10 Feb, 2016

What are four of the top social media networks doing to protect children?

The Guardian | Marc Ambasna-Jones | Febuary 9 2016

According to recent report from NSPCC, ChildLine conducted 35,000 counselling sessions for low self-esteem between April 2014 and March 2015. The report blames “a constant onslaught from cyber-bullying, social media and the desire to copy celebrities,” as key reasons.

Julia Fossi, senior analyst for online safety at NSPCC says that while most platforms are taking steps to improve safety, social networks must be held more accountable for the content they host.

She says that social sites, which often use tracking technology for adverts and marketing could use a similar technology “to identify potential bullying issues and help determine what an effective intervention would look like.”

Abstract | With reports of cyberbullying on the rise and girls more likely to be affected, Will Gardner, CEO, Childnet International says that the area is “challenging” but agrees that sites must continue innovating with technology to tackle the issue.

Here, we look at what four of the biggest social media networks are currently doing.

Facebook’s rules states under-13s can’t sign up, but research from EU Kids Online and the LSE found half of 11 to 12-year-olds are on Facebook. .

Announcing the recent formation of the Online Civil Courage Initiative – a partnership between Facebook and NGOs to fund counter speech campaigns against terrorism and bullying – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that, “hate speech has no place in our society — not even on the internet”. Facebook polices the content on its own site on a report by report basis, relying on users to report posts to its “around the clock” global support teams.

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