Published on: 10.02.09
Source: Press Release European Commission
Speech of Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media
"Ladies and gentlemen,
Listening to the youngsters present here sharing their online experiences, I realize that I am still impressed that one can do virtually anything on a social network. And it is great that we can find new friends, meet new ones, share photos and videos, discuss politics or send birthday cards. However, doing everything online means that those who are not part of the network are excluded from the information circuit that eventually extends into real life.
I recently read an article about a mother of two children describing how amazed she was to discover many new things about them by joining the same social network. I also know people who missed social events because they did not have a profile on the social network where organization details had been discussed.
Not being part of the network is something most young people cannot imagine anymore. And this is only one change brought about by this service which has had a spectacular evolution in the past couple of years, both in terms of number of users and impact on our daily lives.
Therefore I would like to shortly talk to you about the development of social networks, touching on the benefits and risks they bring about, as well as on the way they change our lives, especially as regards privacy. To finish with, I will stress the role and importance of self-regulation in a field such as online services, and will present the main reason why we are all here today: the first European agreement on safer social networking."
Read the complete speech under
The Safer Social Networking Principles for the EU have been developed by social networking services providers in consultation with the European Commission, as part of its Safer Internet Plus Programme, and a number of NGOs, to provide good practice recommendations for the providers of social networking and other user interactive sites, to enhance the safety of children and young people using their services.
Read the Safer Social Networking Principles for the EU here.