Net Aware report 2017: “Freedom to express myself safely”

Using data from the NSPCC and O2’s Net Aware research with 1,696 11-18yr olds, this NSPCC report seeks to amplify the voices of children and young people – exploring what they like about the online space, as well as highlighting the factors that prevent them from using it safely.

Key findings

The young people involved in this research were vocal about their enjoyment of the online spaces they inhabit. In particular, they highlighted opportunities for fun, communication, self-expression, and autonomy.

“It’s fun and it can keep you entertained forever when you’ve finished doing your homework.” – Boy, 14

However, it was also evident that young people are facing significant risks on the apps, sites and games they are using. These risks include interaction with strangers, violence and hatred, sexual content and bullying.

“Lots of adults are sexual through their characters, e.g. talking about sex, and also drugs. This can be true even if they know you’re very young. I had a few dodgy experiences and you never know when this could carry over into offline life.” – Girl, 18

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