Germany is looking at safeguarding children who are viewing online content and social media, which could also include age verification to protect them from online pornography.
A recent survey published by Germany’s children’s rights organization Kinderhilfswerk (DHKW) states that that are not enough safeguards for children on social media, video and games portals, with 55% of parents saying that their children had been hurt by ‘excessive’ consumption, mobbing, violence and pornography.
93% of parents want harsher penalties for domestic and foreign platforms under Germany’s child protection laws and 97% said that a good system of age verification was important in the choice of social media services, online content and games for their children. 88% said they scanned for age suitability for films, apps, games and streaming services, when overseeing their children’s digital consumption usage.
Only 37% said that they knew who to consult about negative experiences and only 66% were inclined to consult prosecutory services, notably the police.
Late last year, Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey submitted a draft “juvenile media protection” bill. Katja Mast, deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary party, told the German news agency DPA that such a modernization was agreed within the coalition Government. Giffey’s bill will be submitted to a Bundestag parliamentary debate before Summer 2020.
DHKW president Thomas Krüger, commented, “We need a comprehensive system of child and juvenile media protection orientated around the real usage behaviors of children and teenagers. Providers of messenger services and video platforms are insufficient.”