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BCS Welcomes Children’s Commissioner Report: Life in ‘Likes’

4 January 2018 - BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, welcomes the report of the Children’s Commissioner, ‘Life in ‘likes’. It provides a timely and important snapshot of the way children are continuing to evolve their relationship with digital technology, each other, and the wider world through their use of social media. We especially welcome the fact that the Commissioner has so clearly highlighted the importance of children understanding algorithms, and the role that they play in determining what they see. 


Commenting on the report, Julia Adamson, Director of Education at BCS said: ‘We support the general findings of the report, and its recommendations. We also welcome the acknowledgement that pre-teens are frequent users of social media platforms, and that digital citizenship from a very early age is critical in order to prepare children effectively for their lives online. We are pleased that the report echoes our call for schools to ensure that all children and young people have digital literacy skills that go beyond mere on-line safety messages.


‘We welcome the recognition in the report that parents are given an understanding of the ways in which children’s social media use changes with age, especially as they transition to secondary school, in a way which can help and support them in being able to use social media in a positive way, as well as understanding how to disengage from it.


‘Clearly, as the report identifies, social media can bring great benefits for children. However, it is incumbent on those working in technology, parents, teachers, schools, government, social media platforms, and society as a whole, to recognise our collective duty to make it a safe and rewarding experience for our children and our future generations.’


BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, organised a roundtable in conjunction with the PEEL project in September 2017, which sought to address the link between increased social media use and declining self-esteem amongst some young people.

Julia Adamson is a mother of three school-age girls, and has written a personal blog on the report.

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