9 out of 10 parents back social network regulation

Our #WildWestWeb campaign calls for a social media regulator to force social networks to protect children on their platforms.

Boy with mobile phoneA new survey commissioned by the NSPCC reveals:

  • 9 out of 10 parents support the regulation of social networks to make them legally responsible for protecting children
  • 6 out of 10 adults do not think social networks protect children from sexual grooming and inappropriate content like self-harm and suicide1.

These figures are part of our Taming the Wild West Web (PDF) report which sets out how a robust regulator should enforce a legal duty of care to children on social networks.

The regulator would:

  • have legal powers to demand information from tech firms about their child safety measures
  • require social networks to meet a set of minimum safeguarding standards and proactively tackle online harms
  • deploy tough sanctions for failures to protect children online - including steep fines for tech firms up to £20m and a new criminal offence for gross breaches.

Ruth's story

Ruth Moss, whose daughter Sophie took her own life at the age of 13 after looking at self-harm and suicide content on social media, is backing our campaign for statutory regulation.

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Peter Wanless

Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC said:
“The support for statutory regulation of social networks is now overwhelming.

“It is clear that society will no longer tolerate a free for all under which tech firms allow children to operate in a precarious online world with a myriad of preventable risks. 

“Social media bosses should be made to take responsibility for the essential protection of children on their platforms and face tough consequences if they don’t. Over a decade of self-regulation has failed, and enough is enough.  

“The Government’s Online Harms White Paper must impose a legal duty of care on social networks. Our proposal to tame the Wild West Web would make the UK a world leader in protecting children online. We urge the Government to be bold and introduce these measures without delay.”

Wild West Web: our campaign

We're calling on Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright to stand up for children and introduce tough regulation for social networks. We want:

  • an independent regulator who can put in place mandatory child safety rules for social networks
  • safe accounts for children
  • detailed reporting on how social networks are keeping children safe.

We need your help to ensure children are safe online. Sign our petition and help end the #WildWestWeb.

Sign the petition


References

  1. The NSPCC commissioned ComRes to conduct the Social media and childen survey (PDF). ComRes interviewed 2,748 British adults, including a booster sample of 1,037 parents of children aged 11-18, between 25 - 27 January 2019. Data was weighted to be representative of all British adults by age, gender, region and social grade.