Next UK government must not let internet companies off the hook when they fail to protect children

 

NSPCC Cymru / Wales reiterates calls for action as Welsh Assembly debates online safety

 

Websites and social networks must be regulated and fined where necessary

 

 

NSPCC Cymru / Wales has reiterated calls for tough action to crack down on internet companies who fail to protect children as the National Assembly for Wales debates online safety on Wednesday (May 17th).

 

Ahead of the UK general election the leading children’s charity has called on the next UK government to ensure social networks are regulated like other media outlets and fined when they fail to protect children.

 

It has called on all political parties across the UK to sign up to a set of minimum standards that internet companies must meet to safeguard children, including a requirement for sites to be age-rated, just as films are by British Board of Film Classification.

 

The NSPCC has also called for safer accounts to be automatically offered to all social network users who are under 18 – with default privacy settings, proactive filtering of harmful content and mechanisms to guard against grooming.

 

It comes after NSPCC and O2 research found four out of five children feel that social media companies aren’t doing enough to protect them from pornography, self-harm, bullying and hatred on their sites.

 

In the Senedd on Wednesday, Assembly Members will debate the importance of taking action to ensure children are kept safe online.

 

Head of NSPCC Cymru / Wales, Des Mannion, said:

 

“Online safety is one of the biggest risks facing children and young people today and one which the next UK government must tackle head on.

 

“All devolved administrations have a part to play in the innovative solutions required and and it’s encouraging to see Assembly Members debating the issue in the Senedd.

 

“Whichever party is in UK government next month, the time has come for them to commit to ensuring Britain has the right tools to keep children are as safe online as they are offline.

 

“Internet companies themselves have proven their own voluntary regulations are not up to scratch when it comes to child protection.”

 

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