Child Internet Safety
CMF Academic Board member Professor Sonia Livingstone sits on the Executive Board of UKCCIS, The UK Council for Child Internet Safety. She is also "Evidence Champion" on the UKCCIS Evidence Group which is currently updating its literature review of available evidence related to child internet safety published in 2012.
It's certainly timely, as concerns about internet safety, grooming, cyber bullying, and children stumbling onto unsuitable and disturbing material are more and more present in the press.
CMF has contributed to the public debate. We have been active in supporting amendments to the Digital Economy Bill to make age verification mandatory for legal porn sites. And we have communicated our policy position to the House of Lords Inquiry on Children and the Internet on the responsibilities of operators of sites with large numbers of children in their user-base to recognise the fact and act to make parental control mechanisms as simple as possible and ensure that their sites avoid recommendations or proximity of material which could be distressing, disturbing or harmful to a child. Our submissions to the House of Lords and the Digital Economy Bill consultations can be seen on our action pages.
CMF also helped organise a recent All Party Parliamentary Group meeting where the BBFC presented their interpretation of how age verification will work under the new Act.
The UKCCIS Evidence Group literature review will provide an overview of current research in this area in order to identify trends and knowledge gaps, and inform related policy decisions.
They called for stakeholder reports or academic articles which detailed the results of empirical research in the following areas:
- Children’s online activities
- Risk of harm to children online
- Vulnerable children
- Initiatives to safeguard children online
Research Highlights Series
The Evidence Group is also inviting submissions for the Research Highlight Series. These are two page summaries of research studies relevant to child internet safety which aim to provide non-academic audiences with a useful synopsis of their main findings and implications. The submission criteria are that the research should be publicly available and meet the criteria outlined in the UKCCIS Guide on Good Quality Research.
If you are interested in preparing a Research Highlight on the basis of your research, contact Dr Jo Bryce for further details. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.
CMF has links to the Research Highlight Series, and many other web resources for parents and young people in the Info and Advice section of our website. It's a comprehensive list of sites that promote and assist media literacy in parents and kids.