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Social Media: Children

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 157633, tabled on 26 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has taken to safeguard the welfare of children who use social media.

Answered on

2 July 2018

The protection of children and young people from online risks remains one of this Government's top priorities. As part of its work to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, the Government published the Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper in October 2017 and published its consultation response in May this year.

The consultation response included a draft statutory social media code of practice. This provides guidance to social media providers on appropriate reporting mechanisms and moderation processes to tackle abusive content. By setting out clear standards for industry, we will make sure there is improved support for users online, and that more companies are taking consistent action to tackle abuse.

E-safety is covered at all key stages in computing lessons at school, which is compulsory in maintained schools and used as a benchmark in academies and free schools.

DCMS is also working closely with the Department for Education (DfE) to develop the online aspects of new compulsory Relationship Education (primary age) and Relationships and Sex Education (secondary) curriculum in all schools in England from September 2019.

Earlier this year, DfE closed a call for evidence on age-appropriate content in the updated curriculum subjects. It also asked for views about the future status of PSHE. The responses to the call for evidence will be used to develop the draft statutory guidance and regulations which will be subject to a full public consultation.

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