In Pictures

Five young people describe their dream internet

To mark the United Nations Day of Anti-Bullying, the Internet Society and Panos Pictures asked young people around the world what their dream internet would look like.

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Adela Goberna, Argentina

Adela Goberna Image copyright Nicolas Goldberg / Panos Pictures

"The internet needs to feel more like chatting in a bar," said Adela Goberna, 23, a newly qualified lawyer and co-founder of the Internet Society's Youth Special Interest Group.

"You need to be able to say, 'OK, our opinions are different but I respect what you're saying and I'm getting something from this conversation.' And I think that type of conversation makes people much more relaxed and willing to speak."

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Ayu 'Ulya, Indonesia

Ayu 'Ulya Image copyright Kemal Jufri / Panos Pictures

Ayu 'Ulya is a 25-year-old teacher and game designer from Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Her game, called Cempala: Prime Numbers, teaches students mathematics while also talking about ecology and Indonesian heritage.

"We need to share and preserve culture through the internet. We have to be open-minded and think outside our boxes. We have to think creatively.

"Because I'm staying in a corner of Indonesia, and am far away from Western culture, it doesn't mean I can't learn about it. I can learn everything from internet, think and compare. Take the good things and throw out the bad things."

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Benjz Gerard Sevilla, Philippines

Benjz Gerard (Magtibay) Sevilla Image copyright Sanjit Das / Panos Pictures

"My role is to create ways that governments, businesses, and people can talk to each other to make the internet better in the Philippines," said Benjz Gerard Sevilla, part of the Internet Engineering Taskforce, a group whose mission it is to make the internet work better.

"It's not a silver bullet, but it's about making sure there's content and there's equitable access to it."

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Elif Sert, Turkey

Elif Sert Image copyright Aytunc Akad / Panos Pictures

Elif Sert is a 22-year-old law student and blogger living in Istanbul.

"You can share your love on the internet. I can just go to the Philippines, buy my tickets, meet people on couchsurfing.com and go. This makes me feel alive and makes me feel like a world citizen. It allows me to have friends everywhere."

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Balpreet Kaur, US

Balpreet Kaur on campus Image copyright Hossein Fatemi / Panos Pictures

Balpreet Kaur, 22, is in her last year of International Development at Ohio State University in Columbus.

In 2012, a post on Reddit mocked her appearance, but rather than getting angry, she posted a response talking about the importance of her Sikh faith and provoking a thoughtful discussion of how we treat strangers. Her response went viral and sparked an incredible discussion about the power of positivity online.

"There's nothing special in what I did. We all have that capacity," said Kaur.

"And so to label one person as inspiring and the other person as not so inspiring, it's kind of difficult for me to reconcile. If there are parts of me that are inspiring, then I'll take it.

"I'm glad that even if I don't intentionally want to inspire you, there's something in me that you see that is inspiring, and that inspires me that you're seeing this."

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The Internet Society and Panos Pictures are using the tag #dreamInternet and would like to hear your views and stories to inspire others.

All photographs courtesy Panos Pictures.

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