December 2016 If you cannot read this email, please click here.
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  Better Internet for Kids - Bulletin Insafe & InHope  
  Welcome to the eighth edition of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) bulletin. This quarterly bulletin aims to keep you informed of safer and better internet issues and opportunities across Europe and beyond. In each edition, we’ll bring you a mix of news, research and resources from many of the key stakeholders in keeping children and young people safe online, be they European Safer Internet Centres, research organisations, industry partners, policy makers or experts in the field.

As this is the last BIK bulletin of 2016, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a great festive period. We’ll be back with the next full edition of the BIK bulletin in March 2017 but, in the meantime, keep an eye on the Better Internet for Kids portal for all the latest news and updates. We hope that lots of you will also join us to celebrate Safer Internet Day on Tuesday, 7 February 2017.

If you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend or a colleague, please do so using the link at the top of this message or encourage them to subscribe to receive future editions direct.

And if you have any comments on this resource, or would like to contribute to a future edition of the BIK bulletin, please contact us.
  About the Better Internet
for Kids project
  Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European Commission is co-funding a range of better/safer internet services, both at the European and the national level. Building on the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children as published in 2012, the BIK core service platform aims to bring together European stakeholders in the field to work collaboratively in achieving the goal of a better internet for all. This bulletin is just one of a range of tools and services provided. Keep following us across all BIK communication channels - see links in the footer of this email.  
Online advertising
Online advertising and the commercialisation of children and young people
  In each edition of the BIK bulletin, we look at a topical issue – this month our focus is on online advertising and the commercialisation of children and young people.

The landscape is quite complex and, as with any technological issue in recent years, presents opportunities as well as challenges. Children and young people are increasingly creating and consuming content online, but in doing so may be increasing exposed to advertising. A key concern is the ability of children and young people to recognise what is advertising and what is not, and to ensure they have the media literacy skills to critique and respond appropriately. The Internet of Things (IoT) is developing at a pace and already we are seeing this flow through to products for children and young people, with several web-enabled toys entering the market place. Here, a key concern is how much ‘data’ these toys are collecting about children, what use is it being put to, and what protections are in place for youngsters as the ‘consumer’ in this scenario. Legislative responses are trying to keep pace, put this also presents challenges – what should the digital ‘age of consent’ be when young people can make informed decisions about their online activities, and can this be universal?

The notion of consumers being influenced by advertising has been a hot topic of late, shifting the spotlight from traditional television, mobile and internet services to on-demand services (such as video on demand (VOD) platforms). New methods of consuming media have resulted in new marketing strategies that aim to attract more and more categories of customers among which, undoubtedly, are young people and even children.

To take one example, children and young people are drawn towards video blogging platforms such as YouTube, often following the channels of their favourite 'celebrity vloggers’. These vloggers are often seen as inspirational: young people just like them that have been creative with their postings, built a fan base from scratch, and indeed have achieved a ‘celebrity’ status online which many young people dream of and aspire to. However, once reaching a certain level of popularity, these young vloggers are often targeted by businesses, keen for them to promote their products and services within their videos to enable them to reach a different demographic. This presents a possible moral dilemma – should the vlogger promote goods and services in this way, and do they have a duty of care to be transparent to their fan base when they do so?

In our video blog, Evelina, a famous young YouTuber from Latvia, explains how to build a successful career as a YouTuber, answering possible questions on how YouTube stars relate to their audience and respond to online advertising.

Contributions from two of our youth panellists argue that listening to the voice of youth is of intrinsic importance in the online advertising debate. On the one hand, Ida, youth panellist from Sweden, raises some thought-provoking points about how our online world can be customised based on our digital activity, and equally how children and young people can be influenced by the social media ‘stars’ they follow. On the other hand, Christina, youth panellist from Greece, reflects on online data collection and tracking results in personalised advertising and how teenagers, in her country at least, interact with such advertising business models.

