Towards a Better Internet for Children

Policy Pillars, Players and Paradoxes

Keeping children safe online has been the subject of intensive policy debate ever since the mid-1990s when the internet first became an important public communications medium. The European Union has been to the fore in promoting internet safety and through its Safer Internet Programme has supported multistakeholder initiatives with industry, law enforcement, education and civil society to create a safer internet environment. Now, with a new emphasis on not just a safer but also a better internet, policy makers have signalled a new phase in strategies to protect children online. Reviewing the development of internet safety policy over this period – against the background of better evidence about the reality of young people’s experiences and looking to its future are among the key themes of this book.

Contributors, all members of the now 33-country EU Kids Online network, seek to add to a growing literature on policy matters regarding internet regulation and governance as the Internet enters a new phase of maturity with near universal access and use. European in scope but international in outlook, the chapters in this collection seek to raise critical debate on just how mainstream are policies to protect young people, promote their best interests online and empower them to avail of the full range of digital opportunities? Against a background of increased international tension and debate over whether the internet should be regulated at all, contributors adopt a somewhat different position and assess the forms, contexts and evidence in favour of action – regulatory and otherwise – needed to support safer and better outcomes for young people.


Part I Policy Pillars 
Filtering & Content Classification 
Internet Hotlines. A Reporting Solution for Internet Safety? 
Awareness. Strategies, Mobilisation and Effectiveness 
Regulation and Legislation 
‘Knowledge Enhancement’. The Risks and Opportunities of Evidence-based Policy 
Part II Policy Players 
The Changing Role of the Media Regulator 
Industry. Towards the Socially Responsible Internet. Industry CSR Practices Across Europe 
The Influence of NGOs on Safer Internet Policy Making 
Teaching Internet Safety, Promoting Digital Literacy. The Dual Role of Education and Schools 
Parents. Mediation, Self-regulation and Co-regulation  
Youth. Revisiting Policy Dilemmas in Internet Safety in the Context of Children’s Rights 
Part III Policy Paradoxes 
Risk versus Harm. Children’s Coping Profiles 
Protection versus Privacy. An Area of Conflict 
The Cultural Context of Risk. On the Role of Intercultural Differences for Safer Internet Issues 
Rights v. Restrictions. Recognising Children’s Participation in the Digital Age 
The Contributors 
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