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In their own words: What bothers children online? – EU Kids Online

We already mentioned the EU Kids Online survey that found that 55% of 9-16 year olds think that there are things online that bother children their age. Also, 12% of children (and 8% of their parents) say they have been bothered or upset by something online in the past year. A new report from EU Kids Online know asks what might they have had in mind. The report presents answers in children’s own words aiming to discover:

  • What do children think are the worrying risks online, and how do they describe them?
  • Are they concerned about risks that have been neglected from the policy agenda?
  • Do their concerns vary by age, gender, culture or experience?

Here is the summary of the report:

eukidsonlineNearly 10,000 children told us about what upsets them and their friends online. Their responses were diverse, revealing a long list of concerns.

Pornography (named by 22% of children who told us of risks) and violent content (18%) top children’s online concerns. Overall, boys appear more bothered by violence than girls, while girls are more concerned with contact-related risks.

Violence receives less public attention than sexual material, but many children are concerned about violent, aggressive or gory online content. They reveal shock and disgust on seeing cruelty, killings, abuse of animals and even the news – since much is real rather than fictional violence, this adds to the depth of children’s reactions.

As children told us, video-sharing websites are often associated with violent and pornographic content, along with a range of other contentrelated risks. Among the children who linked risks to specific internet platforms, 32% mentioned video-sharing sites such as YouTube, followed by websites (29%), social networking sites (13%) and games (10%).

Children’s mention of risks rises markedly from nine to 12 years old. Younger children are more concerned about content and other risks. As they get older they become more concerned about conduct and contact risks. These are linked in many children’s minds to the use of social networking sites such as Facebook.

Concern about risks is higher among children from ‘high use, high risk’ countries. Policy implications are identified and discussed.

The full report can be downloaded here.



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This entry was posted on May 18, 2013 by in Children, Ethics & Policy, Science, Security and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
Lutz Siemer

Lutz Siemer

Education, Research & Development in Social Work & IT After working as an alternative practitioner and psychotherapist in private practice for nearly ten years I stepped over to higher education in 2005. At Saxion University of Applied Sciences I lecture and do research and development in the area of Social Work, Psychology and IT. Currently I'm focussing on merging mobile technology and social work.

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