Martin Schmalzried, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer at COFACE, updates us on how ‘Online business models are broken’. From economies of scale to the principle of functioning competition, various pillars seem to be broken or at least transformed in the online world, offering access to a series of new customers which are easily convinced to try new apps and digital services just because they are advertised as free. And sometimes, the targeted audience for new customer pools is precisely the one composed by children and young people who download innovative apps and sign-up for online services, likely unaware of the risks behind those ads and clicks.

From an advertising literacy perspective, Ini Vanwesenbeeck, Verolien Cauberghe and Liselot Hudders from Ghent University provide perspectives on how far are children and young people able to differentiate between online advertising, from their experience with the Belgian AdLit research project. AdLit (which stands for ‘advertising literacy’) aims to investigate how minors (aged between 6 and 18 years) can be empowered to cope with these hybrid forms of advertising, by conducting research among children, youngsters, their parents, advertising professionals and the educational sector, and performing a thorough analysis of the legal and self-regulatory frameworks.

The Insafe network of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs) understands the escalating technological developments and the ongoing marketing processes that can easily target children and young people. As such, SICs have been quite active in creating and promoting educational resources, campaigns and strategies recognising the importance of raising awareness about both risks and opportunities of online advertising. We highlight some examples here:
  • Earlier in 2016, the Danish Safer Internet Centre published an article entitled Want to become a Social Star? A learning resource about hidden commercials on blogs. Social Star is a learning resource that targets pupils in 5th to 7th grade. The pupils learn how to produce their own commercial communication online, to research and identify different forms of commercial communication and, finally, they learn how to analyse what works and what doesn't work on social media.
  • The South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL), part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, raises some questions about vlogging and how to vlog safely in an article entitled When I grow up I want to be … a YouTuber.
  • In an article titled Commercialisation of children online – media literacy must complement regulation, the Norwegian Safer Internet Centre outlines approaches, giving examples of governmental guidance and concrete work being done by the Norwegian Media Authority (NMA) on this matter.
  • Meanwhile, Barbara Buchegger from the Austrian Safer Internet Centre recently chaired a session on 'The commercialisation of childhood’ at the Safer Internet Forum (SIF) 2016. More information on the session and outcomes can be found here.
To better understand the scope and effects of online marketing on children, the European Commission funded an extensive research project on this issue. This project envisaged a study that provided novel insights into the prevalence and characteristics of online marketing targeting children, how children's behaviour is influenced by these marketing practices, and how online marketing is regulated across Europe. Its results highlight that:
  • Sophisticated and non-transparent marketing techniques are common.
  • Marketing practices have clear impacts on children's behaviour.
  • Children do not receive equal protection against online marketing across the EU.
Moreover, at the European policy level, in the various regulatory discussions that are currently taking place around audiovisual media services, advertising, data protection, privacy or e-Commerce, the protection of minors appears to be part and parcel of every major debate.

At the end of 2015, the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) adopted a Report on protection of minors in a converged environment, explaining how this should evolve in the future EU legislative framework. ERGA’s recommendations and work have been reflected later on also in the Audiovisual Media Service Directive (AVMSD) proposal presented by the European Commission in May 2016. The proposal introduced updates of the current audiovisual EU rules, aiming to create a fairer environment for all players, a new approach to online platforms, promote European films, protect children and better tackle hate speech. One of the main discussions generated afterwards, linked to video-sharing platforms and whether they should be tackled only by the e-Commerce Directive (ECD) or if more harmonisation should be sought also with the AVMSD. Following the EU legislative process, the proposal is currently being debated in the European Parliament and once voted in the plenary, it should pass to the hands of the Council for a final approval in the first half of 2017.

The Alliance to better protect minors online is another key initiative kicked off by the European Commission in September 2016, in line with the regulatory package including the revision of the Audiovisual Media Service Directive (AVMSD). At the first Alliance meeting, Sonia Livingstone (EU Kids Online) and Karl Hopwood (Insafe Helpline Coordinator, European Schoolnet) were also present and explained some of the main issues arising from research and helpline experiences, identifying key points that can be problematic for young people. Currently, the Alliance is working on a Statement of Purpose which will be officially announced on Safer Internet Day 2017.

