The Children's Commissioner, Anne Longfield has warned that children have little idea about the terms and conditions published by social media platforms. In her view, young people were often left to fend for themselves in the digital world.
In November 2016, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said that he wanted social media platforms to block explicit images from young users automatically, following a request from their parents.
Anne Longfield has now said that schools should teach children "digital citizenship" from the age of four as part of the curriculum, and that children should have a digital ombudsman to help them remove content from social media.
Social media companies like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp publish their own terms and conditions.
The issue of protecting children on the internet is a vexed one. I gave a radio interview to Wave FM today on this subject.
The point is child protection. A local authority running a playground, would not normally expect children to read a ten page notice before they climb on the swings.
As the law stands, however, a local authority is expected to take sufficient steps to ensure that those children are safe, for instance ensuring that the swings are not going to fall apart.
The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 imposes a duty on property owners 'to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.'
The Act also says that an occupier must be prepared for children to be less careful than adults.
There are also restrictions on the effectiveness of any terms that the occupiers seeks to impose on visitors to his premises.
What we need is something similar for the internet age.
Media sites such as Facebook and mobile phone companies make huge profits from their traffic. It is time for them to plough some of that money back into keeping children and adults safe.
They should also work with the government to set up comprehensive legislation.
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