Swinburne partners with Alannah & Madeline Foundation to address online safety

Young men across the nation are set to become more educated in the online safety space thanks to researchers at Swinburne, who received a $179 000 grant to establish and support the ‘Improve your Play’ program.

The Australian Government’s Online Safety Grants Program, led by the eSafety Commissioner, recently awarded grants to several projects focused on the online safety of children and vulnerable individuals.

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s ‘Improve your Play’ project, developed in collaboration with Swinburne, is one such recipient. The ‘Improve your Play’ project is the first of its kind in Australia, focusing on educating young men (aged 15-17) about online consent and the impact of harmful sexualised behaviour online.

The Swinburne team brings together the expertise of the Social Innovation Research Institute (SIRI) and Swinburne’s Department of Media and Communications, to design and oversee ‘Improve Your Play’s’ qualitative and quantitative evaluation.

Swinburne’s Professor Kath Albury, supported by Associate Professor Anthony McCosker and Dr Dan Golding, will lead a comprehensive review of current research and evidence which will be used to inform the measures of every phase of the project. The team’s innovative methods will include ‘qualitative big data’ analyses using social media datasets and natural language processing, as well as more traditional techniques such as workshops and interviews.

“We are excited to be generating research to support the Alannah & Madeline Foundation on such a ground-breaking project,” says Professor Albury. “This work helps to fulfil Swinburne’s mission as a community-university with social impact.”

Professor Albury and Associate Professor McCosker are the leaders of the Digital Inclusion Program in SIRI, which is dedicated to social innovation in the digital landscape. Professor Albury is also an investigator in the Swinburne Node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society and leads the Data for Good Sandpit project at SIRI. Her research focuses on a number of important topics in the digital economy, including young people’s digital self-representation, young people’s sexual learning online, and how individuals understand and practice digital literacy.

Associate Professor Anthony McCosker is Swinburne Node Leader and CI for the ARC Centre of Excellence in Automated Decision Making and Society. He has advised on several media literacy and anti-bullying initiatives. His current research aims to address uneven experiences within digital society, especially for marginalised and vulnerable groups.

Among his many projects and publications, Dr Dan Golding is an award-winning collaborator on the critically acclaimed Untitled Goose Game and co-authored Game Changers: From Minecraft to Misogyny, the Fight for the Future of Videogames, which addresses issues of sexism and discrimination within gaming communities. Dr Golding has recently been nominated for an Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Award for his algorithmic soundtrack for the megahit Untitled Goose Game – this is the first videogame soundtrack to be nominated in ARIA award history.

Together, the trio will be working closely with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation on the innovative new project, which is expected to reach 10,000 people through social media, 250 young men through forums and up to 10 industry platforms through advocacy.

/University Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.