Children’s exposure to hate messages and violent images online
Innocenti Research Report
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The digital environment is largely unregulated and might expose children to age-inappropriate or potentially harmful content. There has been particular concern about children’s exposure to hate messages and violent images online and how this affects their well-being and rights. Efforts to mitigate exposure to such content are gaining momentum but more evidence is needed to guide policy, regulation and industry practice. This brief provides a cross-national comparison of children’s exposure to hate messages and violent images online across 36 countries, and analyses it in relation to internet access at the country level. The purpose is to understand what children in different countries are experiencing and if exposure to this content is driven by the level of internet access in the population. The results act as a starting point for exploring which countermeasures may be more effective in terms of policy and legislation, and to encourage industry to develop proactive solutions to protect children in online spaces.