Interacting with Children and Young People Online
Summary and Introduction
In this article
Last updated: October 2010
Editorial Guidelines Issues
This guidance note should be considered in conjunction with the following Editorial Guidelines:
- Children and Young People as Contributors
See Editorial Guidelines Section 9: Children and Young People as Contributors
- Harm and Offence
See Editorial Guidelines Section 5: Harm and Offence
See Editorial Guidelines Section 7 Privacy
See Editorial Guidelines Section 17 Interacting with Our Audiences
See also the Guidance Note on Working with Children and Young People as Contributors, which covers working face to face with children but does not deal with online issues.
Summary of Main Points
- If you have a concern that a child or young person is at risk of harm, you should refer this to your nominated Child Protection Policy Manager.
- If there is an immediate risk and the nominated manager cannot be contacted, the police should be alerted at once
- Any incident of suspected "grooming" should be referred to the CBBC Interactive Executive Management Team
- Where a content producer is alerted to a serious case of cyberbullying, they should refer the case to the BBC Interactive Executive Management Team
- If you find that child sexual abuse images or video have been sent by whatever means to a BBC electronic space, you should contact the CBBC Interactive Executive Management Team
- If you find that material which is criminally obscene or incitement to racial hatred have been sent by whatever means to a BBC electronic space, you should contact the BBC Investigations Service.
- People who moderate or host should be properly recruited, trained and supervised and have the appropriate formal checks
- We should be very careful about how much personal information we collect from children and particularly careful about how much we reveal about them on any BBC site
- When we ask children for personal information or user contributions, we should consider what degree of parental consent is appropriate
- Messages and other user contributions on children's sites will normally be checked by a moderator before publication.
It is a key principle in the Editorial Guidelines that we must ensure that the physical and emotional welfare and the dignity of children and young people are protected during the making of our content. Their interests and safety must take priority over any editorial requirement.
This principle also applies to contributions from children online so that for example we should take special care to mitigate risk around content, contact and conduct when running interactive online spaces designed to appeal to children
Some risks to children online are either different or manifest themselves in different ways and there may be different ways of reducing risk or responding to reports of inappropriate or illegal conduct or contact e.g. when reporting suspected online "grooming".
This Guidance Note is designed to give advice to content producers who work with children and young people online. It deals with safety, privacy, consent, conduct and content issues including user contributions. It should also be useful for content producers who don't deal regularly with children and young people online, helping them to identify where prompt action is necessary.