Document Type

Conference Paper

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Media and socio-cultural communication

Publication Details

Paper presented at IAMCR Annual Congress, Kader Has University, Istanbul, 13-17 July, 2011.

Abstract

Since 2006, EU Kids Online – a thematic research network funded under the Safer Internet Programme - has sought to extend knowledge and inform policy regarding the opportunities that the internet affords children and young people, the risks they experience online, and the impact on children when they encounter difficulties. This paper seeks to locate EU Kids Online policy recommendations within the overarching European strategy and policy framework known as A Digital Agenda for Europe and to assess gaps in the current provision for internet safety. Originating with the Safer Internet Action Plan (1999-2004), the European Union has for over ten years promoted internet safety as a central element of Information Society policy. The underpinning objective is one of supporting an ‘Information Society for all’, fostering digital inclusion, better access and skills for all citizens, and crucially encouraging participation of young people in ICT activities. Within the terms of the Digital Agenda, it is recognized that a barrier to further e-inclusion is a lack of trust and confidence in online technologies, requiring on the part of the European Commission and member states reinforced efforts towards security, protection of privacy, and awareness of online safety. European policy in the main addresses adults’ (and parents’) concerns regarding security. Yet, as revealed in EU Kids Online research, children while mostly very confident in their approach to the online world, also have significant concerns regarding the availability of quality online content, trust, security, misuse of personal data and online support services. This paper outlines policy implications of research findings on this topic and argues for a child-centred approach towards confidence building.

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