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

Welcome to our August newsletter. Today we are launching our ‘One Word’ campaign – please see below for further information and share where possible. 

Over the past month, the government has announced positive moves to tackle grooming in a bid to intervene online predators.  The Children’s Commissioner advised parents to follow a healthy five-a-day plan to ensure their children have a balanced ‘digital diet’ while Google introduced new measures to help advertisers block their ads appearing alongside inappropriate content. Ofcom also released their annual Communications Market Report, while TalkTalk launched their Kids TV Remote.

Home Secretary Announced £20million to tackle online grooming

Home secretary Amber Rudd announced she would award more than £20 million to the Police Transformation Fund over the next three years to help combat the online grooming of children for sexual exploitation. It comes after Norfolk police led a successful pilot with officers operating in online forums and chatrooms to identify and disrupt offenders.During the pilot, Norfolk police arrested 43 people and charged 19 - nine of whom were repeat offenders and 11 were on the sex offenders register. Police estimate that the scheme managed to safeguard at least 25 children. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “Child sexual exploitation has a profoundly devastating impact on the lives of its victims, and it’s a national policing priority to take on the threat it poses. We believe this project has shown early promise in tackling these complex crimes through an innovative approach.”  Find details of the award here. 


Children’s Commissioner calls for kids to have a balanced ‘digital diet’ 

The Children’s Commissioner last month called on parents to stop their children being consumed by their online world and ensure they had a balanced ‘digital diet’.

Anne Longfield OBE launched a ‘Digital Five A Day’ campaign based on the NHS’s Five Steps to better Mental Wellbeing. It gives parents five practical steps to ensure their children have a healthy digital world, these are: Connect, Be active, Get creative, Give to others andBe mindful.

She said “You wouldn’t let an 8-year-old eat a double cheeseburger and fries every day of the year, so it’s important children aren’t left to use smart phones, computers or tablets without agreed boundaries.” The commissioner’s full comments can be read here. 

Google Continues Clean-up Drive for Advertisers

Google has introduced new safeguards that will help advertisers screen against objectionable content, which could come in by the end of the year. The new measures will see videos and online content graded on the likes of nudity, violence and political satire. Advertisers will then have the opportunity to block their ads from appearing next to the offensive content. It’s part of a drive by Google to increase ad quality and clean up its ‘digital ad ecosystem’ according to reports. The search-engine is developing its own ad-filtering tool which is set to be released in 2018.  It comes after YouTube announced new measures to help prevent extreme content. 

OFCOM Release New Research Into ‘sharenting’

OFCOM released their annual Communications Market Report which included research into ‘sharenting’.The findings revealed British parents were divided on the issue. 56% do not post photos or videos of their children on social media with 87% of those claiming it’s because they want their children’s lives to remain private. A total of 42% of parents admitted sharing pictures of their kids on social media - with half of those posting at least once a month. Of those happy to share photos, 52% said their children are happy for them to do so and 84% say they only share things their children would be happy with. The report offers an incredible insight into the digital habits of Brits. For more information on the UK’s online habits visit here. 


TalkTalk Introduce Kids TV Remote

TalkTalk have introduced a new Kids TV remote control, which gives parents peace of mind as children can only access age-appropriate programmes. When a parent sets up the Kids Zone, they can pick the 'opening hours’. If the child tries to turn the TV on using the Kids TV Remote after this time, they’ll be met with a bedtime screen. The TalkTalk Kids Zone only offers child-friendly content that can be customised by parents. TalkTalk’s remote joins a growing list of products and apps designed to help children view age-appropriate content including YouTube Kids, Sky Kids app, BT TV Kids and most recently Virgin Media Kids TV app. 


Internet Matters launch One Word campaign.

Internet Matters today launches a powerful new campaign to help parents understand their children’s hidden digital anxieties as they head back to school. In a series of hard-hitting ads, the not-for-profit organisation highlights how children may feel reluctant to open up to their parents if they get into trouble online - during a time of heightened digital pressure for young people. Four videos have been created focusing on key issues including cyberbullying, sexting, inappropriate content and the pressures to be popular online. It plays on how a child’s one word answer could actually be hiding their online torment. Alongside the campaign we are also releasing a survey of 10,000 school children which reveals 52% would not speak to their parents if they had been upset by something online, compared to 91% who said they would turn to them if upset face-to-face. For the full research click here. 


What The Experts Say: Here



Internet Matters Team

Government Clamp Down On Pornography Sites Without Age Verification.

Social Networking

Matt Hancock.Minister of State for Digital announced there would be tougher penalties for pornography websites that don’t ask visitors for proof of age from April 2018.

The MP revealed that websites will be ordered to install age-verification software to ensure users are not under 18 as part of the Digital Economy Act.

This will be overseen by a new regulatory body, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It has been  reported that The British Board of Film and Classification, who set age limits for films, DVDs and games could expand their remit to include age verification on adult only sites.

Mr Hancock said: “We are taking the next step to put in place the legal requirement for websites with adult content to ensure it is safely behind an age-verification control. This means that while we can enjoy the freedom of the web, the UK will have the most robust internet child protection measures of any country in the world.”   Read more here.

UK Commits To General Data Protection Regulation 

Social Networking

The UK government has shown commitment towards improving privacy regulation by announcing they will be pressing ahead with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation - despite Brexit.

A new report from the House of Lords, released mid-July revealed how data protection would look after Brexit.  

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will strictly regulate all organisations that are involved in the collection, storage and management of EU citizens' personal data and firms that do not comply can be fined as much as 4 per cent of their global turnover or up to €20 million.

Article 8 GDPR requires verified parental consent for under 16s, however Member states have the right to vary this age. This raises the question of whether the UK will keep the age requirement for parental consent at 16 years old or reduce it to 13. You can read more about this challenging issue in the following LSE Media Policy Blog here.

Survey Reveals That Social Media Is Making Youngsters Anxious 

Social Networking

Ditch the Label recently released their annual survey which revealed that 40% of kids said they felt bad if nobody liked their selfies while 35% said their confidence was directly linked to the number of followers they had. For those that were bullied within the last year, 37% developed social anxiety.

One young person said ‘I use apps to change how my body looks before uploading’.

Instagram’s Policy Chief Michelle Napchan said: ‘We know that comments posted by other people can have a big impact and that's why we have recently invested heavily in new technology to help make Instagram a safe and supportive place.”  Read the full report here.

New App Detects Cyberbullying

A new Social Networkingapp has been developed called Keepers Child Safety that aims to keep children safe from cyberbullying.

The app tracks ‘suspicious and abusive’ content messages across children’s smartphones and a number of social media platforms including - Facebook, WhatsApp, SnapChat and Instagram.

The app works through an algorithm that detects ‘emotion from texts’ and alerts parents in real-time if their child is ‘under threat’. The message is then forwarded to parents. Keepers is concealed from the child while identifying malicious text messages.

For more information visit

Lastly, for this month’s What the Experts Say on ‘Are live streaming apps risky or harmful for my child to use?’ click here.

Visit our HUB for the latest news and opinions.

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