The Rural Digital Youth Resiliency Project

Investigative reporting and research

advancing public understanding of the unique

risks that America’s rural youth face online

Documenting the social costs and potential

damages to a generation of youth

Countering and preventing radicalization into violent extremism through healthier communities on and off-line

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CURRENT RESEARCH AND REPORTING

PRIVACY AT RISK:

YOUTH, PLATFORMS

AND EDTECH


Investigating the ethics (and legality) of youth data collection across platforms and Edtech, from Chromebooks to proctoring. We take a hard look at who benefits and who doesn’t in tech policy and practice in rural communities.

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: EXPOSURE TO ONLINE EXTREMISM


For more than four years, a team of reporters and researchers has investigated online and off-line recruitment techniques of organized white supremacist extremist groups influencing susceptible individuals ages 10-17+.

DOCUMENTING HARMS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES


Documenting incidents of online/ off-line hate motivated by bias against race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity, as well as incidents of rural youth targeted by organized racial extremist groups. If you have experienced or witnessed an incident, you may confidentially report it to our researchers below:

WHEN CONSPIRACIES ARE CLOSE TO HOME


Conspiracy theories, mis- and disinformation and dangerous rhetoric continue to spread among susceptible individuals in our communities. This includes among family members, nurses, schoolteachers, social workers, law enforcement, first responders and others who have power and influence over young lives.

Programs

Coded Landscape 101

Briefings on current behaviors and emergent trends in youth spaces, including the coded language and symbols of toxic online communities. Researchers and community participants are available to provide backgrounding for adolescent behavioral clinicians, social workers and other public health professionals, educators and community organizations.

Digital Security for Children and Teens

Know your rights, risks and responsibilities. Hands-on training for families in device management, privacy settings and coaching on data privacy risks and informed consent. This one-of-kind training centers and empowers youth to address their own unique risks in a surveilled world, recognize who is most vulnerable and learn how to minimize harm to themselves and peers.

Conversation Kits

Practical, candid resources for age-appropriate conversations about what young people encounter online. Guides for teachers, parents, and caregivers help address youth exposure to risky content and behaviors — from crypto currency gambling and meme-ified misinformation, to online extremist groups, toxic subcultures and

ease of access to the “dark web.”

Community Screenings and Panel Events

The documentary film, Raised By Wolves, is available for community screenings and panel events. This educational film addresses the risks to young people exposed to weaponized misinformation and far right extremism in popular social media and online gaming platforms.

Community-based Focus Groups

We invite community facilitators to lead focus groups for parents, youth, educators and school technologists in your school or community. These formal focus groups and accompanying survey-based research investigate middle and high schoolers’ exposure to hate and toxic content online.

Research Support

We are a collaborative community of practice reporting on technology injustice. We investigate systems of technological and economic power in diverse rural regions, revealing who benefits in those systems and who is harmed. We invite proposals on related research and reporting.

RURAL INSIGHTS

Three friends, Cabell County, West Virginia. Photo by Dennis Savage 2015, Looking at Appalachia

Cultural Dispatch

Generation Zeitgeist – The View From Here

This monthly newsletter features cultural analyses and insight into the inner lives of Zoomers online with a twist — directly from Zoomers. From memes, music and fashion to the fears, politics, tech and trends influencing their (make that our) spaces. Yes, there are bad things on the internet – we know. We also know our way around. Sign up for a candid look at who we are and where we are online, written and produced by rural members of Generation Z.

RDYR supports and collaborates with the Coalition Against Online Violence, a collection of global organizations working to find better solutions for women journalists facing online abuse, harassment and other forms of digital attack. Head to their website to learn more and view the program’s step-by-step guides and key resources, and check out RDYR’s Digital Security and Online Safety resources tailored for youth, teens and caregivers.

RDYR is proud to collaborate with TrollBusters on Digital Security training for children and teens. This one-of-kind training for youth, parents and caregivers empowers young people to navigate their own risks in a surveilled world, recognize who is most vulnerable, learn how to minimize harm to themselves and peers.