Report – Can We Fix It?
Debating the issues surrounding online child safety has never been more important. Giles Dilnot spearheaded this important panel discussion, with the aid of in-house social media app Slido to bring audience comments and feedback into the equation
- Tech conglomerates need to be more involved in safety, despite it not being profitable.
- A digital charter is necessary but needs great development to work effectively
- Educating parents will make a child’s online experience better
Digital literacy can be just as important as some of the core school subjects such as Maths and English to help a child gain key skills. Baroness Beeban Kidron, Founder, 5Rights, discussed the introduction of a digital charter that should include tailored design standards around content, activity, and algorithmic bias for all sites. She said: “It’s not about what kids need to do, it’s about what we need to do”.
Baroness Kidron promoted the idea that parents should aim to control the potentially harsh environment of the web, instead of a child’s habits, which could be assisted by stronger and better-maintained regulations on a global scale.
There were questions whether e-safety should be part of school curriculum – and BBC Children’s Director Alice Webb said she believed so. She wants it to be a regular inclusion into ICT and PSHE lessons, noting that students would be more receptive to information given to them if taught by a person than by computer. She also stated how a child’s talents and skills should be enriched not diminished by these possible online threats.
From these lessons in online safety, children would be able to apply these skills in later life. From this, they could be educated on routines and boundaries that will become assets in progressing as an individual. Peer-driven support can have a greater impact on children – the understanding that they will want the respect from their older friends more, and friends would not put across safety in a preachy or parental way.
A conclusion was drawn that whether it’s at the responsibility of the parent or the site, there needs to be more cohesion between both parties in order to protect and inform future generations to come.
The Children’s Media Foundation’s Sam Lawyer and Yara Farran are writing a full report of this session to be sent to the DDCMS as a contribution to their work on a safer internet for UK kids. You can see their fuller interpretation of the session here.
The Children’s Commissioner for England
Director of Communications
Baroness Beeban Kidron
Founder and CEO
Director BBC Children’s and Director BBC North
Head of Digital Strategy & Product - EMEA