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Internet Provision – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly January 30 th 2004 Julia Waldman University of Southampton University of Southampton.

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Presentation on theme: "Internet Provision – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly January 30 th 2004 Julia Waldman University of Southampton University of Southampton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Internet Provision – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly January 30 th 2004 Julia Waldman University of Southampton University of Southampton

2 Context: The themes in this presentation arise in part from an evaluation of a virtual social work service with which I have been involved in and the web searching done as part of the study – results of the study will be published in the summer In December 2001 the NSPCC launched the UK’s first online child protection support service called There4me.com, including the provision of real time online discussion with adult advisers In December 2001 the NSPCC launched the UK’s first online child protection support service called There4me.com, including the provision of real time online discussion with adult advisers Service uses qualified and trainee social work staff Service uses qualified and trainee social work staff Provides information, advice, support and counselling to year olds anonymously via a website Provides information, advice, support and counselling to year olds anonymously via a website Launched the service in the north of England first but the nature of internet searches and public access means that increasingly young people from all over UK and abroad can use the site Launched the service in the north of England first but the nature of internet searches and public access means that increasingly young people from all over UK and abroad can use the site

3 Young people and the internet in the UK Between 1998 and April 2003 the proportion of households in the UK with internet access rose from 9% to 47% (source National Statistics online 8/7/03) Between 1998 and April 2003 the proportion of households in the UK with internet access rose from 9% to 47% (source National Statistics online 8/7/03) levels of internet access still relate very strongly to income and region (source ONS, Family Expenditure Survey, 2000) levels of internet access still relate very strongly to income and region (source ONS, Family Expenditure Survey, 2000) the presence of children in the household significantly boosts the likelihood of internet access (sic) the presence of children in the household significantly boosts the likelihood of internet access (sic) 75% of users who gave feedback (n=709) said they were accessing the site from a pc at home 75% of users who gave feedback (n=709) said they were accessing the site from a pc at home This evidence has implications for accessibility to services to some vulnerable young people

4 In 2001 Bill Clinton said that when he became president there were 50 websites available. when he became president there were 50 websites available. When he left there were 350 million. (Guardian, 27/ ) Open market approach Open market approach Limited regulation Limited regulation Sheffield university guidance for internal websites states that In general any type of information is acceptable as long as it is legal, decent and honest. Sheffield university guidance for internal websites states that In general any type of information is acceptable as long as it is legal, decent and honest.

5 There4me – places protection of users and content authenticity first Web site elements ‘Static’ text information ‘Static’ text information ‘Ask Sam’ ‘Ask Sam’ Message board Message board 121 – synchronous live chat between young people and advisers 121 – synchronous live chat between young people and advisers Weblinks Weblinks A goodie but a bit ugly

6 I think there4me has got rid of some of my stresses and strains. If anything ever goes wrong I use the forum to talk to other people my age. I think talking to a computer is a lot easier than talking to a person. I don't know why. I think it might be the feeling that a computer won't g off and skit you behind your back. I know the advisers won't but if I talk to friends they might. I could talk to an adviser but they don't know me, and are not friends with me, but I use my computer a lot, so in some ways it is my friend. When I have talked to advisers they have helped me as best they can. Sometimes, they have solved my problem, other times they haven't but have give me knowledge about where to go, or who to talk to.

7 Too many sites, however, are NOT legal, decent and honest, up to date or user- friendly How do young people know how to tell the good from the bad and ugly?

8 Increasingly service providers think that a web site is a must have resource – why? Is this always a help to young people? Dead wood National statutory youth organisation’s discussion forum: Onlinee Survey Nov :16AM National statutory youth organisation’s discussion forum: Onlinee Survey Nov :16AM Onlinee Survey Onlinee Survey our sexual rightsour sexual rights Nov :57AM our sexual rights Nov :57AM our sexual rights Young People in Management- Do you pay lip service too?Young People in Management- Do you pay lip service too? Nov :06PM Young People in Management- Do you pay lip service too? Childrens TrustsChildrens Trusts Nov :36PM Childrens Trusts Nov :36PM Childrens Trusts Politics - Boring or what? Oct :37PM Politics - Boring or what? Oct :37PM Politics - Boring or what?Politics - Boring or what? A new and unique youth award..A new and unique youth award.. Jun :45PM A new and unique youth award.. Jun :45PM A new and unique youth award.. Active Involvement of Children and Young People in decision makingActive Involvement of Children and Young People in decision making Jun Active Involvement of Children and Young People in decision making Youth policyYouth policy Jun :35PM Youth policy Jun :35PM Youth policy Seem to be 0 replies to any National voluntary youth organisation – discussion form link led to an unavailable page

9 Too much information Too much information ‘Why bother’ information ‘Why bother’ information Repeat material Repeat material Graphics, flashes overload at the expense of content Graphics, flashes overload at the expense of content Hundreds of sites duplicating content Hundreds of sites duplicating content Sites not ‘owning’ up to a particular position on issues – (eg. sexual health) Sites not ‘owning’ up to a particular position on issues – (eg. sexual health)

10 Search engines cannot discriminate Search engines cannot discriminate How can we support young people in identifying the flowers from the weeds? How can we support young people in identifying the flowers from the weeds? Evaluation Criteria for websites Purpose Purpose Purpose Accessibility Accessibility Accessibility Authority Authority Authority Objectivity Objectivity Objectivity Appropriateness Appropriateness Appropriateness Currency Currency Currency Responsibility Responsibility Responsibility Clarity Clarity Clarity

11 Should providers be working together to avoid duplication and overlap? Should providers be working together to avoid duplication and overlap? Are there elements of (unspoken) competition between providers? Are there elements of (unspoken) competition between providers? How can and should we regulate ourselves? How can and should we regulate ourselves? How are young people shaping what happens? How are young people shaping what happens? Is localisation an answer when access is global? Is localisation an answer when access is global?

12 Further information NSPCC site Our website with study information


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