Scott Mann MP calls on parents to discuss online safety with their children as a quarter of young people experience online hate

Online safety is a real issue and parents need to be at the forefront of making sure children and young people are kept safe online.

Scott Mann MP has joined with more than 1,000 schools, charities, and businesses to pledge their support for making the internet a safer place for children and young people.

February 11th is Safer Internet Day, a globally recognised celebration promoting the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. 

The event, coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre (UK SIC), is celebrated in over a hundred countries.

New research by the UK SIC reveals the internet is a fundamental part of young people’s identity, and that online experiences are an essential part of who they are offline, with 38% saying it’s easier to be themselves online than offline. 

But, despite the positives the internet can bring, there are downsides too.

UK SIC found a quarter (25%) of 13-17-year olds say they have been targeted with online hate in the last month because of their gender, sexuality, race, religion, disability or gender identity, with 45% of disabled teens and 32% of BAME teens reporting this.

According to the research 62% of children aged 8 to 17 years old have said they are more careful about what they share online because of people being mean based on who they are.

A spokesperson for the UK Safer Internet Centre said: “It is vital that we reach as many children and their parents and carers as possible.

“Safer Internet Day engages over 1,000 organisations to encourage them to have a conversation about their online safety.

“The UK Safer Internet Centre provides support and advice to children, parents and professionals working with children all year round. It is essential that policy makers are aware of the challenges that children face online and that is why we hosted today’s drop-in session in Parliament.”

Scott has urged constituents who are concerned about online safety to visit https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2020

The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charities – Childnet, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) - with a shared mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people. 

The partnership was appointed by the European Commission as the Safer Internet Centre for the UK in January 2011 and is one of the 31 Safer Internet Centres of the Insafe network.