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10th February 2015
PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide supports Safer Internet Day and its call to Create a Better Internet Together.
PAPYRUS recognises the huge part the internet plays in young people’s lives; it provides entertainment, information and contact with others. But there are also many dangers. PAPYRUS has campaigned for many years for the regulation of sites and chatrooms which encourage or assist vulnerable young people to take their own lives.
Martyn Piper, who leads the charity’s campaign on the issue said:
Safer Internet Day provides a welcome focus on the need for everyone to work together to keep children, young people and other vulnerable groups safe online. Good progress has been made in providing family filters – sites promoting suicide and self harm are those most blocked by parents – but these need to be available universally and their wider use encouraged.
PAPYRUS fully supports the aim of Safer Internet Day that everyone should work together to create a better internet: parents and families, the internet industry, government and charities such as ourselves all have a part to play. But we do believe that the industry itself can and must do more to protect the young and vulnerable; the Internet Service Providers should refuse to carry harmful sites and search engines should block those which are carried.
Parents are rightly concerned about various dangers on the internet. Sadly we know that sites and chatrooms promoting suicide have played a part in young people taking their own lives; tackling this particular danger should be at the forefront of our aims for a safer, better internet.