Schools and parents must work together to protect children online, says Christian social media expert

Thu 05 Jan 2017
By Premier Journalist

England's children's commissioner says young people are left to 'fend for themselves' in the digital world.

Anne Longfield conducted a study which found many 12-15-year-old's don't understand some of the terms and conditions they're signing up for on social media - and most 8-11-year-old's don't understand some of them.

None of the children they studied had a total understanding of the privacy rights they were giving away, when they tick conditions boxes online.

It's led to the Commissioner recommending more lessons on the issue for young people, a rewrite of terms so they're easier to understand, and a digital ombudsman who can mediate for children if they want certain posts or photos taken down.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Manchester Metropolitan University's social media expert Dr Bex Lewis said adults must work together to help children navigate the world wide web.

"Parents can't just say it's the schools responsibility, they should be working together and looking at how we create a better world for everyone online and offline," Dr Lewis said, "And commenting on whether the church was equipped to address this issue, Dr Bex added: "I think a lot needs doing on that.

"I was doing an online presentation for someone yesterday for youth workers and most of the data that I found was a couple of years out of date.

"Part of it is recognising that the online is a part of everyday lives, and not seen as some weird thing out there, but make it a part of our everyday conversation... and sit down as a Church and work out where that fits within our overall communication strategy."

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speaking to Dr Bex Lewis from Manchester Metropolitan University on the News Hour:

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