‘Kids being raised in captivity’: UK’s Byron

This may sound about right on this side of the Atlantic too: UK clinical psychologist Tanya Byron – prime minister-appointed author of the 2008 Byron Review of child safety on the Web and in videogames – told an audience that their risk-averse society was keeping children cooped up at home on a "global playground" called the Internet, where they can be at greater risk than if allowed out more, The Telegraph reports. Speaking at the annual gathering of Britain's Teenage Magazine Arbitration Panel, "the industry body that regulates sexual content in publications for young people," Byron suggested that adults need not only to understand the potential risks but the nature of the playground itself, how – if parts of it have curfews or are deemed off-limits to youth – they can simply move on to more risky areas. "Professor Byron said that many adults had responded to her review by suggesting that the Internet should be shut down completely, or that a 'watershed' must be imposed so that children cannot access it after 9pm – showing their failure to understand it…. Instead, she said parents and teachers … should learn more about what young people are doing online." [For related links, here's video of her speaking – as a parent, psychologist, and researcher – at the Oxford Internet Institute, "Beyond Byron: Towards a New Culture of Responsibility" (I found it fascinating to hear her talk about her Byron Review development process, working through all the various perspectives); coverage in The Guardian of another talk, at a conference held by UK regulator Ofcom, where Byron cautioned against overregulating the Internet; and the Byron Review's own Web site and my coverage upon its release.]

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