Various other organisations have provided publications and initiatives with a variety of useful resources tackling online developments in parallel with online safety for children, such as:
  • Earlier in 2016, eNACSO published a report titled When free isn’t evaluating the possible undesirable consequences for children and young people when they interact with online advertising and purchases. If in the real world, there is a common belief that children, by and large, do not regularly choose to frequent environments which are predominantly adult. In the online world, with few exceptions, little or no effort has been made to reproduce or allow for such protective measures.
  • In December 2016, FOSI together with the Future of Privacy Forum released a white paper entitled Kids & the Connected Home: Privacy in the Age of Connected Dolls, Talking Dinosaurs and Battling Robots. The paper explores the landscape of connected toys including how toys connect to platforms and servers and the variety of types of connected toys. It also provides background on where the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) may apply for toymakers and technology providers and has recommendations for safeguarding children's data and informing parents. There is also an informative appendix of popular smart and connected toys.
We hope you find this edition of the BIK bulletin useful. We’ll continue to follow the issues outlined above, and bring you updates on the BIK portal and in future editions of this bulletin.
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Latest helpline trends note the impact of YouTubers
  The Insafe network of helplines collects data about the types of calls that they receive and this is analysed every three months to look at trends and new and emerging issues. Linking with this month’s theme, in the latest set of data covering the period from July to September 2016, some helplines noted the influence of YouTubers and vloggers on children and young people. Indeed, at the recent Safer Internet Forum (SIF), a representative from Google talked about their work with ‘impactful YouTubers’ to consider what tolerance and respect looks like online.  
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INHOPE Annual Report 2015
INHOPE releases its annual report
  INHOPE, the International Association of Internet Hotlines, has recently released its 2015 Annual Report which presents a review of the activities and achievements of INHOPE and its members during 2015. The Annual Report can be downloaded directly from the INHOPE website.  
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Web We Want handbook for educators  
New language versions of the Web We Want handbook for educators
This Web We Want handbook for educators helps teachers to integrate issues related to the online activities of young people into their teaching curricula through interactive lesson plans and worksheets that link to national competency frameworks.

Further translations of the handbook have recently been launched in French and Greek bringing the number of available language versions to 10. In addition, further collaboration with ENABLE is underway, and a new WWW chapter on bullying, hate speech and online radicalisation is in the making, with a planned launch date of Safer Internet Day 2017.
CZ resource for seniors  
Educating seniors for a safer internet for families
Last year, the Czech Safer Internet Centre (SIC) took the opportunity to start a project focused on the education of seniors. A pilot project, supported by a grant from the Czech Ministry of Social Care, mapped possibilities to educate seniors and invite them to become volunteers, spreading safer internet knowledge to their peers also. Special courses for Cyber Silver Ambassadors were developed and work with seniors commenced, with a dedicated project website launched at
European Youth Panel 2016  
European Youth Panel share their views
Young people from across Europe recently met in Luxembourg for the 8th edition of the European Youth Panel (YEP). The main aim of the annual YEP event is to prepare young people for their active participation in the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), which this year took place on the following day with the theme of ‘Be the change: principles, policies and practices for a better internet'.

