A few months ago, the Children's Commissioner for England asked U-Reporters for their views on what it's like to grow up in a digital world. The first poll question asked about how digital technology affects your lives, with over half of U-Reporters telling us they didn't go for more than 4 hours without checking their phone. The second poll found that over 80% of U-Reporters would like more information about their digital rights.
The Commissioner’s Growing Up Digital Taskforce recently published a report about how to make the web better for young people.
Feedback from U-Reporters about their understanding of terms and conditions helped the Children's Commissioner for England to shape her recommendations and the examples that were used in the report. The Growing Up Digital Taskforce looked at how terms and conditions could be made simpler, given that U-Reporters said it was something they particularly struggled with.
The U-Report feedback also showed that young people want more information and support with their digital rights. The Children's Commissioner responded to that with a recommendation that all 4-14 year olds get special digital citizenship lessons in school and that a new digital ombudsman is appointed – The digital ombudsman would be a person who would have the power to help children get content about them removed from the web and to improve reporting of bullying and other problems to apps and social media companies.
Hear more from other young people what they think about the Growing Up Digital report and recommendations.
There are problems with the internet that we must tackle but it is still a really important place for young people to connect with others, express themselves and to learn. The U-Report platform and your feedback shows clearly how the internet can be a real force for good. It also demonstrates that services that respect children’s rights can give young people the power to make a positive change for themselves and others.
The Growing Up Digital report has many good ideas on how we can make the internet more child friendly right now - but ultimately it will be young people who will set the trends, design the platforms and decide the terms that will determine the future of the internet.