Internet Matters December Newsletter 
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Hi <<First Name>>,

Welcome to our December e-Newsletter and Merry Christmas from everyone at Internet Matters.

2016 has been a busy year for us amid some game-changing steps forward in the world of digital safety. We’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has played a part and collaborated with us on some amazing content and advice, and contributed to amplifying our message to parents about online safety.

2017 promises to be an exciting year for the industry, with more and more companies and organisations embracing the growing need to keep children safe in the digital playground. But here are some of our highlights from 2016.

Safer Internet Day

In February, over a thousand organisations came together to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people, reaching 2.8 million children and 2.5 million parents across the UK on Safer Internet Day, run by the UK Safer Internet Centre.

We released research showing that over half of children were not setting their social media profiles to private, meaning they were more vulnerable to being contacted by strangers online or being cyberbullied by people outside of their circle of friends.

Safer Internet Day 2016’s key theme was ‘Play your part for a better internet’ and had a huge amount of news coverage, generating over 800 news items across TV, radio and print media.

Digital Safety Awards

Social NetworkingIn May, we launched the Digital Safety Awards – sponsored by EY - recognising the most influential people and innovative products in child internet safety.

 A high-profile judging panel - including Baroness Sally Morgan and John Carr OBE - gave awards to innovative peer-to-peer programme e-Cadets, the ground-breaking tootoot app, the Professionals Online Safety Helpline, YouTube Kids, the Net Aware website and entrepreneur Vicki Shotbolt, who founded Parent Zone.

Duke of Cambridge’s Cyberbullying Taskforce

Social NetworkingIn June, the Duke of Cambridge brought together a new industry-led taskforce, including tech giants Snapchat, Facebook and Google, to support young people and their families affected by cyberbullying.

The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying will develop an industry-wide response to the online bullying of young people, with a focus on 12-14 year olds. Other technology companies involved include the BBC, BT, Twitter, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Vodafone.

Internet Matters & tootoot gain DfE grant

Social NetworkingAs the autumn term began in September, the Department for Education announced that it was backing a new programme developed by Internet Matters & tootoot which helps children and parents report and get help with bullying.

tootoot allows children to anonymously report bullying through an online tool – notifying the teacher and logging an official process. Internet Matters is curating the comprehensive resources and advice for students, parents and teachers.

The DfE grant means a pilot programme with 120,000 students across 300 schools will be able to use the online platform. The scheme will also train 4,500 teachers and educate 60,000 parents about how to protect their children from bullying and cyberbullying.

Internet Watch Foundation turns 20

Social NetworkingIn October, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) marked its 20th anniversary. Since 1996, the IWF has assessed nearly 700,000 reports, with more than 280,000 confirmed as showing the rape, sexual torture or sexual abuse of children.

Thanks to the work of the IWF and others, the UK now leads the world at removing this illegal imagery of children. Today, only 0.2% of the world’s known child sexual abuse imagery is hosted in the UK. When the IWF was founded two decades ago, that figure was 18%.

Online safety chatbot Oyoty trialled in UK

Social NetworkingOctober also saw the launch of a new online safety app called Oyoty. Designed for children aged up to 12 who are active on social media, Oyoty uses artificial intelligence to detect unsafe behaviour like posts revealing pictures or sharing personal details, and helps the child to remove the content with step-by-step instructions.

The app for iOS and Android can be downloaded onto a child’s device and linked to their social accounts at set up. Parents can sign up for a free two month trial by visiting this page on the Internet Matters website.

Digital Economy Bill

Social NetworkingNovember saw the Digital Economy Bill complete its passage in the House of Commons.  Following calls by the new regulator (BBFC) and many MPs for age verification measures for pornographic websites to include backstop powers to allow the regulator to issue notices to ISPs to block non-compliant sites, the Government introduced an amendment to its earlier proposals, which was passed without a vote.
The Bill will now proceed to the House of Lords for detailed consideration in January.

Facebook joins Google and the BBC as Internet Matters’ official partners


This month, Facebook signed up to work with Internet Matters as an official partner. Facebook made the announcement as it launched its new Parent Portal and we’re extremely excited to be working with them.

We were also pleased to officially welcome mobile phone provider EE to the Internet Matters family following its merger with BT.

Back in April the BBC and Google became our first official partners outside of our founding members BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.

Both the BBC and Google have their own programmes that address internet safety for families, but their support of Internet Matters recognises that working collectively across the industry strengthens our shared ambition to ensure children are as safe as they can be when they are enjoying the internet.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Internet Matters Team

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