NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM 2014
"CONNECTING CONTINENTS FOR ENHANCED
MULTISTAKEHOLDER INTERNET GOVERNANCE"
03 SEPTEMBER 2014
RESEARCHING CHILDREN'S RIGHTS IN A GLOBAL, DIGITAL AGE
The following is the roughly edited output of the realtime captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. The following is roughly edited.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Okay. I think we are ready to start. So welcome to everyone to this panel on researching children's rights in a global digital age.
My name is Sonia Livingstone from the EU Kids Online project, and I'm going to say five minutes, just to kind of set up what the panel -- what the discussion is about. Then I'm going to introduce the panel speakers and how we will work. And then we are going to have a range of different experiences.
Essentially, the bottom line of this panel is in the enormous task of trying to research and understanding children's digital rights, or children's rights in the digital age on a global basis, what kind of conversation and collaboration can we imagine between the researchers and the research users? And the research users are a very broad category. Researchers are also quite broad, with many struggles within them, in the world in which we want evidence-based policy.
What kind of conversation, what kind of resource, what kind of collaboration, what kind of standards do we imagine that we wish to see?
I think of this as a conversation, and there are many different voices I would like to draw in. Clearly policymakers rely on high quality research, nobody would argue against evidence-based policy for decisions about governance in the field of children's rights. The researchers charged with the task of producing this evidence base I think are increasingly being heard in governance debates, but probably they are increasingly heard from the global North, from certain parts of the world, and this is the truly global conversation and challenge.
And as we know, research is always, as it were, from the recent past. And challenges of Internet governance and children's rights are always of the immediate and longer term future. So there are challenges around scope and timing. So I hope we can ask what are the priorities for researchers for producing this evidence base, and all the words are key words: Children, rights, global, digital, they are all complex terms. They all intersect with each other in complex ways. We may not agree exactly how we would understand each of those terms.
The Internet is global, but in a different context. Children's rights are understood in different ways in different contexts. Policymaking is often much more local and national, though of course this forum is trying to find ways to make it a global discussion.
See what kind of research do research users want researchers to generate? What kind of standards of research would researchers like policymakers to expect? How can we strengthen our dialog and promote the dialog between researchers and stakeholders in these regards?
So I tried to bring together people from different parts of the world and a range of different perspectives. Informally, the idea began when I was -- in coordinating the EU Kids Online project, which is really designed as a European project, and trying to understand how researchers could generate the evidence needed for European level and national level policymaking.
And in the years that we have been working, we have been receiving requests from many other countries outside of Europe saying can we be part of this? Can we learn from you? Can you come and talk to us about what you do? Can we foster a wider collaboration?
In the EU Kids Online project, we include Turkey, and one of our speakers is going to talk about how the work can -- how the methods and the ideas have worked in Turkey and what new challenges that poses.
We also include Brazil in our research. Brazil will talk about the different challenges of taking a European project, applying, extending and changing it in a Latin American context.
So there are ways that we are being stretched and challenged, but there are many directions that we can go.
The second inspiration for this workshop is the collaboration of EU Kids Online and UNICEF. Jasmina Byrne is going to talk about that, as we try to think about framing a global research agenda, and identifying who should be part of that framing and how can one come up with a research framework or a research agenda when the challenges are so different in different countries and different parts of the world. We know it has to be dialogic. We know it has to be two-way. We know that there can be no dictating what the north should do, what should happen in the south, but where do we go from that recognition?
Researchers may wonder why they don't answer the questions that policymakers want to be answered, and research users are very diverse, and here we have research users speaking from the UN organisations and also working in collaboration with NGOs. Jasmina Bryne.
We also have Nevine Tewfik, who talks from a Government perspective about the questions that a Government has, and the Egyptian Government may have some particular questions about how to implement and promote children's rights in a digital age. What are the evidence-based needs there?
And Ankhi Das will have a different perspective about how we can think about the evidence needs that industry might want and what kind of collaboration researchers can open up or are opening up with industry. These might be different kinds of conversations. We're going to discover that in the course of this panel.
I hope that gives you a sense of the conversation that we will have in the next hour and a half. I'll ask the three colleagues on my right. Patrick Burton, Kursat Cagiltay, and Fabio Senne, to give us a sense of the research challenges as they see them as researchers, in trying to produce the evidence base for children's rights in the global digital age.
I'm sorry, I should say that our colleague Bu Wei from China was unable to get the funding to come. So this is unfortunate. But we have three excellent colleagues and indeed three continents represented in our research panel.
Then we have the three sectors of research users who will speak next I think more informally, and then I want to open it to you. And I know that there are some young people in the -- who are participating here. I can see some there. And perhaps there are others. Yes? Good. Fantastic. So we would love to have the views of young people.
And Gitte Stald from the IDU University will feed in any insights from the rest of the world as our remote moderator, should those appear.
Okay. So. Let us start, if that sounds good to everybody. I'm getting a sense from our three -- I asked everybody to do this without PowerPoints, just to talk. They might want to talk about specific projects that they have been engaged in, address that question of researching rights. Rights are not very amenable to questionnaires and surveys, so there were challenges in how we define that research agenda.
I've asked them to think a little also about the question of cross national comparability. Do we expect research conducted let us say in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa to be directly comparable so we can read across our country compared to another countries, or do we expect the research in each country to be true to their contextual distinctiveness and characteristics of those countries.
And then I hope they can say something short about how they, as researchers, seek to build relationships with research users and what kind of challenges and opportunities they found there.
So I think I'm going to ask Patrick Burton from the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention in South Africa to kick us off for a few minutes. Thank you.
>> PATRICK BURTON: Great. Thank you. And I must say up front that as soon as somebody says "without PowerPoint" I feel like I've had my hands and legs chopped off. So if this turns into a bit of a ramble, I apologize up front.
