Children getting their first smartphone will be able to receive help staying safe online with a new Own It app to be launched by the BBC.
The BBC said the wellbeing app is part of its commitment to supporting young people in today’s changing media environment. It will provide a helping hand to youngsters taking their first steps online and on social media, to ensure they have a healthy experience in the digital world.
Available in early 2019, the app will combine state of the art machine-learning technology with kids self-reporting their own online activity and moods. In response, the app will provide nudges, a helping hand and advice when their behaviour strays outside the norm.
In addition, the app will feature specially commissioned content and more from BBC Own It and from across the BBC. This will provide a range of useful material and resources to help young people get the most of their time online, and build healthy online behaviours and habits. The app will help young people and their parents have more constructive conversations about their experiences online, but won’t provide reports or feedback to parents and no data will leave their device.
Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, said: “Ensuring children have a happy and healthy relationship with the internet is an increasingly important issue of our time. The internet is a powerful force for good – but the truth is it wasn’t set up for children. Everyone understands the problem. It’s now time to act on a solution. The time for debate is over – we must act for the wellbeing of children – to reduce cyberbullying that can destroy lives – to give children the skills to thrive safely in the online world.”