CHILDRENS CHARITY the NSPCC is asking the government to apply pressure on internet companies like Google and Facebook to do more to protect children online.
The NSPCC says that minimum standards are needed to make a difference, and is asking that the government ensure that age ratings, such as those set by the BBFC, be applied to pages, and that anyone under 18 should be automatically offered what is called a "safe account", which would be one with preset privacy settings and proactive filtering.
It also suggests that fines should be levied on companies who "fail to protect children".
"We're calling on social networks to be regulated and fined when they fail to protect children after it was revealed that 4 out of 5 children feel social media companies aren't doing enough to protect them," said the NSPCC.
"Out of 1,696 children and young people who took part in our Net Aware research, 1,380 thought social media sites needed to do more to protect them from inappropriate or harmful content."
Children reported seeing pornography, self harm and bullying content on social media sites, which is a shame, but it is the nature of the internet. In an open letter to the Times newspaper Peter Wanless, chief executive, NSPCC, said that a change has gotta come.
"Online safety is one of the biggest issues for children and young people today and one that the government must tackle head-on. It is high time for online companies to come under robust scrutiny from an independent regulator with bite and to face fines when they fail to keep children safe," he said.
"We already protect children from viewing inappropriate or violent content at the cinema and on television. Given that today's children spend their free time online, why do we not afford them the same protections in this sphere? Social networks must be required to offer children accounts that are tailored to protect them. Whichever party wins the general election must commit to ensuring that Britain has the right tools to keep children as safe online as they are offline."
Okey Pete, just don't tell the Open Rights Group. µ
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