As you prepare to embark on (or return from) summer holidays, why not take a look at our most read blog posts so far this year? Here are some of the Media Policy Project Blog’s highlights from January to June 2015, covering children’s rights and digital safety, the European Audiovisual Media Services Directive and Digital Single Market Strategy, privacy issues on social networks and during trade negotiations, and more.

Sonia LivingstoneIn a report released by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), the charity called for honest conversations within families about when, how and why kids engage with diverse social networking sites. The LSE’s Sonia Livingstone examines the findings and argues that it is time to ask how social networking sites can do more to increase safety and who should be responsible for offering this type of independent check on these sites in the future. 

Julia_Pohle-2-small2014 saw many developments in the way the internet is governed, from the announcement of the IANA transition process to the NetMundial meeting. Vrije Universiteit Brussel researcher Julia Pohle, also a member of the steering committee of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet), looks at those developments and forecasts that they could lead to a more honest and transparent scenario for multistakeholderism.

Prior to her talk at the LSE later in February, Professor Sonia Livingstone discusses here the reconfiguration of risks and opportunities of children’s lives. She points out the rights at stake for children worldwide and highlights why we must embed children’s rights into the policies and practices concerning “the digital”.

In anticipation of the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), the LSE Media Policy Project, in co-operation with the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), brought to Brussels voices not usually heard into the debates about the Directive and the industries it regulates. Sally Broughton Micova, Deputy Director of the LSE Media Policy Project, explains how scholars, mainly from smaller European Member States, discussed the implications of convergence for media, media plurality and independence of regulation authorities.

Leslie HaddonIn this article, LSE’s Leslie Haddon looks at the findings from the final Net Children Go Mobile report, noting that some of the hype and panic about kids’ constant connectivity through mobile devices might be unwarranted. In particular, he analyses the assumptions on the levels of freedom children have to engage with the online world through smartphones and their ubiquitous use – there are social and economic reasons why children do not use the devices ‘anytime, anywhere’ and in practice why they are not always ‘at hand’.

children's internet safety guide picOur most read post so far this year allows our readers to familiarize themselves with the complex network of stakeholders addressing children’s online safety. The 40+ institutions mapped by LSE’s Sonia Livingstone and Alexandra Chernyavskaya are organized regarding their contribution to the policy-making in that field and the geographical level at which they operate. Short descriptions of their work as well as links to the corresponding websites are also provided.

3faa534Maryant Fernández Pérez, an Advocacy Manager at European Digital Rights (EDRi) argues that those in charge of representing the EU in upcoming trade negotiations need to strongly consider human rights, privacy and data protection, and mass surveillance, among many key subjects. She also offers further resources for learning about TTIP and data protection.

OpenInternet2The European Commission’s draft Digital Single Market strategy and evidence file were leaked and obtained by Politico in April. Ahead of the official launch date of 6 May, Professor Lorna Woods of Essex University looked at some of the implications for intellectual property and audio visual media services.

On 13 May, the Belgian Privacy Commission issued a recommendation as part of an ongoing investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices. KU Leuven’s Brendan Van Alsenoy and Valerie Verdoodt describe why Facebook is facing increased regulatory scrutiny and summarize the highlights of the recent recommendation.

echr pic croppedIn June, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in the case of Delfi AS vs Estonia, ruling that ‘The Court holds… that there has been no violation of Article 10 of the Convention.’ Professor Lorna Woods explains the key aspects of the judgment, which addressed the issue of responsibility for online comments on news portals, and offers her initial reaction to the decision.

These articles give the views of the authors, and do not represent the position of the LSE Media Policy Project blog, nor of the London School of Economics and Political Science.