Yuhyun Park

Ashoka Fellow
South Korea,
Fellow Since 2013

Citation

This profile was prepared when Yuhyun Park was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Yuhyun is establishing new ethical standards for young children online by educating them about what a responsible online citizen looks like. The dangers of digital media that children face daily, such as cyberbullying, game addiction, and online predators are well-known. This is what Yuhyun refers to as “infollution,” or information pollution. Instead of framing children as potential victims or perpetrators of infollution and imposing moral guidelines on them, Yuhyun enables children between the ages of 6 to 13 to take control of their digital activities with courage, empathy, and self-awareness. In doing so, children gain an understanding of how they may act civically in both real and “virtual” realms based on their own instinctive moral judgment. Yuhyun has embedded this core principle across various content and platforms in order to generate behavior change more effectively and coherently than piecemeal interventions which address each digital risk in isolation.

Yuhyun believes that helping elementary school students, especially those under 10 years old, develop responsible digital habits is strategically important to build a strong foundation for lifelong digital citizenship. Not only are children starting to use digital media younger than ever before, a moral sense and social relationships start to develop in elementary school years or even earlier. To inspire productive online behavior among children, Yuhyun has developed fun and interactive “edutainment” approaches that distinguish her work from existing digital risk education programs and regulations, which are typically more traditionally instructive and focus on teenagers.

Yuhyun envisions building a global community of children that embody new digital norms to create a sizable demand for responsible information production from media and game companies. To this end, she has developed a strong international network to spread her early success in Korea and Singapore to other countries (starting with the US) and establish infollution and digital citizenship education for children as a global standard. Yuhyun is working to localize and distribute her content through partnerships with leading local citizen organizations, while raising awareness about infollution through research and advocacy.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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