It is no secret by now that, unlike the older generations, young people are fearless. They have a lot of opinions, and they aren’t afraid to share them! Just turn on the computer screen, or hand phone, and there you see, young people commenting on all sorts of issues, on all kind of platforms! Some engage in fun and random chats, while others give their views and opinions after serious thoughts. It’s all good and well. But have you wondered, having commented…then what?
In comes this civic participation project powered by NUS Enterprise, in collaboration with the National Youth Council, and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth! Gone are the old days of one-way communication. This platform is designed to give you a whole new experience in engaging with the Government, on issues that are close to your heart, and issues that concern you!
On this platform, you can share your thoughts and views freely, engage in light-hearted (or serious, up to you!) debates with other young people, and you will know that you’re making an impact, because the Government is committed to coming in to provide a response to the conversations at regular intervals!
This platform is designed with the following principles in mind:
For example, we are adopting a light-touch moderating policy, where all comments will be available for public viewing. Even for comments that have been reported by fellow users as inappropriate, we would investigate and only move such comments into a “Tsk Tsk Box” rather than deleting them altogether. This is to show transparency in our decisions and actions. Of course, there may be exceptions where we would have no choice but to remove the contents completely, like in the case of users posing another person’s information without consent, or comments detrimental to racial or religious harmony. But overall, you get the idea. We’re serious in abiding by the principles laid out above.
At the end of the day, what we really wish to see is making this platform a credible space where young people feel safe to be themselves, and are armed with the necessary skills to be able to engage others, and the Government in civic discourse, and effect real impact for the betterment of us all!
Participate! Air your view, and make your opinion count!
While you’re at it, you may want to check these out to up your game in taking part in conversations!
Respect other people’s opinions the way you want yours to be respected. Let your manners shine!
Before beginning a discussion, do a quick scan: Has someone else had the same idea? Not a bad idea to make friends with allies!
Before arguing a point, take time to understand the other person’s point. If everyone is just talking and no one is listening, it’s not a real conversation!
Always focus on the issue, and not the person commenting. It’s perfectly natural to have disagreements, even among friends! But let’s not get personal shall we?
Here are some common logical fallacies that are often found. Understand them, avoid them, and your comments will be instantly smarter!
Back up your comments with proof. Don’t make up stories. Don’t be the one that got called out for being uninformed!
This platform is also a constant work-in-progress. Even as we test the Digital Youth Conversations module in its current beta version, we are already working on the next wave of features! As a youth-led collaboration, the young techies behind this system are never contented, and we are constantly looking out for the latest civic technologies to incorporate, so the platform will continue to evolve in tandem with youth. If you are interested in volunteering your time to be part of the system development team, let us know!