Alliance to better protect minors online

  • News
  • 28/09/2016
  • BIK team

Following action lines concerning the protection of children online as identified in the proposal reviewing the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) from May 2016, Commissioner Günther Oettinger announced, in a recent blog post, that the first meeting of the Alliance to better protect minors online took place on 27 September 2016.

In his blog, the Commissioner stated: "Today's children are born into a digital world. They go online at ever younger ages on a diverse range of devices, frequently without any supervision by adults. While the internet offers many opportunities for the next generation of digital natives, it also holds risks for the young who are often unaware of the dangers they may come across".
 
The backbone of the new Alliance relies on lessons learned from the CEO Coalition to make the internet a better place for kids, which launched in December 2011. Acknowledging that "creating a safer digital environment in which children can flourish and act confidently is a shared responsibility", the Commission hosted a kick-off meeting of the Alliance, bringing together representatives of social networks and online platforms, device manufacturers, telecom operators, broadcasters and media providers, and NGOs to promote children's digital wellbeing. Insafe network representatives were also in attendance.
 
Recognising the valuable input gained by studies and research in the field of online safety - such as comparative findings from EU Kids Online and Net Children Go Mobile on online risks and opportunities –Commissioner Oettinger encouraged, through his blog post, both industry and civil society to work together through this Alliance and prepare a common statement of purpose. Furthermore, the Commissioner reiterated his confidence that the Alliance can help to identify the risks that children can face online, while promoting the exchange of best practices, and further committing to concrete actions to protect minors in the digital world.
 
Regarding the timeline and milestones for the work of the Alliance, Commissioner Oettinger indicated that the stakeholders involved will elaborate, through a work plan, the earlier mentioned common statement of purpose to be presented on the occasion of the next Safer Internet Day (SID), on Tuesday, 7 February 2017.
 
In line with the vision and mission of the Alliance, the Commission has already been keen on detecting and facilitating multiple means of dialogue and interaction with industry. One such example has been the Code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online which aims to prevent the spread of terrorist material and exploitation on communication channels, signed by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft. And, as highlighted in a previous article on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, the European Commission aims to establish, through the AVMSD proposal, a new approach for online platforms, including measures to promote European films, properly tackle hate speech and generally protect children online.
 
For more information on the first meeting of Alliance to better protect minors online read the blog post from Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Further background information on the AVMSD proposal is available on the European Commission website.

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