ANU Study Finds Young People Need More Online Protection, Social Media Companies Urged To Take Action | Canberra weather

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Children need more protection online, according to an expert from the Australian National University. Dr Faith Gordon said they were “served” with “explicit and disturbing content”. They also need to be protected from social media companies that collect information about their online habits and then target them with advertisements and promotions, she said. Dr Gordon, who straddles law and criminology as areas of expertise at ANU, has just published a study on the attitudes and experiences of a group of young people in Britain, but she says the experience Australian will be similar. It identifies social media companies, online gaming platforms, and video and image sharing platforms as those that need to take responsibility for what young children see. “Alarmingly, we have found that children as young as two or three have been exposed to truly violent and sexually explicit material,” said Dr Gordon. “Often young people have to navigate through painful, in-depth content. Children also spoke about unwanted contact, often from adults posing as children or being bombarded with scams.” One child in his study said, “When you can’t get rid of something like a video of a suicide, you are very concerned about it. You relive it. She said the children themselves felt they were not protected from explicit sex and violence. “Why are they allowing this to happen? Why do they allow these people to appear on your screen when you don’t know who they are? Said another child in the study. The ANU scholar organized focus groups with 42 people aged 10 to 22. She then interviewed experts, including policymakers and regulators, in Australia. One of his recommendations is that businesses should be responsible for creating and maintaining secure online spaces, and that they should be held accountable if they don’t address people’s concerns. Speaking to young people, she found that the vast majority had seen “content online that had affected their mental and physical health.” Most did not report “online damage”. IN OTHER NEWS: Australian government pushes legislation to force social media platforms to adhere to a ‘Privacy Code’. Under it, parents would have to give their consent for their children to go to certain platforms. Companies would be prohibited from hoarding and selling information about children’s online spending and other habits. But Dr Gordon believes the Australian government needs to do more to protect children’s privacy rights, especially, she says, as the United Nations recently issued guidelines that force governments to act. Other jurisdictions already have better executives. In the European Union, for example, there is a “right to be forgotten”, so some private information about a person can be deleted so that it does not appear in Internet searches. This means that a moment of childish madness, for example, does not ruin a person’s life until adulthood. In the EU, the “processing of personal data of a child” under the age of 16 can only be carried out by companies if the parents consent to it. The UK is also strengthening regulations to protect children online and their information. Dr Gordon believes Australia needs to catch up. Our journalists work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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