So, when Sonia asked me to talk, my mind went to the research that we have done with (inaudible) that we launched in January this year. And it stemmed from a workshop that I attended 18 months ago to two years ago, where we had various Government Departments represented, the Department of Education, communication, UNICEF was there, some of the private sector companies, lots of NGO, and the workshop was all around how do we keep children safe online. And the focus was on entirely filtering and blocking and the services that we provide to victims of online violence and abuse. And at the end of it all, there was a young girl, probably about 16 or 17 years old, who stood up and said: Well, we know all of this, you just spent two hours going through what we should or shouldn't do, what the dangers are, how we keep ourselves online, what the filters are. We know all of this. And all of my friends know this. But we are going to get around this. We are going to do what we want to do online anyway, because we're teenagers. A lot of people might disagree with that. I think for many in the room, it was a bit like a sort of cold shower.
After that point we have been approaching, at least in South Africa, we have been approaching child online safety from a victim perspective and we ignored the sense of urgency that young people have. And I think that comment drove home very clearly that this was a huge gap that we would be missing out on.
One reason for that was even though South Africa is good as a country, at a policymaking level, our NGOs are good at child participation, at involving children. It's something that had not been done when it came to the work being done around child online participation and online safety in South Africa. And it raised questions on what we are trying to formulate our policies on.
And I think what was a bit strange, certainly for me, because I come from a diverse background. And we have a very, very good -- we have great capacity for doing -- for building evidence-based policy around sexual reproductive health, for example, around violence prevention more generally, and we require rigorous research. And we hold very high standards for that research in those fields. But, yet, these standards have not been translated across into the conversations that were being had around child online safety
And so together with UNICEF, we started thinking about a project that we could start to really engage children more broadly, to figure out how they were using the research. How children in very rural villages that have got very little access to electricity, who have got no fixed line telephony, who are relying purely on mobile telephony and actually access the Internet through the phone, through their mobile phone, how were they experiencing the Internet? How did they react to their experiences online? But at the same time we wanted to collect reliable quantitative data. We wanted to explore the complexities of young people's experiences, but we also wanted to try and get some data we could use to develop indicators around child online safety.
What was the extent of violence being experienced? What was the access to pornography and exposure to child pornography? What were the levels of child victimization? Cyberbullying, for example. So we wanted to define clear indicators around that.
And one of them -- the first challenge that we faced was how to involve children in the qualitative side of the research. Because we -- we -- because we engage quite closely with the Government, they wanted to be part of this conversation. And so the Department of Basic Education suggested that we work through schools, which is great, and was an opportunity that we used. But at the same time, then they wanted to teach us to be involved in the conversations with kids. And for us, from a research perspective, that became a bit of a challenge, because we could only ask the sort of questions that we were asking on the guarantee of anonymity, that there wouldn't be identifiers. Because the children were speaking of their experiences in the classroom or teachers sending them naked pictures, which we had occasion in the last year. So they wanted to try to make sure that we ensured anonymity for kids.
And I think it was a hard conversation for us to have with a lot of Government Departments that we are working with. Because that for them wasn't ideal.
So, I'm going sort of a scenic route here.
I think the next point for us was really around looking at the way we or how we define the measure, and the sort of research questions that we were going to ask. In South Africa, until recently, we have had almost no research around Child Online Protection, Child Online Safety. The studies that were done had been small, ad hoc site based, very small pools, not representative pools. And so we looked to projects like the EU Kids Online and other projects to start looking at some of the International measures that were used.
And what we found –
(Technical difficulty. Captioner had to restart program)
>> PATRICK BURTON: Counseling services, what is the sort of information that they would want to come out of this? So we were able to almost tailor the study, make sure that we fed information. I'm sure we missed out on a lot of information, but through that initial engagement up front, we were in a position to make sure that we tried to anticipate what some of those needs were.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Okay. I'm going to -- Patrick, thank you. I think you've kicked off a whole set of issues. Because in many parts of the world, this is still a new research area. And of course researchers have high standards of research, data collection, and analysis, and independence, and publication, and so on. But very often this is a whole new field, and it's very hard to get the research going quickly. And there are particular challenges around researching children, which also need to be taken into account.
So I know that these are things I spend a lot of time explaining to researchers, while they explain to me many things about the politics and the practicalities of their work.
So let's hear from a different research context, different project, Kursat Cagiltay from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara.
>> KURSAT CAGILTAY: Thank you.
In 1993 we initiated the Turkish Internet project. And we brought the Internet in April 1993 for the first time. So at that time, there was a motto and we were saying that "one world, one Internet." But actually, we were wrong. There is no one Internet. Actually, there are different types of Internets. Different -- depending on the countries and their social structure, et cetera.
So the research issues, I'm going to share my insights from a more broad perspective. I would like to focus on those differences among countries and especially and particularly in countries, Turkey, and also similar to Turkey, countries, I will focus on challenging issues from those perspectives.
As you may know, according to Freedom House reports, Turkey is seen as a partly free country in terms of press freedom, not free. In terms of Internet freedom, Turkey is a partly free country. So we are also affected by those freedom restrictions and research is also affected from such differences.
So in countries similar to Turkey, there are the challenges and issues of referring children's rights in a global digital age, different than the other highly more Democratic countries.
For example, I experienced this while we are doing experience with EU Kids Online. The question is fine, the survey questions were fine. But there was something missing in those questions. They may work well for western or Democratic countries, but in the countries similar to Turkey, which are -- had some problems, we have some different challenges, which I'm going to focus on or share some of those things.
For example, mainly political concerns and the decisions, what the researchers do or what kind of findings they obtain, not much appreciated, because there is a political agenda behind the decisions. So, for example, Sonia said evidence-based decisions is important. Yes, it's important. But in some cases political decisions take more priority.