During YEP, BEE CREATIVE Makerspace BASE1 @ Forum Geesseknäppchen hosted the youth panellists for a morning full of hands-on activities and demonstrations, while the afternoon was dedicated to workshops and discussions on innovations in technology and how these impact young people's daily lives.
Youth against hate culture at SIF 2016  
Youth against online hate culture
At the recent Safer Internet Forum (SIF), Guðný Rós, a youth panellist from Iceland, participated in a panel on ‘Hate speech and radicalisation online'. Here she further shares her views on the topic and details how she has supported awareness-raising actions in schools.
Kids and the connected home  
Kids and the connected home
Linking with this edition’s theme, FOSI (Family Online Safety Institute) and the Future of Privacy Forum released a white paper on ‘Kids and the Connected Home: Privacy in the Age of Connected Dolls, Talking Dinosaurs, and Battling Robots'. The paper explores the landscape of connected toys including how toys connect to platforms and servers and the variety of types of connected toys.
Latest roundup from Parenting for a Digital Future
Over recent months, the Parenting for a Digital Future team have been particularly busy, working with policy makers to advocate for new approaches to ‘screen time’ and consideration of the issues around data protection in light of the development of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), especially investigating the rationale behind age restrictions for children and the role that parents might play.

Other topics covered on the project blog include ‘sharenting’ and whether there are limits to a parent’s right to share online, the impact of adolescent digital media use, and an examination of why young people gravitate towards YouTube.
Mobile phone use  
Microsoft study on civility, safety and interaction online
In November 2016, Microsoft presented new findings from their ‘Civility, Safety and Interaction Online – 2016' study, which polled youth aged 13-17 and adults aged 18-74 in 14 countries. According to this study, nearly 65 per cent of those polled have had at least one negative online experience which resulted in real-world consequences in at least one area of 17 identified online risks. Moreover, when referring to the online experiences of their friends or family, this grows to 78 per cent. As a result, both adults and teens said they became less trusting of others in the real world after a negative interaction online (adults: 31 per cent, teens: 29 per cent).

The full results of the study will be released on Safer Internet Day 2017.
Facebook Safety Center  
New Facebook Safety Center
Facebook recently launched a new Safety Center, walking teens through various tools showing how to control their experiences on Facebook, as well as offering tips and resources for safe and secure sharing. Available in over 50 languages, with a mobile-friendly version also, the Safety Center aims to provide answers and solutions for users wishing to express themselves online, including step-by-step videos.

The information available in the Safety Center tackles users' needs for privacy, while aiming to raise awareness as to what can be shared on Facebook, as well as how this may affect both the user and others. The Safety Center also includes information about policies and Community Standards, tools giving people control over what they share, and resources.
SID mascot  
Safer Internet Day 2017 – the final countdown
Safer Internet Day (SID) is just around the corner! This annual celebration seeks to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world. SID 2017 will be celebrated on Tuesday, 7 February 2017 with a theme of ‘Be the change: Unite for a better internet!'.

Visit the Safer Internet Day website at to discover the many events and activities taking place across the globe to mark the day, and find out what’s happing near you! You’ll also find a gallery of resources to use in any educational activities you might be planning.

And you can already support our Thunderclap to make a ‘big noise’ online about better internet issues on the day itself.
Safer Internet Forum (SIF) 2016  
Safer Internet Forum 2016 a great success
Safer Internet Forum (SIF) 2016 took place on Thursday, 24 November at Forum Geesseknäppchen in Luxembourg. The event saw more than 200 participants join together to discuss principles, policies and practices for a better internet, with topics ranging from hate speech and radicalisation online, the commercialisation of childhood, and the challenges of eradicating child sexual abuse online, through to how we can build a better internet for all in the future.

Speaker presentations, a report of proceedings, a Facebook gallery of photos and a Storify of Tweets are now available.
Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2016  
European delegation promotes a Better Internet for Kids at IGF 2016
The annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) serves to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals, in discussions on public policy issues relating to the internet. The 2016 edition of IGF, with a theme of ‘Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth', was held at the PALCCO Centre from 6-9 December 2016 in Jalisco, Mexico.

A delegation were in attendance on behalf of the EC, Insafe and INHOPE to promote the Better Internet for Kids agenda in Europe and beyond. As in previous years, the delegation hosted an Insafe-INHOPE booth, organised a Safer Internet Day Polaroid campaign, and hosted a workshop titled “Is personal data ‘mine' or there to be ‘mined'?”.