The policy space around “online safety” has been active in the last 18 months, with development from manifesto commitment through green paper to proposed white paper. The goal is developing a legislative and regulative programme that will, it is proposed, ensure that UK citizens are “safe” when they go online. With the proposed white paper anticipated in Autumn 2018, it is worthwhile to pause and reflect on the policy direction, drawing from both empirical and personal perspectives on working with children and young people, and what it means to be a young person growing up in this “digital age”. By taking these personal perspectives we unpick some of the policy direction and give concrete, practical examples of why we need to address online safety from a more holistic, multi-stakeholder, perspective. The two authors of this article bring differing, albeit complimentary, perspectives. One is an academic who has spent the last 15 years working with children and young people trying to understand how digital technology affects their lives, as well as working with NGOs, government and education providers to understand how me might be tackle the challenges they face. The other author is a 15- year-old who has grown up in a highly-connected world, and experienced the impact of “online safety policy” from both home and school environments.

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Entertainment Law Review



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School of Society and Culture