Safer Internet Centre takes over Secretariat of APPG on Social Media

Posted on 31 July 2020

The UK Safer Internet Centre comprising three leading child protection charities, is taking on a “vital” new role which will help cement children’s online safety at the heart of Government policy. 

The UK Safer Internet Centre is taking over as the new Secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Media. The APPG on Social Media was established in 2018 by the Royal Society for Public Health.

The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading organisations: Childnet InternationalInternet Watch Foundation and SWGfL. It was set up to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people.

The APPG is chaired by Labour MP Chris Elmore (Ogmore), and is the cross-party group dedicated to bringing about policy changes to tackle potentially harmful aspects of social media. 

Chris Elmore MP, Chair of the APPG for Social Media said: 

"I'm delighted to be working alongside the Safer Internet Centre at such a critical time for protecting people, and particularly children, from online harms. Through working closely with the Internet Watch Foundation in recent years, I know that their unwavering commitment to taking action on online harms will hugely benefit the work of our cross-party group.
"I'd like to pay tribute to the fantastic team at the Royal Society for Public Health for the critically important work they have done alongside the APPG since it was established. Without their leadership and commitment to working constructively with politicians of all political colours, I have no doubt that the government's proposed action on tackling online harms would not be as comprehensive as it is today. Of course, we need this to go even further though and I will be working hard in the weeks and months ahead with the Safer Internet Centre to ensure that ministers do not renege on the commitments they have made to social media users and respond to the inevitable future challenges ahead." 

Susie Hargreaves OBE, is a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and Chief Executive of the Internet Watch Foundation.

She said the new role will maximise the UK Safer Internet Centre’s wealth of technical, operational and child protection experience, and will “bridge the gap” between technology and policy. 

She said the coronavirus pandemic has underlined the importance of making the internet a safer place for everyone as people turn to digital spaces while social distancing. 

Social media has provided a vital connection for many young people and their friends during these unprecedented times, and the opportunities for them to connect, create and participate are enormous. However, at the same time, keeping children safe online has never been a more urgent issue, and the challenges that need to be addressed are very real.

 Will Gardner OBE, UKSIC Director and Childnet CEO

“Social media can provide a range of great opportunities and experiences for young people, but we must be aware of the potential for misuse and do all we can to make the internet as safe as we can for our children.
“We are very excited to be taking on this vital role and will be bringing all our experience and expertise from all three organisations that make up the UK Safer Internet Centre to bear as the new Secretariat of the APPG on Social Media.
“The Royal Society for Public Health has done an incredible job as Secretariat, and we hope to build on their work to continue making the internet a more positive and, crucially, safer place.”
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