New Taipei mayor touts Facebook mobile classroom program

New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi noted that cyber bullying is a serious problem faced by modern society and vowed that the city will focus more on anti-cyber bullying efforts. (Shutterstock)
New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi noted that cyber bullying is a serious problem faced by modern society and vowed that the city will focus more on anti-cyber bullying efforts. (Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (CNA) — New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said Sunday that netizens should have empathy for others and should show understanding and respect in the online world.

Hou made the remarks during a visit to a mobile classroom, part of a Facebook digital citizenship program titled “We Think Digital,” that began in Taiwan in September.

The mobile classroom, launched in New Taipei Saturday, is visiting seven cities in Taiwan to educate users on how to navigate the cyber world safely and responsibly, and made a two-day stop in New Taipei Saturday and Sunday.

Hou noted that cyber bullying is a serious problem faced by modern society and vowed that the city will focus more on anti-cyber bullying efforts.

“Facebook took the first step, and we will join hands with it. Let us instill good behavior among digital citizens,” Hou said.

“Since the launch of ‘We Think Digital’ in September, we have conducted more than 30 seminars in 15 cities and counties in Taiwan and have trained 5,000 netizens in digital literacy,” said Fei Yu (余怡慧), head of Facebook’s operations in Taiwan and Hong Kong, in a press release.

“The mobile classroom is designed to support the online lessons and to reach more people in Taiwan,” she said.

A Facebook employee told CNA that people should behave the same way in the cyber world as they do in the real world.

“In the real world, you don’t usually say harsh words to other people. Therefore, in the cyber world, you should not do so,” the employee said.

The mobile classroom incorporates interactive games with three main themes — protecting digital identity and digital footprint, creating good cyber interactions and cultivating critical thinking.

Facebook Taiwan reminded netizens to protect their private information and traceable digital activities utilizing passwords and social media tools, to exercise mutual respect when communicating online and to learn how to protect themselves when encountering cyber bullying.

It also urged netizens to be on the front line of stopping fake news by analyzing social media posts using three criteria — what is the content? who created it? and what is the motive behind it?

Prior to New Taipei, the mobile classroom was in Taipei Thursday and Friday. Beginning Monday, it will travel to Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, wrapping up the tour Dec. 1.