The Tech Shock Podcast – user empowerment tools and the Online Safety Bill
07 Jun, 2023
2 minute read

The Tech Shock Podcast – user empowerment tools and the Online Safety Bill

The Tech Shock podcast returns for its sixth season. In this episode, Vicki and Geraldine discuss Parent Zone’s report 'Online safety tools – a false hope?' as well as some potential pitfalls of the Online Safety Bill. 

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The Online Safety Bill will place great weight on the safety tools available within platforms. In theory, these tools should help keep children safer online, help parents support them in managing their digital experiences, and give adults a way of curating their own feeds. 

But, as Vicki and Geraldine explain, there are reservations to be had. This includes how easy safety tools are to use, how effective they are in practice, and what they mean for user privacy.

They note that Facebook alone has 33 'user empowerment tools' – which, our report found, required hours to implement fully, and not without great difficulty. And with the government's prediction that up to 180,000 platforms will fall in scope of the bill, they ask whether we will spend our lives simply grappling with safety tools. 

Our season six opener also involves discussion of platforms’ safeguarding responsibilities, the role of media literacy in online safety, issues surrounding age-verification data, and whether we’ll actually ever see the bill passed.

You can listen to the episode in full, here.

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