In general, much more is put on the digital age for children's rights. Generally, the State puts most effort on restrictive measures, and this causes some panicking measures in society. And evidence does not guide governance decisions, policymakers just use a cherry-picking strategy. They find some issues from the reports, and they pick them, and then use them. I mean, the whole report says something different. But they use some parts that -- to justify their decisions.
And another thing is the State decides which content is appropriate and which one is not for students and also for children. Like in the case of Turkey, there is a central filtering system. But who makes the decisions? There is a group of people over there, and these decisions actually are not made based on the research. Research findings do not lead those kinds of restrictive measures.
Let me give you a particular example. Because of our involvement in the EU Kids Online project, a while ago, the Turkish Telecommunications Agency, which is a supporter of this event, which is supposed to be an independent body, asked us to conduct a study among media among Turkish kids. We need funding from such agencies. After a while, we saw that this agency started to promote Internet filtering in University campuses, which is not acceptable for an academic. So as a group we initiated a petition against this filtering action. And so after this petition event, this authority, they cut all kind of communication with us because we were considered as bad boys or liberals. So they didn't like it. So the policymakers don't like the researchers' actions, ideas. I mean, so then easily they isolate.
So designing and conducting research from a pure research point of view is not a big deal. But in those countries, in countries like Turkey, dealing with politics is a major issue, a major challenge.
So we, in our EU Kids Online project, we focused on different issues, like pornography, cyberbullying, et cetera, all those kinds of problems. But I think, again, there are some other issues, too, which risks our children.
I want to give you an example and then I will finish my part. In countries, partly free countries, childrens' rights in the global digital age are actually restricted by the Government. For example, according to a recent study, 42 percent of Turkish youngsters are in favor of State-based censorship on the Internet. So if our kids are raised in an environment which continues censorship actions, they tend to see shutting of unwanted voices as something normal. Instead of listening to different views, ideas, they tend to perceive them as a threat, as a risk to the mainstream belief. So if you are going to conduct a cross country study, this -- such issues also have to be referred.
Yes, pornography, bullying, addiction, they are all threats towards children, but destroying free speech and expression of ideas are also important risks, and those issues also have to be researched. Because those are also important for our children's future.
So as I said, a time word, research issues in different countries show some differences. So we have different challenges, different issues. So maybe we may also start thinking about those issues and form our research agenda according to those differences.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Okay. Challenges are already mounting. And if I -- maybe one key word to keep in mind for the discussion, there is the question of independence. Researchers expect their work to be independent. And we value it precisely because it is independent. But if independence means that you can have no say in how the research is interpreted and used, or if there are circumstances when the researcher needs to start to become more actively involved in managing the use of that research, there is a whole new set of difficulties rasied for that relation between researchers and research users. It's not always just the applicable conversation that I implied, perhaps, in my opening remarks.
So I don't so much have a situation as in Brazil, but Fabio Senne from Cetic BR is going to tell us.
>> FABIO SENNE: Good afternoon. I'm very pleased to be here. I'm coming from Brazil, from Cetic, which is the regional centre for the development of information society. It's the study of studies. We produce statistics and data on the use of ICT and we are associated with the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, which is the main body of Internet governance in Brazil.
I think you'll talk more about some practical things, because sometimes it's the real practical aspects that are difficult to use in relation between researchers and research users. We have a lot of information about users in schools, healthcare facilities, Government agencies. We have a lot of permission. But I'll talk more today about the research we had that named ICT Kids Online Brazil. It followed the methodology of the EU Kids Online Europe, so we started the network, and we tried to adapt this methodology in this framework to the context of Brazil. And I'll comment on the challenges of the process of adaptation.
First of all, first of all, I think a digital divide is one aspect that really makes things different and more difficult to us comparing to Europe, for instance. So digital divide has, for instance, some practical challenges. So, first of all, you need to knock on more doors to find children who are Internet users. So in comparison to Europe, you have to find children between 10 and 16. Now, -- until 17 years old. And you have to find Internet users to see how they are using the Internet in their daily lives. So it's a very practical aspect. But it -- it's -- it's the -- the survey becomes more costly, more difficult to implement.
And in talking about Brazil, which is a country very -- with huge inequalities, we have regional inequalities. We have differences between the northeast and the Amazon side and the southeast regions. So it's very difficult to plan a simple size that can represent this country in a reliable way. So this is a practical -- but the digital divide also brings other more sophisticated problems.
For instance, we had 51, in 2013, we had 51 percent of parents interviewed by our survey were not Internet users. So we have parents -- the children is an Internet user, but the parents are not. So how mediation -- how the pro-- the process of mediation and the questions about mediation can be evaluated if half of the parents simply don't use the Internet. They don't know what they are talking about. So digital divide, I think it's one difference that we need to consider.
But we have in Brazil a very intense use of the Internet by children, and so growing up very fast. In 2012 we had 30 percent of children using Internet by mobile phone. And now in 2013, we have like 43 or something like that. I can show you -- I can tell you the numbers. But it's growing very, very fast. And you need to consider that to plan, these are some important challenges in this kind of survey.
And I think it's also -- it was also important to consider the relation with research users. So in Brazil we try to -- we invest a lot of time. And so the planning of this survey lasted kind of one year and a half to plan, to adapt the questionnaire, to translate the questionnaire. We did cognitive interviewings with children to understand how they really comprehend how they deal with the questions that they have. Do we have children here? Do you know, in one year, the devices like change -- the ways children use the Internet changes in a very fast changing way. So you had to adapt this. And I think it's an important issue to remark on here.
Research Governments and International bodies need to know that we need to invest time and money on these adaptations, because it's not easy. It's not simple to try -- I think it's easiest to invent another survey that you may think of comparability. So I think it's very important to invest in this.
