Professor Sonia Livingstone on Opportunities and Risks for Children Online

With 65% of Europeans now online (source: ITU, 19/10/10), what effect is this having on children? What type of material are children exposed to through the internet? How do online risks compare to offline risks?

Funded by the EC’s Safer Internet Programme, Professor Sonia Livingstone, head of LSE’s department of Media and Communications, led a survey of 23,420 children and their parents in 23 European countries to systematically investigate the opportunities and the risks children are exposed to online. Their results are published in the EU Kids Online report, Risks and Safety on the Internet, available at:

They found that one in eight children report having been upset by something they have seen online, and one in twelve have met an online contact offline.

In this short film, Professor Livingstone, along with fellow researchers Dr Ellen Helsper and Dr Leslie Haddon, discuss the findings of the report. With almost a quarter of 9-10 year olds now hosting their own social network profile, they ask what obligations internet service providers and social networking sites have to “manage the interactions that they facilitate.”

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