Sonia Livingstone

About Sonia Livingstone

Sonia Livingstone OBE is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. Taking a comparative, critical and contextual approach, her research examines how the changing conditions of mediation are reshaping everyday practices and possibilities for action. She has published twenty books on media audiences, media literacy and media regulation, with a particular focus on the opportunities and risks of digital media use in the everyday lives of children and young people. Her most recent book is The class: living and learning in the digital age (2016, with Julian Sefton-Green). Sonia has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Europe and other national and international organisations on children’s rights, risks and safety in the digital age. She was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014 'for services to children and child internet safety.' Sonia Livingstone is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the British Psychological Society, the Royal Society for the Arts and fellow and past President of the International Communication Association (ICA). She has been visiting professor at the Universities of Bergen, Copenhagen, Harvard, Illinois, Milan, Oslo, Paris II, Pennsylvania, and Stockholm, and is on the editorial board of several leading journals. She is on the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, is a member of the Internet Watch Foundation’s Ethics Committee, is an Expert Advisor to the Council of Europe, and was recently Special Advisor to the House of Lords’ Select Committee on Communications, among other roles. Sonia has received many awards and honours, including honorary doctorates from the University of Montreal, Université Panthéon Assas, the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the University of the Basque Country, and the University of Copenhagen. She is currently leading the project Global Kids Online (with UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti and EU Kids Online), researching children’s understanding of digital privacy (funded by the Information Commissioner’s Office) and writing a book with Alicia Blum-Ross called ‘Parenting for a Digital Future (Oxford University Press), among other research, impact and writing projects. Sonia is chairing LSE’s Truth, Trust and Technology Commission in 2017-2018, and participates in the European Commission-funded research networks, DigiLitEY and MakEY. She runs a blog called www.parenting.digital and contributes to the LSE’s Media Policy Project blog. Follow her on Twitter @Livingstone_S

Contemporary child protection on the internet

On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force in Europe. The technical tools designed for child protection often cannot keep pace with the rapid innovation of digital applications and in this post, Jutta Croll explores the complexities of keeping children safe online. Jutta is heading the project ‘Child Protection and Children’s Rights in the Digital World’, and is […]

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    Why you should talk to your children about Cambridge Analytica

Why you should talk to your children about Cambridge Analytica

Following the debates about data harvesting triggered by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, how can parents ensure that their children’s rights and needs online are protected? Amanda Third outlines how parents can set a good example with their own practices and work together with children to find better solutions. Amanda Third is associate professor and principal research fellow, Digital, Social […]

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    Can we make our girls responsible for their safety online? Myths and facts about sex and the internet

Can we make our girls responsible for their safety online? Myths and facts about sex and the internet

While there is little evidence to show that teenagers face more risk of social harm online than they do offline, a study into the social media practices of teenagers in Spain has found that gender constitutes a trigger of risk in a society that blames women for the aggressions they suffer. This post asks how can such victim-blaming might […]

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    Competence or distraction: Why Indian parents view social media differently

Competence or distraction: Why Indian parents view social media differently

How do parents’ attitudes to social media use by their children change across socioeconomic classes in India? After conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Panchagrami, South India, Shriram Venkatraman discusses his findings about aspirations for social mobility, perspectives about social media, and differences between the higher and lower socioeconomic classes. Shriram has a PhD from University College London and currently with IIIT-Delhi, explores parents’ attitudes to social media use […]

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    Digital technology in school fails predictably – but is mandated anyway. Part 2: Towards a solution…

Digital technology in school fails predictably – but is mandated anyway. Part 2: Towards a solution…

The Everyday Schooling in the Digital Age project carried out an in-depth ethnography of the realities of digital technology across three contrasting Australian high schools. In the second of two posts, researcher Dr Selena Nemorin discusses how digital technology can be better used to improve communications between home and school, and support students’ learning in both environments. Selena Nemorin is a lecturer in sociology of […]

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    Digital technology in school fails predictably – but is mandated anyway. Part 1: Understanding the problem

Digital technology in school fails predictably – but is mandated anyway. Part 1: Understanding the problem

The ‘Everyday Schooling in the Digital Age’ project involved an in-depth ethnography of the realities of digital technology across three contrasting Australian high schools. In the first of two posts, researcher Dr Selena Nemorin explores some of the main findings, including differences between digital media use inside and outside the classroom and communication difficulties between home and school. The next post will look at […]

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    More access, less harm: children online in Europe and Latin America

More access, less harm: children online in Europe and Latin America

The new book ‘Between selfies and WhatsApps: Opportunities and risks for connected childhood and adolescence’ is based on comprehensive research carried out across Europe and Latin America led by Sonia Livingstone, and is edited by a team from EU Kids Online. In this post, Kate Gilchrist highlights some of the key findings including that children are proportionally experiencing less harm online, yet parents, teachers and industry must do more to […]

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    Advising on screen time in Australia: Is the evidence up to the task?

Advising on screen time in Australia: Is the evidence up to the task?

How do the Australian Department of Health and Ageing’s new screen time guidelines sit with the latest research about screen time? In this blog Jane Mavoa highlights the problems around a lack of robust evidence informing official guidelines. Policy falls behind the latest push to focus on content and context of screen time, rather than just quantity of hours.  Jane is a […]

Children online: Two books that accentuate the positive

In this post, Wendy M Grossman reviews two books: First, Screenwise by Devorah Heitner which provides advice on guiding kids through the digital world. Then, Worried About the Wrong Things by Jacqueline Ryan Vickery which urges more focus on the opportunities available to children online. Wendy writes about the border wars between cyberspace and real life. She is the 2013 winner of […]

Portuguese families facing the challenges of screen time

How are today’s young Portuguese children engaging with screens? How are parents balancing digital media in their children’s lives? In this post, Cristina Ponte, Teresa Sofia Castro, José Alberto Simões, Susana Batista and Ana Jorge show that many parents would rather have their children involved with other activities than watching TV, but that most parents also use screens as a way to keep […]