’s partners, held an educational marathon, “CyberZnanie,” at the regional office in Moscow and at the Forum’s venue. Experts went live to discuss the ways to raise awareness in terms of digital and information security, as well as effective techniques for fighting against psychological manipulation on the Internet.

The Forum is held with the support of the Presidential Grant Foundation and the Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment. VK is the Forum’s general partner. The Forum’s partners are the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ, ANO Dialogue, the Russian Znanie Society, the VR Center of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO University), Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics (MTUCI), and ANO Digital Economy.

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