A Platform for Good Encourages Kids to Connect, Share and Do Good

February 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to online safety, today announced an initiative to create an interactive online program called A Platform for Good, empowering parents, teachers, teens and kids to connect and share knowledge and experiences around online safety while learning to become responsible digital citizens.

A Platform for Good has gained support and endorsement by leaders throughout five different industries, including social media, search, telecommunications, mobile, and cable. The initiative will present a brand new approach to digital citizenship built on ideas, research, and resources. By leveraging existing social media platforms that young people and their parents already use, A Platform for Good will have widespread appeal for a number of age groups.

The platform will provide the following:

  • Kids and teens will access incentive-based, interactive activities that teach them about online safety issues in a fun, engaging way. A Platform for Good will foster participation and collaboration with youth.
  • Parents will receive conversation starters and tips via text and social networking sites to encourage families to discuss current events, turning recent news into learning experiences.
  • Teachers will find new instructional opportunities, including interesting videos and web-based activities to inspire their students.

"All too often, online safety discussions focus on the dangers of technology," said Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI. "It's time to transform the discussion and create resources to inform, inspire and empower kids to make the right choices online. That is why FOSI is so proud to announce A Platform for Good, which is unique in its positive and holistic approach to digital citizenship education."

"A Platform for Good is an incredible opportunity to provide people with a positive message about online safety education," said Kim Sanchez, chair of FOSI's board of directors and a director of privacy and online safety at Microsoft. "I am pleased that so many industry leaders are stepping up to make this initiative possible; it demonstrates the power that collaboration and innovation can bring to help families enjoy safer online experiences."

The support and participation of industry sponsors will allow A Platform for Good to reach kids, parents and teachers in a new way, while addressing the need for a comprehensive approach to digital citizenship. The Platform will launch in September of 2012. To sign up for updates, please visit www.aplatformforgood.org.

About FOSI

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) works to make the online world safer for kids and their families by identifying and promoting best practices, tools and methods that also respect free speech. FOSI is a trusted, international convener, bringing together leaders in government, industry and the nonprofit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions in child safety in a Web 2.0 world. FOSI's members include: AOL, AT&T, BAE Systems Detica, BT Retail, Comcast, Disney, Entertainment Software Association, Facebook, France Telecom, Google, GSM Association, Microsoft, Motion Picture Association of America, NCTA, Nominum, Optenet, RuleSpace, Sprint, Symantec, Time Warner Cable, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, TELMEX, USTelecom, The Wireless Foundation, Verizon and Yahoo!.