Campaign launched to teach teenagers respect online

Keep it Tame, a national campaign targeting young people across Australia, is urging them to act safely and with respect when online.

The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (YAWCRC) is aiming to change online behaviour amongst young people by teaching them how to respect themselves and others.

The campaign leads teenagers through a series of interactive mock posts, showing the possible outcomes of ‘nasty’ and ‘tame’ behaviour.

Keep it Tame is the first in a series designed to promote respectful behaviour online.

The YAWCRC’s Safe and Well Online team believes respect can be used to address a range of factors that affect young people’s mental health and wellbeing such as safety, supportive relationships and help seeking.

The campaign is being featured on the sites most used by young people and is expected to reach 80 per cent of Australians aged 12 to 18.

“To promote respectful online behaviour we know we have to engage with young people in the online environments, and using the digital practices they use,” said Dr Philippa Collin, from the University of Western Sydney. “So the team has worked directly with young people from around Australia to develop this campaign.”

Marketers and academics developed Keep it Tame with input from 130 young people. It also has the support of the nation’s top 20 youth-focused websites.

“What’s really important about Keep it Tame is that it doesn’t preach or tell young people what to do,” said Dr Collin.

“Using their language and the kinds of everyday activities they take part in, it shares some of the useful tools and resources that help them manage online communications when they get out of hand.”

The project will run over five years, constantly tracking behavioural change based on campaign exposure and developing new campaigns that build on earlier messages. The campaign’s click through rate, from ads placed in youth-media sites to the full campaign, is already nearly seven times the industry average. The time on the actual campaign site is over 2 minutes, so audiences are viewing the whole video experience.

“Keep it Tame shows the risks and harms of taking a ‘joke’ too far,” said Imogen, one of the young people involved in developing the campaign. “It really puts the person doing the wrong in the other position, understanding whether it would be any different if they were on the receiving end.”

This week will see the launch of an online group of young people from around Australia who will work with the Safe and Well Online team to develop the second campaign.

“The main thing is to explore what the challenges of promoting respectful behaviour online are for them, how this plays out in their everyday lives and what a successful campaign would do, look and feel like from their point of view,” said Dr Collin.

“It’s all about bringing together the existing evidence base, the expertise of Zuni, our digital strategy partners, and young people so we create a campaign that is innovative and really reflects young people’s views and experiences.”

Zuni and Dr Barbara Spears, from the University of South Australia will analyse the data from the first and subsequent campaigns. Preliminary findings from the cohort and digital tracking are expected to be available next year. These will determine what forms of digital implementation are most effective, and what forms will be used in future campaigns.

The campaign can be viewed at






Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *