General Article The government should actually understand the internet if it’s going to protect kids...

Topic Selected: Internet Book Volume: 371

...from online harms

This approach to safer internet use for children is as misguided as 1960s fears about TV. We have to shape policy around the lives and perspectives of young people.

By Amy Orben

A world with less child abuse content, terrorist materials and self-harm images is a world worth striving for. This week’s publication of the government’s strategy against so-called ‘online harms’ (i.e. to give Ofcom responsibility over policing online content) is therefore a long-overdue step. If only it were more informed.

The policy proposal makes it painfully clear how little we currently know about the effects of new technologies; technologies that we, and our children, use for many happy and productive hours every day.

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