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The Financial Times free schools programme and Ofcom, the UK media, telecoms and internet regulator, are seeking students’ ideas on making social platforms safer spaces.

Pupils aged 16-18 are invited to write a blog or produce a short video in response to the question: What changes are needed to make social video platforms a kinder, safer place for young people?

Entrants have the chance to win a One4all voucher of £100, an expenses-paid place on an Ofcom experience day and the chance to be published in the FT and on the Ofcom sites.

Services such as TikTok, Snapchat and Twitch have become ever more influential online with a sharp rise during lockdown last year, and can help keep users entertained and informed.

But Ofcom research has found that seven in ten users have seen or experienced something potentially harmful on them. A third witnessed or reported hateful materials, and one in five saw videos or content that encouraged racism.

That raises concerns about bullying, abusive behaviour, hate speech and content that promotes self-harm.

The competition closes on 25 February 2022, with the winners will be announced later in the year. There will be two categories: videos of up to three minutes (individual or team with a maximum of 5 people), and written entries (individual) of up to 500 words.

Full details and submission information on the Ofcom competition website.

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