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Evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks: implications for policy and research

Evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks: implications for policy and research

Child Internet safety is a topic that continues to gain a great deal of media coverage and policy attention: but online risk and harm are not equivalent and should not be conflated. OII Fellow Victoria Nash discusses the results of her review (with Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova and Monica Bulger) of the available empirical evidence detailing Internet-related harms experienced by children and adolescents, to gain a sense of the types of harm recorded, their severity and frequency. Read the full article: Evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks: implications for policy and research (iCS journal).

Past and Emerging Themes in Policy and Internet Studies

What kind of research does the journal Policy & Internet publish? Editor Vili Lehdonvirta approaches the question from two angles; first, by examining the question empirically, through a brief thematic analysis of the articles published since its launch in 2009; second, by considering what kind of research the journal is likely to publish in the future, both in terms of what kind of trends can be seen emerging in policy and Internet research, as well as in terms of what challenges outlined in the journal’s original vision that continue to be pertinent today. Read the full editorial.

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Exploring variation in parental concerns about online safety issues

Widespread Internet adoption by youth has prompted concerns about the safety issues they face when they go online, such as being hurt by a stranger, being exposed to pornographic or violent content, and bullying or being bullied. danah boyd (Microsoft Research) and Eszter Hargittai (Northwestern) discuss their Policy and Internet paper Connected and concerned: Variation in parents’ online safety concerns, showing how parental concerns about online safety issues vary significantly by background—notably race and ethnicity, income, metropolitan status, and political ideology.

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How effective is online blocking of illegal child sexual content?

Blocking of ‘illegal’ websites and online content keeps raising questions in many countries. Karel Demeyer, Eva Lievens and Jos Dumortier discuss the inefficiencies and legal perils of website blocking in their Policy and Internet paper: Blocking and Removing Illegal Child Sexual Content: Analysis from a Technical and Legal Perspective. They find that blocking is a technically ineffective means of stopping the distribution of child pornography, and that it risks ‘mission creep’ if blocking measures are extended to sites that violate other laws, such as copyright or gambling.

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Uncovering the structure of online child exploitation networks

As the problem of child pornography online continues to grow, it has become imperative that law enforcement resources be allocated in the most efficient manner. Martin Bouchard of Simon Fraser University discusses the web-crawling tool he designed (with colleagues Bryce Westlake and Richard Frank) to automate the process of searching for child pornography websites, and to identify the ‘key players’ that should be prioritized by law enforcement agencies seeking to disrupt child exploitation networks.

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We are pleased to present the combined third and fourth issue of Volume 4 of Policy and Internet. It contains eleven articles, each of which investigates the relationship between Internet-based applications and data and the policy process. The papers have been grouped into the broad themes of policy, government, representation, and activism. POLICY: In December […]

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We are pleased to announce the publication of the first issue of Policy and Internet, the first multi-disciplinary academic journal to investigate the policy implications of the Internet. The journal is edited at the Oxford Internet Institute, published by BE Press and funded by the Policy Studies Organization. The first issue includes Helen Margetts (the Editor) […]

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