Leicester South Labour MP Jon Ashworth attended a meeting in Parliament yesterday, January 17th, with Facebook and e-safety campaigners Internet Matters, to discuss work being undertaken to keep children safe online.
The meeting marked a new partnership between the social networking corporation and the independent, not-for-profit organisation backed by the UK’s four major broadband providers; BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.
An executive member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, Internet Matters work closely with The Royal Foundation task force on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, founded by the Duke of Cambridge. Facebook joined the partnership in November last year and have since launched a number of safety initiatives including the Parents Portal, a major new resource that gives parents, teachers and guardians the tools they need to ensure children in their care are safe when using the social media platform.
Mr Ashworth said: “Online safety is an issue which affects families across Leicester. It is vital that parents and children use the resources available to them to deal with issues like sexting, online pornography and cyber bullying.
“It is great news that Facebook and Internet Matters are working together to make sure that this happens. I would encourage everyone concerned about the online environment to go to the Facebook Safety Centre and the new Parents Portal.”
Internet Matters aim to provide expert safety advice across all digital platforms on a range of topics including radicalisation, inappropriate content and online grooming, working towards a future in which children and young people can enjoy the benefit of the internet in a safe environment.
General Manager, Carolyn Bunting, said: “We are delighted that Jon Ashworth attended our event today to learn more about how we help parents keep their children safe online.
“The internet offers children an astonishing number of ways to connect, create, learn and have fun, and it is vital that we support families on how best to help their children have a safe and age-appropriate experience.”
Also in attendance was anti-bullying charity, the Diana Awards. Mr Ashworth met with three of their ambassadors to discuss their efforts to eliminate bullying and engage students in social action online.
The meeting comes just weeks after Leicestershire Police launched Kayleigh’s Love Story on their website, a film produced to highlight the dangers of online grooming and sexual exploitation after the tragic death of 15-year-old Measham schoolgirl, Kayleigh Haywood.
More information about Internet Matters and advice on online safety can be found on their website here.
For information on internet safety for teens visit: StaySafe.org
By Jennifer Morris