Facebook seeks to upskill Thai users

Facebook seeks to upskill Thai users

From left  Michael Bak, head of public policy for Facebook Thailand; Pijitra Suppasawatgul, Journalism Department head at Chulalongkorn University; Newin Chochaiyathip, vice-minister of the DES Ministry; and Simon Milner, vice-president for public policy in APAC at Facebook.
From left  Michael Bak, head of public policy for Facebook Thailand; Pijitra Suppasawatgul, Journalism Department head at Chulalongkorn University; Newin Chochaiyathip, vice-minister of the DES Ministry; and Simon Milner, vice-president for public policy in APAC at Facebook.

Facebook has launched a programme aimed at enhancing digital skills in Thailand.

The social media giant hopes to train 2 million people through the "We Think Digital" programme in Asia-Pacific by 2020.

"Thailand is the fifth country where Facebook has rolled out 'We Think Digital Programme' in APAC, as the country has a lot of Facebook users and the government is driving towards digital transformation and a digital economy policy," said Simon Milner, vice-president for public policy in Asia-Pacific at Facebook.

Facebook co-developed the programme with experts and advisory groups with courses and activities tailored to the country, he said.

"We build digital skill and literacy that would serve as basic fundamentals to enable a high quality of digital citizenship that can utilise maximum positive benefit from digital technology, particularly social media," Mr Milner said.

Thailand has 56 million monthly active Facebook users, of whom 55 million access Facebook every month on mobile devices.

The programme would usher in online and offline activities catering to people aged 13-25 and those above 45.

Facebook partnered with Kenan Foundation Asia for youth training and is working with Love Frankie, a social change communication agency, to train young influencers to create online content that suits their audience. It also introduced wethinkdigital.fb.com/th for digital skills knowledge.

Mr Milner said basic knowledge for digital citizenship includes avoiding sharing personal data or accounts online, using two factors for identity authentication and making sure what is shared online fits the audience.

What people share online becomes a "digital footprint" that could have consequence in the future, he said.

Newin Chochaiyathip, vice-minister of the Digital Economy and Society Ministry, said Thais spend an average of 10 hours a day online and are among the top three social media user groups globally.

"Creating digital literacy for youngsters and adults will facilitate the country's transformation to a digital society," he said.


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