Dr Tanya Byron – author of the 2008 Byron Review into child safety on the Web and when using videogames – has stated that the risk-averse society we are currently living in is keeping children cooped up at home on a “global playground” called the Internet, where they can be at greater risk than if allowed out more, The Telegraph reports.
Speaking at the annual gathering of Britain’s Teenage Magazine Arbitration Panel, “the industry body that regulates sexual content in publications for young people,” Dr Byron suggests that adults need not only to understand the potential risks but the nature of the playground itself, how – if parts of it have curfews/watersheds or are deemed off-limits to young people – they could simply move on to other more risky areas.
Dr Byron said that many adults had responded to her review by suggesting that the Internet should be shut down completely, or that a ‘watershed’ must be imposed so that children cannot access it after 9pm and so on – showing their failure to understand the internet itself and it’s benefits. Instead she said parents and teachers “should learn more about what young people are doing online.”
You can listen to Dr Byron speaking – as a parent, psychologist, and researcher – at the Oxford Internet Institute, “Beyond Byron: Towards a New Culture of Responsibility”