Every third internet user is a child. We cannot keep children from engaging with the internet; in theory, apps and sites already have age limits in place, but two-thirds of children admit ignoring such limits, and the majority of children reportedly start using the internet at the age of 3.
Given that children and young people are so active on the internet (and, in fact, most of them are now “digital natives”, completely immersed in online life), how can we enhance the opportunities and minimise the risks? From cyberbullying to extreme content, how can we create a safer internet experience for children?
Want to learn more about online safety for children and young people? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):
What do our readers think? Reader Diogo believes the only way to keep the internet safe for kids is to have responsible parents. Is that right? Surely parents can’t monitor their children’s internet usage 24/7 (especially as the internet is so ubiquitous these days)?
To get a response, we spoke to Anna-Lena von Hodenberg, Manager of HateAid, a Berlin-based non-profit that offers advice and support for victims of online hate. What would she say to Diogo’s comment?
Next up, we had a comment sent in from Christopher, who thinks kids should be taught how to deal with trolls (which he doesn’t think is really that hard), rather than trying to legislate the problem away. Is he right?
We put his comment to Matt Brittin, President of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Business & Operations at Google. What would he say?
Finally, we put the same comment to David Lega, a centre-right Swedish MEP and Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights in the European Parliament. What would he say?
Is the internet safe for children? Do we need new legislation to deal with cyberbullying and trolling, or is it rather about education and better enforcement of existing laws? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
IMAGE CREDITS: BigStock (c) – Expensive
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