And so just finishing my first comments, so I think reliability is an issue of this importance. So we had to invest money and timing in adapting methodologies. But we have a very -- a huge pressure on updated data. So in Internet, if you have data from the past year, you are kind of oh, why don't you have data from this year, from now? So it's -- it's a pressure on the users for updated information. So we are trying to do this ICT Kids Online in Brazil annually. So I had here in 2012, it was the first edition of the survey. It's available online in English, also, and you can download from our website. And I have here data from 2013. So we always launch data about the last year. It's a time that we can manage to promote this survey and to provide data to Governments, International agencies and another thing.
So I think reliability of data, data, and some comments on digital divide which is a challenge -- an important challenge on how EU Kids Online became a global kids online or how to promote global data on the use of Internet by kids.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Thank you very much, Fabio. So you're getting a sense I think of the things that researchers worry about, which are probably different from research users.
And I'm looking at Larry Magid and Ann Collier, which online we have evaluations about how to evaluate the quality of research. And researchers will say anything between 2 and 92 percent of children are being bullied at any one time, and then we all start to scrutinize the samples and how the data was collected, and then my colleagues that are mentioned are very important. And I go to conferences saying well, your data is from 2010, so where is the update? Yannis says this to me that they want another survey. And funding, of course nobody has enough money, but funding is the story about independence, which was important to Kursat Cagiltay's story. But you have to look at what kinds of influence might come with the sources of the money. So these are difficult and probably iinvaluable conversations.
But I'll ask the research users to be brief, so three to five minutes each, really on how they respond to some of those challenges and what really evidence needs they have, speaking from the different sectors that they do.
And any practical ideas about how to build better relations so that research findings are better used to inform debates as they unfold, but also perhaps we can -- this can be a learning on both sides.
So I'll start with Jasmina Byrne from the Research Office of UNICEF in Florence, who has several times said so Europe is so small, what about the rest of the world?
>> JASMINA BYRNE: Thank you, Sonia.
Yes, I work in the UNICEF Office of Research, and in a way UNICEF is involved in research, but is also a research user. We work in 150 countries, and in this day and age of information, knowledge and data they have a very important impact on how UNICEF delivers for children. So research is critical for us.
But also global knowledge. It helps us connect and learn from one another and improve our delivery of services. And it helps us identify opportunities for experimentation, for collaboration, innovation.
But in the global context, also, we are looking more and more at policies. We are talking about national policies that are evidence based that influence policies. Policies are also becoming global. And UN bodies are setting standards and guidelines. And on Friday UNICEF and ITU are launching guidelines on online protection for the industry. So in order to be able to develop such policy, we need to have data that is comparable, at least data that can tell us more than what is going on in one country, but what is going on in a number of countries, so that we can have an accurate and better understanding.
And, also, we need to know how and for what purposes children use Internet in different parts of the world. How their rights are exercised in the digital age is an organisation concerned with children's rights and the interconnectedness of these rights. Because all of these rights are invisible. So if we are talking about protection of children and Freedom of Expression, we need to think about how do we actually make sure that when children have freedom to express their opinions online, they are not penalized for that or they don't get harmed because of that. Or, on the other hand, if the children who express their opinions about others online do not harm other children through bullying, for example.
But we also recognize that our own research faces some challenges, that is research that has been done in country offices with different academic institutions and with independent researchers. And we have a poor baseline, which makes it difficult for us to evaluate the impact of programmes and interventions that we try to help Governments and NGOs develop. Often researchers address only one aspect, either it's protection or cyberbullying, without looking at broader elements, and the causes of this.
Research, very rarely we have follow-up or longitudinal data, which we now hear from Brazil that they do this online research of Brazil Kids Online every year.
And approaches to research in different countries varies. We use different methodologies and it's really making it difficult for us to understand and to have a global comparative data. So what we need is really cross country comparative data, or even regional data, that will help us understand trends. But also what drives the trends in children's usage. What are the similarities and differences? And what can be learned from similar approaches or different approaches to similar issues?
So I just want to point out that when we talk about global research, we don't have to start global. There are countries that don't necessarily -- that are not necessarily in the same region, but they have more similarities in terms of their income status or their level of infrastructure. And ICT, access, equity is a very important issue. We had also that that was a challenge in Brazil. So knowing at least where the groups of countries have similarities can help us.
We also need to be mindful of the context. How in different places we also need to interpret these universal principles and make sure that we take into account the context. In some countries we had involvement with parents, in other countries it is only with parents, and this is another challenge because they don't have that responsive adult or a parent-like figure.
And the last word is really the quality challenge. I think it has been mentioned. Good research takes time. And the policymakers and independent sector wants fast answers. So how do we make sure that we stay true to the research principles and to have good quality research, and at the same time to meet the needs of policymakers. Thank you.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Thank you very much.
Nevine Tewfil, Governments haven't had good press in this panel. Explain how you are part of the Government.
>> NEVINE TEWFIK: Thank you for inviting me to this workshop. Actually, it's a very long overdue workshop. I've been asking for that since Lithuania. Vilnius in Lithuania. So I'm glad that we are talking about the particular issue of the research problems that are facing us in the area, particularly of Child Online Protection.
Actually, I have different hats. I am a Government employees, but I'm also the Rapporteur, the coordinator of the National Multistakeholder Group for Child Online Safety, which gives me some flexibility to maneuver a bit the Government. And I'm a political science teacher. I'm a researcher by training. So I'm very much, of course, biased to the research side.
And I do agree that sometimes research is not very comfortable for Government because it makes always all decisions much more difficult. However, on this particular issue, I think that evidence-based policies is extremely important.
