Defying the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Google Philippines pushed through its “Cyberpeace” campaign officially launched in 2020. As a result, the recalibration of strategies reached more than 416,000 internet users nationwide through digital means such as social media and webinars.
Google conceptualized the “Cyberpeace” campaign on Safer Internet Day in 2019 together with the non-profit Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM). The initial objective was to teach at least 10,000 high school students about digital responsibility by going to their schools.
“At Google, digital responsibility is a key priority, especially now as we, together with our children, spend more and more time online,” said Yves Gonzalez, head, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google Philippines. “We take an active role in helping build a safer internet for everyone.”
Working on three strategic pillars — building innovative products, policy-making to respond to new and evolving online trends, and partnerships — Google works to help people fight misinformation, scams, cyber bullying, and canceled culture.
Utilizing available digital tools, the company taps internet celebrities and influencers to help educate a larger audience with the campaign.
“We met with the volunteers and onboarded them with a new approach,” Gonzalez said. “We maximized available digital tools such as webinars and hangouts to reach more people. We asked YouTube creators, celebrities, the youth, and community leaders to use tools like YouTube and Google Meet to create online discussions with their communities.”
Spoken word, animation
As a result, Google was able to pick strategies that could appeal to internet users of all ages and social status.
“At Google, we believe in enabling partners, communities, and volunteers so we can all build a safer internet,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director of Google Philippines. “The campaign is a shared effort of individuals from different walks of life to demonstrate that everyone can make a valuable contribution and be a better netizen. Everyone can use their passion, talents, or skills to promote digital responsibility in their own way.”
The collection of poetry and animated videos on its local YouTube channel encourages digital responsibility, which hopes to help Filipinos be better internet users. The content is developed by the youth volunteers of TPBPM.
The themes of the YouTube videos are kindness; the value of strong passwords and online security; critical thinking, oversharing prevention, and courage online. Together with YouTube’s reach of over 40 million Filipinos, digital responsibility can be effectively taught to more people online using videos of creative expression.
The spoken word poetry is written and produced by TiTik Poetry, a youth group from Cavite that strives to use words and art to make a social impact.
The animated videos were illustrated and animated by Christwin Felix, a volunteer, who has been teaching multimedia arts for more than 10 years. The stories were written by Grace Bufi, a housewife and a passionate storyteller. Grace, along with her husband Rey Bufi, established the Basa Bookstore and The Storytelling Project, a non-profit organization which aims to spark hope, inspiration and imagination through storytelling.
Dingdong Dantes provided a voice over in all the five animated videos playing the role of the “Badge Giver”, a character who explains the moral of the story. Meanwhile, YouTube creator Janina Vela introduces, narrates, and concludes each of the stories to highlight the lessons.