Web 2.0 – A riskful adventure playground for young people?

Hilversum, 17 December 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 minimised. 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 emphasised 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










About Stiftung Digitale Chancen, Germany
Since 2002 the Digital Opportunities Foundation together with its partner organisations is working on bridging the digital divide. The goal of the foundation is to make people interested in the opportunities of the Internet and to support them in exploring the digital world.
The Digital Opportunities Foundation was founded in Berlin in January 2002 by AOL Germany and the University of Bremen. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth have taken on the patronage.

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