Towards a Better Internet for Children

Policy Pillars, Players and Paradoxes

Brian O’Neill
Elisabeth Staksrud
Sharon McLaughlin
Read Open Access
The publication can be downloaded with Open Access on the NordPub publishing platform.

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.



Neelie Kroes

Brian O’Neill, Elisabeth Staksrud, Sharon McLaughlin

Part I. Policy Pillars

Filtering & Content Classification
Elisabeth Staksrud, Jørgen Kirksæther

Internet Hotlines: A Reporting Solution for Internet Safety?
Brian O’Neill

Awareness: Strategies, Mobilisation and Effectiveness
Elisabeth Staksrud, Kjartan Ólafsson

Regulation and Legislation
Sharon McLaughlin

‘Knowledge Enhancement’: The Risks and Opportunities of Evidence-based Policy
Sonia Livingstone

Jos de Haan, Simone van der Hof, Wim Bekkers, Remco Pijpers

Part II. Policy Players

The Changing Role of the Media Regulator
Brian O’Neill

Industry: Towards the Socially Responsible Internet: Industry CSR Practices Across Europe
Bence Ságvári, Miklós Péter Máder

The Influence of NGOs on Safer Internet Policy Making
Tatjana Taraszow

Teaching Internet Safety, Promoting Digital Literacy: The Dual Role of Education and Schools
Brian O’Neill, Yiannis Laouris

Parents: Mediation, Self-regulation and Co-regulation
Giovanna Mascheroni, Maria Francesca Murru, Elena Aristodemou, Yiannis Laouris

Youth: Revisiting Policy Dilemmas in Internet Safety in the Context of Children’s Rights
Monica Barbovschi, Valentina Marinescu

Part III. Policy Paradoxes

Risk versus Harm: Children’s Coping Profiles
Leen d’Haenens, Liza Tsaliki

Protection versus Privacy: An Area of Conflict
Andrea Duerager, Sonja Duerager, Ingrid Paus-Hasebrink

The Cultural Context of Risk: On the Role of Intercultural Differences for Safer Internet Issues
Uwe Hasebrink, Bojana Lobe

Rights v. Restrictions: Recognising Children’s Participation in the Digital Age
Sharon McLaughlin


The Contributors

Book cover: Towards a Better Internet for Children


Pages: 335
ISBN print
, print