Child protection advocates want answers that solve the problem of what children access online. Yet I don’t think it is plausible to remove the very wide-ranging risks to young people from the open internet. Attempts to do are likely to fail. Rather, their access needs to be mediated by those that care for them. Education needs to be provided, and above all, children need time to discuss their online experiences with responsible adults. The measures in the Digital Economy Bill, however, are likely to either fail, harm, or end up in an enormous mess that everyone will be wishing they’d never started.
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