The Children’s Commissioner has today published a set of new ‘jargon-busting’ documents to help young people understand social media terms and conditions as a follow-up to the ‘Growing up digital‘ study.
These short guides are are not legal documents but are designed to be an accessible, child-friendly tool to help children consider their digital rights and will help enable them to make informed choices.
The Children’s Commissioner has worked with with TES and Schillings, have produced three teaching packs to help young people become more empowered digital citizens. Relevant to citizenship and computing curriculums and suitable for KS2, 3 and 4, each pack contains a set of short, six-lesson unit of work and jargon-free terms and conditions for five of the major social networking sites (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and WhatsApp).
- Digital citizenship: Young peoples’ rights on social media – Teaching pack for 7-11 year olds
- Digital citizenship: Young peoples’ rights on social media – Teaching pack for 11-14 year olds
- Digital citizenship: Young peoples’ rights on social media – Teaching pack for 14-16 year olds
CBBC has also produced a series of ‘Lifebabble’ content aimed at young people and may be suitable for use with pupils in KS2, 3 and 4.
Children’s Commissioner ,Anne Longfield says ‘Children have the right to know what they are signing up to, in clear, simple, easy to understand language so that they can make the most of the fantastic opportunities social media and the internet can bring.‘
The simplified terms and conditions aren’t indeed to be or repalce legal documents; some social media companies believe their content is sufficiently clear and simple. A BBC news story reported that simplifying terms and conditions might not be helpful. Robert Lands, from law firm Howard Kennedy, said to the BBC that: “There are a number of reasons that terms and conditions are quite long. It’s not to confuse people, it’s the opposite. When you need to explain difficult concepts, sometimes it takes words to do it.”
In the same BBC article, Instagram has said that there were inaccuracies in the simplified version of its policies:”It is wrong to suggest we share young people’s personal information, contact details or content of direct messages with advertisers without their permission. Nor do we share details of who people are messaging with.”