Today, millions of people in 120 countries are marking Safer Internet Day. The European Commission and leading digital players have committed to work towards curbing harmful content, conduct and contact in an Alliance to Better Protect Minors Online.
Today, on Safer Internet Day millions of children, parents, educators and policy makers in over 120 countries across six continents are exploring how to stay safe online. The digital world offers endless opportunities, but it is also a place where young people may be exposed to violent or disturbing content, strong language or hate speech or become victims of cyber-bullying, or sexual harassment. Last year, 82% of UK 13 to 18 year olds were confronted with online hate.
The motto of Safer Internet Day 2017 is "Be the change: unite for a better internet". In this spirit, the European Commission, tech and telecoms companies, broadcasters, NGOs and UNICEF (who form the Alliance to Better Protect Minors Online) today unveiled a major self-regulatory initiative to address harmful content, harmful conduct and harmful contact online. This has been brokered by the European Commission in line with its Better Internet for Kids strategy.
Andrus Ansip, the Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: "Today, our children are born into an increasingly digital society and start using the internet at an ever younger age. This gives them a direct involvement and importance in the Digital Single Market. While online activities stimulate their critical thinking, they may face risks that can harm their well-being and development. Creating a safe digital environment for children is a shared responsibility and so I welcome this self-regulatory initiative from companies and NGOs. I have high expectations of the Alliance's work to make the internet safer and better for children.