Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO and Twitter team up for media and information literacy

29 October 2019

Social media conglomerates are often looked upon with suspicion when it comes to the management of their platforms and collaboration for social development. Media and information literacy is a potent way to help people to critically navigate these information superhighways while enabling them to understand that they have the autonomy to choose what they do online or not.

In a unique partnership with UNESCO, Twitter is launching its updated Teaching and Learning with Twitter Guide during the Global MIL Week celebrations from 24-31 October 2019. The Twitter Learning Guide now has media and information literacy as its focus.

The Twitter Learning Guide benefitted from the direct rewriting and content provided by UNESCO through yearlong consultations. The vision and making of a partnership with Twitter were initiated a year ago when Twitter joined UNESCO on the promotion of Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2018.

This bold move demonstrates Twitter’s open commitment to enhancing the critical capacities of its users to make informed and wise choices about how they use the social media platform and engage with information that they encounter therein.

According to Moez Chakchouk, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information of UNESCO, “this partnership aims to enhance the global reach and the impact of MIL as flagship initiative led by UNESCO.” He continues, “UNESCO is committed to building peace in the minds of men and women, and this partnership with Twitter holds the potential to spread media and information literacy learning globally.”

“At Twitter, we are hopeful that this Handbook will have a tangible, beneficial impact on students across the world by helping educators impart critical information and skills to younger generations about how to navigate an increasingly complicated media environment. We deeply treasure our global partnership with UNESCO on media and information literacy and this project benefits immeasurably from UNESCO’s expertise and input in this area. We look forward to continued discussion and collaboration with UNESCO on how media and information literacy can be a defence against disinformation and propaganda around the world,” notes Colin Crowell, Global Vice President of Public Policy, Government & Philanthropy of Twitter.

The two organizations hope that by combining their global reach, they can realize demonstrable evidence of greater access to media and information literacy learning in social media spaces as well as learning environments. It is an ambitious goal, but it is possible once we keep digging, committing to go deeper, and not removing our hands from the plow.  

We must expand MIL for all. It is no longer a dream but an imperative if people are to enjoy the full benefits of learning opportunities in online platforms and self-protect from the many ills.  

The Twitter Learning Guide will be available for download in nine languages. Here is a snapshot of some of what is in the Guide:

  • Media & Information Literacy and Global Citizenship Education
  • Media & Information Literacy and Digital Citizenship
  • Dealing with Cyberbullying
  • Nurturing your Digital Footprints through Media & Information Literacy Footprints
  • Controlling your Experience on Twitter
  • Twitter responding to the UNESCO Five Laws of Media & Information Literacy
  • Learning Activities for Educators and Development Actors
  • Case Studies

Users of the Guide can create activities and Tweet them using #MILCLICKS to share your favorites with the rest of the world.

Ronan Costello, Public Policy Manager of Twitter, gave a sneak preview of the new Teaching and Learning with Twitter Guide, through the lens of media and information literacy (MIL), at the Global MIL Week 2019 Feature Conference held in Gothenburg, Sweden from 24-27 September 2019.

UNESCO hopes to extend the cooperation with other social media platforms and technological intermediaries to promote MIL. Countries around the world have increased their interests in and demand for MIL.

In line with the theme of Global MIL Week 2019, MIL Citizens: Informed, Engaged, Empowered –  UNESCO calls on users of social media platforms and technological intermediaries to go online and let your voices be heard about the need for greater access to MIL learning globally. For more information, please contact Alton Grizzle, a.grizzle@unesco.org.