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
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    The rise of skin gambling: how outdated legislation allows thousands of UK children to gamble online

The rise of skin gambling: how outdated legislation allows thousands of UK children to gamble online

The UK’s gambling laws are failing to keep pace with the emergence of new forms of gambling that are infiltrating children’s gaming practices. In this post, Lulu Freemont outlines how the gaming industry and policy-makers must work together to ensure that children are protected from such risks and that parents are made aware of the dangers. Lulu Freemont has recently completed […]

Rethinking the rights of children for the Internet Age

The internet is now 30 years old, making it the same age as the key formulation of children’s rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the intervening years, our understanding of the transformative effects of the internet on both society and children have developed in tandem. In this post Sonia Livingstone outlines some of the issues raised […]

11 key readings on children’s data and privacy online

The almost daily news stories on data privacy and data breaches – including those affecting children – raise urgent questions as everyday activities and actions generate data that are recorded, tracked,  collated, analysed and monetised by a range of actors. Rishita Nandagiri, Sonia Livingstone and Mariya Stoilova discuss their systematic evidence mapping of studies of how children themselves understand their data and privacy online conducted as part of an ICO-funded research. [Header image credit: Photo […]

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    How playful assessment unseated standardised tests at one school

How playful assessment unseated standardised tests at one school

MIT researchers are developing playful assessments to measure student growth. This is the second part of a two-part story by Emily Tate looking at how one school is piloting the MIT research on playful assessments. In this new model, learning – and measuring that learning – looks a lot like playing. Read part one for background. Emily Tate is a reporter […]

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    Media literacy: what are the challenges and how can we move towards a solution?

Media literacy: what are the challenges and how can we move towards a solution?

As governments seek to tackle a variety of problems of the digital age, media (or digital) literacy is often cited as the solution, partly because it is far less controversial than attempting to regulate the internet. LSE Professor Sonia Livingstone, chair of the LSE Commission on Truth, Trust and Technology, stresses the complexity of the challenges involved in improving media literacy, and the first steps that policy makers […]

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    Parents influence US teens’ attitudes to, and media practices around, gender equality

Parents influence US teens’ attitudes to, and media practices around, gender equality

Teens’ media practices are influenced by their parents’ attitudes to gender equality, according to recent research in the US by Plan International. The study also found that teens – particularly those from ethnic minorities – would like more education on issues such as consent, equality and safety online. This post considers how both parents and educators might address such […]

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    Vulnerable offline and at risk online: tackling children’s safety

Vulnerable offline and at risk online: tackling children’s safety

Children who are vulnerable offline are more likely to encounter multiple risks online – but current advice on safety fails to take into account their differing levels of resilience. In this post, Adrienne Katz and Dr Aiman El Asam outline the findings from a major UK study into the links between online and offline vulnerability and recommend changes for […]

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    Digital natives or naïve experts? Exploring how Norwegian children understand the internet

Digital natives or naïve experts? Exploring how Norwegian children understand the internet

While children in Norway are often referred to as ‘digital natives’, new research by EU Kids Online suggests that this is an inappropriate term. It discovered that although children often understand concepts related to the internet, they can’t always apply the practical skills related to those concepts. The findings suggest that children may need more support online. Niamh Ní […]

From policing screen time to weighing screen use

The UK Chief Medical Officer has just released a report on screen use and the mental health and wellbeing of children. This post by Sonia Livingstone examines new research which has shown that the length of screen time for children is not as harmful as first thought, and calls for a more balanced approach. Sonia Livingstone is Professor of Social Psychology […]

February 8th, 2019|Featured, In the news|0 Comments|
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    Changing media habits mean having a conversation with children is more important than ever

Changing media habits mean having a conversation with children is more important than ever

To mark Safer Internet Day, this post takes a look at Ofcom’s latest reports into children’s media use and discusses how a decline in family viewing impacts on what strategies parents can use to ensure that their children stay safe online. Gianfranco Polizzi and Kate Gilchrist suggest that while screen time rules are popular, having regular conversations with children may be […]