When we started our program Online Child Safety back in 2009, we didn't have much research. We based our work on extrapolation from different studies that were conducted mostly in the global North and some small studies that were conducted in Egypt and similar countries, and gradually realized that we cannot go on like that, and that there is a clear need for studies. There are research that is contextualized in Egypt itself or in the Arab countries. What we tried to do is actually to map or to see what exists, what kind of research exists in the different or major institutes in Egypt, and also on the level of the Arab countries. And I've done this with my colleagues who are working on the Internet programme, and realized that most research that exists, particularly in the last six past years, is mostly about Internet addiction, empowerment, education, but there is almost no research about Child Online Protection. Nothing based or nothing focusing on Child Online Protection. I do have the list of research which you actually have been interested in looking into that.
The other thing that we found is that there is some research on the legal aspects. And most importantly, the research that has been conducted -- and Egypt was a country covered by the report of ECMIC particularly on the legal sides, -- what we tried to do in the Government was to bridge the research gap. I don't know if we used the right approach, but we decided that we needed as much as possible to start collecting more evidence. We worked with the GSMA and NTT Docomo to have research on children's use of mobile phones. This was an International comparison that was conducted in 2013. And we convinced them and they were very responsive to us to have a competitive study between Algeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. It took two years but we did it. Now we have some numbers about the use of mobiles.
Another research was GSMA in 2012. It was Egypt, Chile, India, Indonesia and Japan. And in 2011, how did we do that? We didn't do it on our own. Again, it was a multistakeholder approach. We approached GSMA as a Government and then we approached one of our mobile operators and they were happy to do that as part of their corporate social responsibility. So we have a very good chance in the global South actually to draw on the corporate social responsibility of the different company, and to conduct this kind of work, and they are very open to this particular agenda.
Another company -- of course I cannot mention all companies, but Microsoft was also very responsive to our needs. And we have conducted also a small research on privacy. And of course it was quite shocking because we noticed how much the notion of privacy was almost lost among young people.
These are some examples. However, I do believe clearly that if we do not have regular research, a plan for research, then we don't have much food for thought. We need to see what kind of progress is happening. Or to measure, actually, how our policies are doing in terms of the issues that we are discussing.
So I'll just move to my last point. What is my recommendation? What I'm looking forward? I'm not looking forward for the global South to have funding to conduct research. What we're looking forward to is to have a knowledge transfer. What we need is actually to have a kind of conference like the one that was conducted by UNICEF and Bergman, not taking place in the UK, but maybe the next one taking place in Egypt, Asia or the global South.
The other thing is to have researchers from the north building capacities of our own researchers. Then our team would take off and continue this journey.
So these are very briefly my comments. Thank you.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Okay. So be ready with your questions and comments. We have one more intervention. I'll just give you warning that I'm about to turn to you. Last but by no means least, Ankhi Das.
>> ANKHI DAS: I also wanted to say I'm a Facebook representative but I also wanted to give a perspective from the South. Because in addition to India, I also look at South Asia and southern Asia, which is all sort of representative of the south.
I think just to carry further the point which you were making, if you have to look at scalability of global models, I think it is very important to look at local capacity building of networks and research institutions in the South, to make it more accessible in terms of what needs to be done. As a research user, as Facebook, what we have been doing for the last four years is there are engineers, researchers, have been working with universities like Yale and Berkeley and other networks of researchers to take input in terms of how our reporting tools can be improved.
And you probably know this, Sonia, but others may not, that the social reporting tool which we came up with, which is kind of a resolution where people can basically track with each other and report content and have an adult read, and content that is deemed inappropriate or objectionable amongst teens, some came up as a result of the interaction with research organisations and research universities. Because these are efforts, and therefore this is this interaction which happens between engineering and all these areas of social sciences.
So there is this very real need of collaboration between the private sector and the research organisations to make sure that the insights inform the kind of engineering roadmap also within these companies. And there is evidence to show that we have actually taken input from such organisations. Compassion Research Project is kind of a forum where every year in our headquarters in Menlo Park we bring in the leaders of the Safety Advisory Board as well as the -- sort of the organisation, which is for Online Safety Institute and other researchers to come and share best practices.
But I've been a big advocate in my company in that how do we take this out from headquarters into the region, in the field? Because that's where the real growth of the Internet is happening. That's where the access is really a top issue. And if that is going to be happening in the markets in the global South, there has to be corresponding capacity building and development in the academic institutions.
So one idea which I've been talking about a lot in the private sector, in the ICT basis, et cetera, how do we think about replicating the project, sort of looking at projects in the field where you create centres of academic institutions which look at this, and collectively the private sector can work with them while retaining the boundaries. Then those outputs become a bibliography which the private sector can draw on. And whether you are a small application developer which is coming out of Bangalore or whether you are a large global platform, everybody can access the same level of, you know, information and research outputs and make it into the engineering roadmap.
So those are the points that I wanted to make. There is a very real need and there are things happening in both ways. But we have to decentralize the model.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Could I just say thank you to everyone on the panel before we open it up.
I know I made everyone speak fast and I wanted to flow, but I just want to acknowledge that everyone kept to time so we could have half an hour for discussion.
Lots of points got raised. And there are a number of young people in the room. I don't know if they would like to take this opportunity to pitch in. I come to you, but you're not quite young enough. If there are any young people who want to especially pitch in and say something to kind of get us going about the research being done with you, on you, about you. Grace. Please. Yes.
Come forward and use one of these -- sorry. It's a very hot crowded room, I do know that.
>> AUDIENCE: You were talking about how to make the research that you're doing and you're spending so much more time doing more effective. And I found myself, that somebody t
telling me a stick doesn't have an effect. But if I can see it and I can physically see a huge number of something is happening, then it makes me realize what is going on.
But my point is that a lot of research that is done is presented at these events and it's presented to companies, and children or young adults or parents never get handed this kind of information in a simplified version and kind of to the point. The main points shown. So I was wondering if there was a way that we could create a simplified version of every research and report that comes out. Maybe not every, but the most important ones, anyway.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Something like the child friendly version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. If we could have a simple version. Yes. It's a great idea.
