Press Service


Web 2.0 – A riskful adventure playground for young people?

Berlin/Rome, November 27, 2007 - Web 2.0 provides a lot of risks and threats to young people, this is the opinion of 126 experts from 26 European countries which responded to a survey carried out by the Germany based Stiftung Digitale Chancen within the Youth Protection Roundtable this year. The project funded by the European Commission in the framework of the Safer Internet Programme aims at the development of guidelines for a safe and secure use of the Internet by children and youth.

30 members of the Youth Protection Roundtable, thereunder major welfare and consumer organisations as well as the companies AOL, Microsoft und F Secure, came together in Rome for their 2nd meeting to discuss the risks of Web 2.0. Young people are aware of the threats, says Prof. Dr. Herbert Kubicek, Scientific Director of Stiftung Digitale Chancen. But they are willing to take risks and feel confident to deal with them, especially with private information they trifle quite careless.

The Internet is an adventure playground for kids, but although a big opportunity, says Jutta Croll, Managing Director of Stiftung Digitale Chancen. To ensure that young people benefit from the opportunities of the Internet risks and threats must be minimized. Younger children can be safeguarded by adequate protective means – for example access only to walled garden offers, with the older ones we should discuss the severe consequences their online behaviour might cause. Therefore the Youth Protection Roundtable will involve young people from the countries gathered at the roundtable within the next months in the development of guidelines for the use of social networking communities and other Web appliances.

As a model for further development of guidelines the Italian Media and Minors Code of Conduct was introduced to the YPRT members at the Rome meeting by Mr. Alessandro Caroselli from the Italian Ministry for Telecommunications. He announced a specific Internet and Minors Code of Conduct to come out in spring 2008. Paolo Landi, President of Adiconsum and councellor of the CNU emphasized the necessity of involvement of consumer advocates in the developing process from the beginning. The voices of the consumers need to be heard, he stressed in his speech at the Youth Protection Roundtable.

Information about the Youth Protection Roundtable and its member organisations are to be found under www.yprt.eu.

Further information: http://www.yprt.eu

Download of the text