February 29, 2024

On Safer Internet Day 2024, Vodafone released a film called ‘The Rise of the Aggro-rithm’ to bring attention to harmful AI algorithms targeting teen and tween boys in Britain. The film highlighted that 69% of boys aged 11-14 have been exposed to online content promoting misogyny and other harmful views, with over half of the boys engaging with influencers tied to the manosphere. These harmful algorithms are leading boys to such content through innocent searches, resulting in changes in language and behavior. Vodafone and NSPCC have created a toolkit to support families in having online safety conversations and are calling for regulators to ensure tech platforms prioritize user safety in the design of their products and services. They also created a hard-hitting film to raise awareness. Boys aged 11-14 are being exposed to harmful content within minutes of being online, contributing to an increase in sexist language and negative behavior in the classroom. The campaign is calling for a focus on ‘safety by design’ to ensure that children are protected from harmful content. Vodafone’s new toolkit, created in conjunction with NSPCC, supports parents in having online safety conversations with their children. They have been active in the digital parenting space for 14 years and are committed to doing more in the future to protect children online.

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