Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Inter-yeti to freeze out online bullies

A new online anti-bullying ebook has been launched today to help Kiwi kids understand what to do when they come across bullying trolls, scary content and ‘friends’ who may not be who they say they are.

Internal Affairs Minister, Jan Tinetti says children will have a new friend to teach them about online safety, with Gunther the Inter-yeti and his trusty friend, Byte, part of the new ebook that’s narrated by singer and Australian Idol winner, Stan Walker.

Singer and narrator of Inter-yeti, Stan Walker.

“The Inter-yeti is the follow-up to the hugely successful Keep it Real Online campaign and The Eggplant mini-series to help build the foundations for a digitally savvy future, and help keep people – especially young people – safe online,” said Minister Tinetti.

“Parents, teachers and principals are very familiar with the barrage of information offered to our children through online channels. While we do our best to shield children, it can be difficult to manage.

“As a former school principal, I know how important it is to support our children and keep them safe from harms, like those they may encounter online.”

She said that with the nature of online harms evolving so quickly, the Government needed to inform and equip young New Zealanders with tools to rebuff negative information and provide them with support to be safe online.

“The Inter-yeti appeals to young children themselves, and will help to prevent online harms from leading to feelings of vulnerability, isolation, depression and anxiety and, in some cases, to physical harm offline,” Ms Tinetti said.

$2.1 million was granted from the COVID-19 Recovery Fund to develop this phase of the Keep It Real Online, with the help of young Kiwis aged 5-12 years old.

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