Staying safe online guidelines

We strongly encourage teams participating in Pioneers to use social media to share their projects, questions, problems and suggestions, so they can become part of and benefit from a supportive community of makers. Like other ways of interacting with people, though, social media brings risks as well as benefits. We have put together some guidelines to help people stay safe and happy while they take part in Pioneers.

Think before sharing personal information

Personal information includes things like a person’s name, photographs of them which mean that you can identify them, or recordings of their voice. It isn’t necessary to share personal information to take part in Pioneers. Participants can share things publicly under a name they invent for themselves or for their team, and as much as we would love to see participants in photographs and videos, we realise some participants may not want their identity to be known and may not appear in them. However, sometimes it is useful to include some kinds of personal information – for example, by including a voiceover to explain what is happening in a video. Participants and mentors should think about the risks and benefits of publishing personal information: do they feel happy that anyone at all might read/watch/hear it? Is it significantly helpful to themselves or to someone else to include it?

Sharing other people’s content

Most social networking services have a minimum age requirement, usually 13 or older, so some Pioneers will not be old enough to register for them. Instead, an older person, such as the team’s mentor or a team member over 13 years old, could share their questions, photos etc on their behalf – with the consent of the person who created the content, of course.

Be kind

Sharing your work with strangers often demands courage. You and other Pioneers deserve appreciation for your successes, and help and encouragement with problems you run into. The usual advice is good advice: If you wouldn’t say something face-to-face, then don’t say it online. Remember, it may look like a screen in front of you, but there’s another person on the receiving end. Pioneers are a positive, supportive community of digital makers, and anyone who acts inappropriately risks not being able to take part.

If something goes wrong, tell us

If you or someone else participating in Pioneers is being bullied, or if you think you or someone else has disclosed something you shouldn’t have done, please tell us. Team members should tell their mentor, and mentors, please tell us so we’re aware.


Please check in with the parents or guardians of your Pioneers, to let them know that sharing what they’re doing on social media will be an essential part of the project. We’d recommend getting their written permission or acknowledgement of their awareness that you will be doing this.