I know there are several people in the room who have this ambition at least. But just other points from the youth participants here, if you would like.
Do you guys want to -- yes. Please.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello. I'm Michael from Hong Kong.
I have had access to pornography since I was 7. Yes. And yes, I'm seeing you quite surprised. But that's what I saw in Hong Kong. And in my community, my classmates and friends, they all have access to those things. And I saw research in Hong Kong and they published as saying that this issue is not a problem and everything is going all right.
And researchers are not interpreting the results correctly, although they might have concrete evidence and they have the figures. Sometimes I think they have more faith instead of truth. That is not knowledge. And that is maybe -- I wonder if this is only happening in Hong Kong. Yes.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Thank you.
Yes, there are many accounts of these difficult issues around children's experiences online. And we are -- everyone speaks with particular voices perhaps for particular reasons. So that's a helpful intervention. Maybe I can put these two together, the research should not only be made accessible to the young people, but checked against their experiences and their accounts as they see it.
So I can open it more widely and everyone might pitch in. Patient man here. Yes, if you could just say your name and where you're from as we go.
>> AUDIENCE: I am working for Information on Communications Technologies Authority of Turkey. The opinions regarding the Turkish experience were expressed about Child Online Protection. And I want to make additional points about the issue. Mainly, as an authority of Turk, our main objective while making legislations is to protect children from harmful contact online.
Additionally, Turkey is working with several partners while making these legislations, such as ITU, Council of Europe, and European Union.
Additionally, we are working with and using in Turkey and we are open to all opinions coming from NGOs and other people.
As you know, the human rights for Internet users has been published by the Council of Europe and we are taking this document into consideration while making decisions about Child Online Protection. And I think it's a very important and valuable document.
I want to highlight that everybody in this room, the fact that Child Online Protection is crucial and all children have a right to be protected from harmful content in the online environment, we think this consideration -- we take these considerations in mind. As the ICT of Turkey, we will implement a safer Internet implementation. And this is an example which aims to protect children from harmful content online. If anybody, if any Internet user wants to use Safer Internet, he can choose it. But if he doesn't want to use this service, Internet access service of the user does not change.
Hence, the -- I can say that this is one of the best examples in the world which aims to protect children and young people in the online environment.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Thank you.
>> LARRY MAGID: Once again, Larry Magid with ConnectSafely.org.
I want to make a comment about research, but I want to respond to that gentleman's comment. I think most of us agree that we want to protect children from harmful content. But what we might not agree on is what is harmful. In our United States, the Supreme Court has had a tough time defining that, which is why when Congress passed the Communications Decency Act in 1997, it was shot down by the Supreme Court. Because what some people considered harmful content, other people considered political speech and other people considered art. And so it's very, very difficult. And I know that Turkey is really struggling with this issue as to where one draws the line.
But I would urge you that the word "Harmful content" is contextual by region, by political persuasion, by age and also of course children between zero and 18 is not one body.
What is harmful to that two-year-old is not harmful to that 17-year-old. Just a response to that.
But what I raised my hand to talk about, in addition to Connect Safely, I'm also a journalist. And like Ann we read and report on what our colleagues say in the press about research. The researchers put out a press release, and the journalists will not go beyond the press release and that's all they report. Now, in the case of EU Kids Online and Crimes Against Children Research Centre and other legitimate organisations, the press releases accurately reflect the search. But it's not uncommon for the press release or the executive summary to distort the data that is actually collected.
So, for example, I saw a report couple years ago and the headline was "shocking data about children and bullying." But the data wasn't shocking, it was reassuring.
But it was in the interest of the company to exaggerate the data.
So, first of all, I agree with our young friend here that it's very important that we summarize the research not only so the children can understand it but so the rest of us can. With all due respect, even though I have a doctorate degree in research, I have trouble understanding what my former colleagues have written. Most of them can read as well as adults can, the children, but we have to educate journalists to understand what is sampling, what is methodology, even though figures don't lie but liars can reconfigure.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Okay. This is our chance. Yes, yes, yes. Please. And please be ready with your next point.
>> KURSAT CAGILTAY: Nobody says we should not protect our children. Definitely, yes, we should protect. But I also told this quotation in the meeting in Harvard University: Those who would give up essential freedom to purchase a little temporary safety deserves neither freedom nor safety. Benjamin Franklin said. So yes, protection is important. Security is important but freedom is also important.
I agree with the gentleman, I mean, we have such a system in Turkey to protect children. But who makes the decision that some content is not appropriate for children, for our children? Is the system multistakeholder? Is the system transparent?
For example, let me give you an example. Marxist ideas, if there is a website about Marxism, is this harmful content for our children? Or a guy who has a website about atheism, who is converted from Islam, and who decided to be an athiest. So his website, is it inappropriate for our children? And who makes this decision for my kids?
So if we are going to establish mechanisms for our kids, this has to be open. This has to be transparent, not under the control of the pure Government.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Thank you. I think -- yes, we're getting a great sense of the difficulties for those of us sitting in universities, perhaps, feeling a little safe in there, worrying about where our research goes when it gets out into a world which is truly contested.
And just to make one point, I wanted to emphasize rights at the start. It's fairly easy to research who has a computer or who has a smartphone or how many hours a day. But rights are not something you can see and measure with a ruler and say now I am measuring rights and now I am not measuring rights. So there is a real task of translation to understand what do we mean by protection? What do we mean by participation? What kind of provision do we want children to have? And as soon as we say "rights," we are already moving everything from the descriptive, which is the true territory of researchers, into the normative.
And the normative is where the struggles are and the way research is described differently and the way the spin is put on the headline. This is all trying to kind of manage how the measures translated into a genuine and contestation about rights. So this is what I wanted us to discuss.
