Nowadays it’s often hard to distinguish between the online and offline worlds. One third of internet users are children, who use the internet to learn, communicate, develop, create and explore the world around them. But the internet can also expose children to content that's inappropriate for their age and which can be harmful to them. We know that what children can access online is largely unfiltered and there are minimal checks for age, safety and wellbeing.
In order to make sure children and young people are equally protected online as they are offline, the NSPCC is seeking to introduce an online code of conduct as part of the Digital Economy Bill that is currently being discussed. This code of conduct is a set of guidelines which would:
out responsibilities for anyone developing or publishing online content or
services, to make sure children are at the heart of design.
basic online safety standards for any online site that children might access.
We want to hear from you
We want to hear your views to make sure that decisions regarding online safety take into account your everyday digital experiences. This week, U-Report is supporting NSPCC’s campaign, by sending out a poll asking for your opinions. We want to know what you do when you feel unsafe online, what you want to change about the online world, and why you think it’s so important to take action now. To take part and answer this question, join U-Report in one of three simple ways:
1) Send us a message with the word 'join' to U-Report UK on Facebook
2) Follow @UReportUK on Twitter
3) Text the word ‘join’ to 67788
If you’re concerned about your safety online or any of the issues we’ve mentioned, visit Childline for more information and confidential advice.
What is the Digital Economy Bill?
The UK’s digital economy is growing fast and digital technology is transforming every sector and all aspects of our lives. If the UK is to remain ahead and be a world leader in the digital economy we need to continue to raise our ambition and the Digital Economy Bill includes a range of measures in support of this. The bill will:
- empower consumers and provide better connectivity so that everyone has access to broadband wherever they live
- build a better infrastructure fit for the digital future
- enable better public services using digital technologies
- provide important protections for citizens from spam email and nuisance calls and protect children from online pornography
You can find out more about the Digital Economy Bill on the Parliament website.