IGF 2020 WS #191 Media Services; protecting children from harmful content

Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Evangelia Daskalaki, INSAFE / Hellenic Mediterranean University
Organizer 2: Deborah Vassallo, Insafe
Organizer 3: Lina Kyriakaki, INSAFE Youth Panel

Speaker 1: Maria Spyraki, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Suzanne Garcia Imbernon, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Catherine Williams, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Anna Rywczyńska, Technical Community, Eastern European Group
Speaker 5: Marina Kopidaki, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Moderator

Evangelia Daskalaki, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Deborah Vassallo, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rapporteur

Deborah Vassallo, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Format

Other - 90 Min
Format description: Panel - Auditorium and Break-out Group Discussions

Policy Question(s)

--Are children protected today while consuming VoD and VSP? --To what extent are children exposed to harmful content online? --How can children’s rights to participation, access to information, and freedom of speech be preserved and balanced with their right to be protected from violence and harmful content in the online environment? --Are the legal frameworks today enough to protect the children on VoD and VSP? --How can new legal frameworks be inserted without stifling innovation? --Is the establishment of co-regulation on content descriptors necessary and how can the cultural differences be addressed? --By keeping in mind the lack of editorial responsibility of the VoD and VSPs, what are the needed steps to be taken from platforms to ensure that commercial communications follow the same qualitative rules as other media services (e.g. prohibition of discrimination, ban on tobacco advertising, restriction of alcohol advertising) ? --How can platforms ban ads for minors that promote unhealthy habits?

Issues: --Minors are moving away from traditional audiovisual media services towards consumption of VoD and VSP. --Legal framework today protects minors more on TV than on VoD and VSP. --Personal data of minors should not be used for commercial purposes. --Co-regulation on content descriptors. Challenges: --Realisation to the extent to which children are exposed to harmful content on VoD. --Widespread use of AI techniques and algorithms for content classification. --Cultural differences could lead to different classification systems (e.g. age ratings). --Age ratings without additional explanations complementing this rating do not always give sufficient information to parents. --VoD platforms establishing a functionality to disclose advertising for the uploaders. Opportunities: --Parents will be helped from a higher level of information, such as a content classification scheme. --VoD platforms putting in place effective, transparent and user-friendly mechanisms allowing users to report or flag content.

SDGs

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Description:

The session will open with a segment that will identify: (1) Viewers, and particularly minors, are moving from traditional TV to the video serviced on-demand (VoD) and video-service platforms (VSP), (2) the legal framework protects minors more on TV than on on-demand services and certainly than in the online world and (3) minors need to be more protected by restricting access to any kind of harmful content. (5 minutes) Experts and policy makers will present the challenges and needs arising at an international level in the context of child online safety in the audiovisual context. They will focus in particular on the content protection measures such as age rating and parental controls, protecting children from harmful content, protecting children from unfair commercial practices related to online advertising and actions taken to limit illegal and harmful content online. Moreover, they will describe the current state of how the protection of minors is regulated. Specifically, they will describe the actions that their countries/Unions have taken in that direction, and/ or their intentions for the future, by taking into account that innovation will not be stifled. (20 minutes) Furthermore, representative from NETFLIX, will discuss the provisions that the platform has taken into the directions of: Protecting minors from potentially harmful content; Protecting minors from the most harmful content, such as extreme violence and pornography; Personal data protection of minors that should not be used for commercial purposes; Respect on advertising rules and indication when user generated video has advertising purpose.(20 minutes) After the presentations by experts, policy makers, and the industry, a youth representative will raise her voice to describe her perspective of the matter. (10 minutes) Then the floor will be opened to the audience, by facilitating group discussions led by representatives of civil society and youth. The first group will discuss what (more) measures should be taken from policy makers and the industry about protection of minors from harmful content, and the second group will discuss unfair commercial practices related to online advertising and how to reduce children's exposure to ads that promote unhealthy habits. (20 minutes). Finally, the rapporteurs from each working group will give a summary of what was discussed and the audience will have time to ask questions to the panel.(15 minutes)

Expected Outcomes

Raising awareness on the extent to which children today are exposed to harmful content in the audiovisual context, is one of the first key features and outcomes of the workshop. Furthermore, another objective is to provide information on practices about the application of existing/recent legislation and on any related emerging issues, as sometimes technology threatens to overtake legislation. Another objective is to provide information about actions taken at industry level particularly in relation to content protection measures such as age rating and parental controls, protecting children from unfair commercial practices related to online advertising and actions taken to limit illegal and harmful content online.

The organisers will be helping in the moderation of the the session primarily by introducing the members of the panel, followed by a brief introduction to the topic and ultimately by asking questions to the different panel members related to the topic and the objectives of the session. Indicative Agenda: 5’ Welcome and Introduction to the panel 10’ Speaker 1: Discussion about the current state of situation about the protection of minors in the audiovisual media services 10’ Speaker 2: Information from the European Parliament/ Commission about the measures taken about the protection of minors in the audiovisual media services 15’ Speaker 3: Report on the Children Protection Tools in the Audiovisual Media Services. 10’ Speaker 4: Youth Perspective on the matter of audiovisual safety online. 20’ Break-out group discussion for the audience, addressing the following questions: --How can children’s rights to participation, access to information, and freedom of speech be preserved and balanced with their right to be protected from violence and harmful content in the online environment? --Are the legal frameworks today enough to protect the children on VoD and VSP? --How can new legal frameworks be inserted without stifling innovation? --Is the establishment of co-regulation on content descriptors necessary and how can the cultural differences be addressed? --By keeping in mind the lack of editorial responsibility of the VoD and VSPs, what are the needed steps to be taken from platforms to ensure that commercial communications follow the same qualitative rules as other media services (e.g. prohibition of discrimination, ban on tobacco advertising, restriction of alcohol advertising)? Table leader: --Deborah Vassallo, Safer Internet Administrator and Hotline Analyst at Agenzija Appogg, FSWS --Lina, INSAFE Youth Ambassadors 10’ Table leaders reporting back from break-out discussions 10’ Q&A and final closing words by high-level panel and takeaways

Relevance to Internet Governance: Children are avid technology users and they are most of the time more technological savvy than their parents and guardians. They also need to be protected from various harms which they are exposed to or which they encounter online as their development is still at a vulnerable stage where they are wrongly influenced by what they are being exposed to or end up in risky situations because of their lack of maturity. The Internet Governance Forum brings about multi stakeholders from different countries around the world and from different institutions, that’s why our workshop is relevant to IGF as it wants to address the area of protection of children from harmful content from a multi stakeholder approach with panel members from the tech industry, children’s rights champions and the general public.

Relevance to Theme: Content-based risks have long been recognized in broadcasting and generally audio-visual content. Μultiple researches show that children will come across certain material unacceptably shocking and disturbing. What’s more, the media has an extremely important role in the lives of our children, since they are exposed to the media from a very early age – starting by observing their parents’ media consumption habits, followed by the media behaviour of friends and peers, and school. Within the media context, the term protection of minors is primarily concerned by ensuring that harmful content in the media does not damage the physical and psychological development of children and minors. To this end, the subject of the workshop “Audiovisual Media Services today and tomorrow; How to protect children from access to harmful content” falls into the category of child online safety and thus is closely related to safety, security, and children's fundamental freedoms and rights, exploring where the trade-offs might be needed in response to the growing range of threats to children's internet users.

Online Participation

 

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: We will use Adobe Connect Platfrom , in the case Ms. Maria Spyraki, would like to participate remotely.