And Anne is going to say something wise and then I have something over here. Anne Collier.
>> AUDIENCE: Patrick and Nevine tossed out teasers, and I would like to ask a follow-up question of each, if it's okay.
And say no. I'll start with Nevine. I don't want to put you on the spot, but say no if you don't have the data. But you mentioned several very recent studies. And I wonder if there were two or three top take-aways that were especially interesting or surprising that these studies turned up, that you could share the study about maybe Egypt youth on the mobile platform or --
>> NEVINE TEWFIK: I remember them in the comparative study in Japan. Egypt had the highest usage of mobile phones among those accessing the Internet on the mobile phone. It was very surprising. I don't remember the other results, but I remember this particular --
>> ANNE COLLIER: What were the ages of the children?
>> NEVINE TEWFIK: I don't remember the details.
>> ANNE COLLIER: Patrick, if I heard you correctly, you said something about how the impacts on South African youth seemed to be less than European youth. Could you elaborate on that a bit?
>> PATRICK BURTON: Yes, we used the child online list as one of the scales. We saw low level, if you look at the item -- I can't go through them all now; I'd be lying if I said that. But there were low depression, lack of sleep, post sleep irritation, a lot of those measures that we used. A lot less so than, for example, exposure to offline violence, school yard violence, which is in the South African context is interesting. Particularly cyberbullying is portrayed as being far worse than other forms of violence against children. Meaning it's more pervasive. So that is really the -- it's what I meant by that.
We also, just perhaps to add -- and we are collecting data from another 10,000 children at the moment that is looking at the same items, which will hopefully add even more insight into that.
>> AUDIENCE: So cyberbullying seemed to have less impact. Is it just less pervasive or didn't have as much impact on children in Europe?
>> PATRICK BURTON: Both. I can't give you the comparative data. But what we saw coming out of the connect.Com study... let me see how I'm phrasing this. I'm not sure if the rates were lower than in Europe. I mean, amongst 12 to 18-year-olds, we saw around 22 percent of children experiencing some form. And that's from a sample of about 6,000.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: (Off microphone.)
>> PATRICK BURTON: I thought it was offhand. And the impact. So both.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: So there were two points here. I'm just going to make another very quick intervention to say I love the way that Nevine can't remember the results, don't take this the wrong way, except where your country is the highest. But it's so true and It's so common.
As researchers we are learning that rankings really help people to get the results. But we also hate doing it, because it takes away the kind of context that Patrick was just trying to put around the cyberbullying figures when we make these comparisons. It's just a hard conversation.
Yes, you and then come to you.
>> AUDIENCE: Jutta Croll from the Centre for Child Protection on the Internet.
I want to come back to the question raised about who decides what is appropriate for our children? When I quote Larry yesterday you said that the most important filter is between the ears of the person that has access to the Internet. So between the ears of the children. But this does not come by itself. It needs some education. And we have done at the German centre some research in technology assessment on the usage of children between one and sixteen years of mobile devices within the next two, three, to five years to come. And it turned out that one of the most important aspects is that parents are able to guide that process. We will face younger and younger children, even toddlers, who are using mobile devices with access to the Internet. And it's just true that they will not be able to decide by themselves. Then it's up to the parents to guide them and to help them.
So we need some more research. We cannot research the foot between the ear, that is tricky, but we need research on how we can help parents to guide the children in that process.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: I'm whispering to Fabio. I thought he might want to say something about the difficulty of researching and advising parents when so many parents are not on the Internet at all, as in Brazil.
>> FABIO SENNE: Yes. Of course, we have -- so in this methodology of ICT Kids Online and EU Kids Online, you have to interview always one children of the household and one parent, responsible. It's interesting, because in Brazil, in the -- the children is randomly selected. So you had to pick up one children in the household. So it's randomized. But the parents are selected by a kind of screening, who is the parent who knows more about the Internet. In Brazil, you had 80 percent of women responding, answering the question, so you had 80 percent of mothers, essentially, responding on the behavior of children. And 51 percent of all parents are not Internet users. So there are very difficult things to address when you are designing a question like that.
And just very briefly, I'd like to comment --
So I wanted to comment on the question of my colleague from Hong Kong. That -- because a research and survey, it's always -- I think the survey is a conversation. It's a kind of conversation that you have with somebody, and actually somebody you don't know. So it's very tricky how to design the questionnaire to make people free to answer things about sexual content and violence. So there are some techniques that you can improve to make the responses be more accurate. So researchers know that and researchers know that people don't answer exactly how they -- so you have to design -- so you have to think about how to design questionnaires and how to design methodologies to consider the characteristics of the person.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Just a quick answer to that position --
>> I think it's also important to talk to the parents who are not on the Internet. They also give education to the children. If you don't understand why they are not on the Internet, why they don't get the skills and competence, then it's difficult to design programmes for these people. And also other adults and children of minors could be interesting interview partners as well. Not only the parents are influencing the education.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Jutta. Thank you. I think the young man from Hong Kong would like to answer and then I have a question here and here and then there. And we might be coming to the end.
>> AUDIENCE: This is Enod. I'm a Net wire Ambassador from Hong Kong.
Just about the fact that people, especially a child, they maybe sometimes don't answer to the researchers' questionnaires and make the research less accurate. I think that an alternative way to do this is by a thing called peer research. So, basically, it's maybe the research can be conducted by teenagers. So it can -- it can more better communicate with the children and ask about what they really think, really do think.
Because similar to the Internet issue, there's -- there was a research about -- there was a questionnaire about whether school childrens in Hong Kong take drugs or not. And then the result was of course not. No one was admitting they, you know, take drugs, of course. So this is the problem that when adults ask questions to a child, they sometimes are afraid of the responsibility to --
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: And teenagers will tell the truth to their peers, is that --
>> AUDIENCE: I think it's maybe -- maybe it will be an alternative way to this problem. So this is my suggestion.
