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Teens told to pause before they post anything sectarian

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​New campaign urges young people to think about the consequences of what they post online

A charity is urging young people across Scotland to consider more carefully what they post on the internet to ensure they don’t end up with a criminal record or a damaged reputation.

The Pause B4U Post campaign has been created by anti-sectarian charity Nil by Mouth and students from City of Glasgow College to ensure teenagers are aware of the consequences of posting sectarian abuse online.

The campaign targets young people who frequently use social media and will become part of Nil by Mouth's education programme in schools, colleges and universities across the country.

It uses highly recognisable images such as the Facebook notification screen to highlight the consequences of using sectarian language online. The offender is seen to post a sectarian status and then proceeds to be unfriended, receive reports and lastly becomes unemployed.

It was launched in Glasgow’s George Square by Nil by Mouth founder and current Scotswoman of the Year Cara Henderson (pictured right) alongside some of the City of Glasgow students who created it.

Nil by Mouth campaign director Dave Scott said: ‘This campaign is all about making sure young people are aware that their online actions can have very real consequences in the real world.

“The internet is a huge part of their lives but sadly we are increasingly seeing people use the internet, and social media sites in particular, to spread hate and bigotry.

“Having worked with a number of offenders, victims and families over the past few years it’s clear to us that some people do not think there are any consequences for abusing people online not just on the victims but themselves in terms of future career prospects and possible legal action.”

Nil by Mouth first commissioned research into online bigotry in 2005 and it has become an increasing problem over the past decade.

In May the Scottish Government’s advisory group on sectarianism highlighted the growing problem as a key battleground in the war against bigotry.

Scott added: “Young people are at particular risk as they tend to be the biggest users of social media.

“That’s why we wanted a group of young people to come up with a campaign to get this important message across and the students involved have really done that in a clever and thought provoking way.

“This campaign will now become part of our educational programmes, which reached more than 20 local authority areas last year, and show young people just how easy it is to get yourself in serious trouble by sending a tweet from your bedroom.”

 

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