>> AUDIENCE: I have some further explanation. We both suggest this research method, because we think children and adults is like two different countries. And we need someone to translate the language. And, yeah, and the cultural differences, the digital divide is -- could be solved when youth join this research to do the work.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: We have to make a bridge between the countries, and you're helping I think to do this.
Yes, did you want to add?
>> AUDIENCE: Yes. I'm Vincen from (inaudible).Asia. I'm too loud.
Catching up with Enod's points. I think you are talking about a translation part, about like keeping it simplified in order to deliver to the teenagers. In fact, if we carried like peer consulting or pee researching, in fact, in that way, the child -- the peer will ask like what are you doing in fact? Like how is the research going? And that's the way of teenagers presenting the research to the teenagers, and that's the way that we can make it easier and simplify it in the teenager's version. And that promotes our research. And that's an efficient way of doing this.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Thanks very much. That's a great suggestion.
Patient over here. And then there. And then I'll ask the panel for last things. And you'll tell me that the world is active? They are listening?
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you for this great meeting. I believe that the filtering services are not the solution for Child Online Protection.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Can you say who you are?
>> AUDIENCE: (Inaudible.) I am from the Turkish Telecommunication Authority. I believe that the filtering services are not the solution for Child Online Protection.
On the other hand, I believe that we have to give this choice to Internet users, especially Internet users this is a choice. And on the other hand, the activities are most important.
For example, our authority starts with the EU Kids Online project, and lastly we initiated the project with the National Ministry of Education in Turkey. Under this project we educated 400 ICT teachers, and they trained almost 52,000 teachers within one year, from the Internet safety to cyberbullying, from addiction to regular students. So this is very important and we tried to explain this subject.
And I believe that we teach to our Internet users, it's special to our children to be better -- to be in better shape -- digital shape with their rights and responsibilities.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Sometimes it's a good relationship between researchees and researchers. Yes.
>> AUDIENCE: My name is Dorfin (inaudible) from the (inaudible) Foundation in Uganda.
I have a comment and also a suggestion. I think there should be (inaudible) a guideline to put aside on the Internet a way to talk to children. We have to take up research involving children, so an organisation has got to disclose good communities. And they ask some irrelevant questions to these young people. There was an instance when someone was just out of school by the police. When we are asking, really, some bad questions to children, saying that we are researching.
So I think the experts may help us and develop some guidelines, and we put them online, which can -- in the way that can be easily accessed. And it will help to simplify their work in this as such.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Thank you. We are pretty much out of time. So though I know that there are many more things people would love to say, I'm going to ask the panel here if there are further things, last points that they would like to make. I know that Jasmina Byrne has one. So she can kick off and others --
>> JASMINA BYRNE: Or three.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Two minutes.
>> JASMINA BYRNE: I think definitely there should be ethical standards. And we all know, when doing research with children, and -- now, there are organisations trying to mobilize the International academic community to have International standards and we produced some as well. UNICEF, you can find them on our website.
But also, in relation to the parental roles and responsibilities, our small qualitative research from Kenya and Uganda was showing that children learn how to use Internet from peers, from youth mentors, from older brothers, from teachers, from people in their community and not necessarily from parents. So we have to understand how children learn so we know who to approach to help them actually deliver these and help them mediate the Internet if there is no parent at home. So that parental figure is important.
And just the last point is coming back to a very old document, 25 years in November, Convention on the Rights of the Child, I just want to again mention that all the Rights of the Child are interconnected. That's the most comprehensive human rights instrument that calls for division, protection and information of children. They are all linked. And so when we approach children's rights in this day and age, the digital age, we have to keep that in mind.
But also Sonia mentioned to understand how they apply in this different online context.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Do you want to have a last --
>> ANKHI DAS: I think this forum kind of kick-started the requirement for collaboration. I think in the private sector, we are keen on something where we go back to the ICT basis meeting. (Off microphone) but I would again -- again make the same pitch about how do we get the decent utilization model into place, because that is built to scale.
>> NEVINE TEWFIK: I hope that we will have this workshop next year, a continuation of this -- not necessarily, in Brazil, maybe.
I hope that we work on the pre-research and research and post research phase. I think what we do is very important. It would be better to train our potential researchers from the very beginning into what they have to go through.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: Last words?
>> PATRICK BURTON: Mine is to pick up on that exact point, how we manage the research and the use of it. And I think, Sonia, you made the point that possibly as researchers we have to become more proactive or more active, once that research is launched. And I think that's critical as well. I think there is a responsibility to make sure that it's actually used by as many people as possible, in the way it was intended. And to do justice to the quality and the analysis from the research as well.
>> KURSAT CAGILTAY: Okay. Research is fun. But it's more fun if you can apply it to real problems. I mean, if you can get concrete results based on the research results.
So our job as researchers is to conduct research. But the community has to use it in a meaningful way. So as I said, researchers and those who benefit from the research results, if you come together, if you bring something concrete, then it's more fun.
>> FABIO SENNE: So thanks a lot for everybody who is here. I think we live in an era of lots of information of data and huge amounts of information. But we do need research, because we need to talk to people. And that's why we do research with children, with others. We really need to talk to people to improve the basic policymaking.
>> SONIA LIVINGSTONE: I thought you were going to invite us to Brazil for the continuation of this conversation. And I think perhaps maybe you are.
So I think that is really my last word. This has been a fabulous conversation. Midway, it's just midway, and I hope it continues over dinners and the rest of the Conference.
Thank you for participating, and that this is to be continued in future years. So thank you everybody.
(End of session)
The preceding is the roughly edited output of the realtime captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. The preceding is roughly edited.