Ofcom explores digital literacy in latest report

11 Apr 2023 UK SIC

Ofcom have released their latest report; Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes, which shows how digital literacy, attitudes and understanding among children between the ages of 3-17 changed in 2022. 

In the report, a majority of children (66%) believed social media ‘helps them feel closer to their friends’ and viewed social media as a more positive experience than in previous years. The report also considered how children between the ages of 12-17 identified genuine and fake content on social media, with nearly a quarter of children (23%) being unable to identify a fake profile.

The report highlights the need for a continuous focus on digital literacy to combat negative feelings and misinformation on social media, as a third of children ‘believed all or most of what they saw on social media to be accurate and true.’ 

The Ofcom report reflects our findings on misinformation in 2021, which revealed that misinformation online is often leaving children ‘feeling annoyed, upset, sad, angry, attacked or scared.’

Digital literacy is essential for supporting children’s growth online, and the UK Safer Internet Centre has created a series of resources for educators to use to assist young people identifying reliable information online.

Alongside this, our partners SWGfL provide resources for educational professionals, who can access the digital literacy toolkit ProjectEVOLVE for curriculum resources and material to help young people gain essential skills and understanding in digital literacy.

If you are concerned about harmful content online affecting young people in your care, you can also access the Report Harmful Content service. Professionals concerned about online safety issues that are impacting young people in their care can also contact the Professionals Online Safety Helpline.

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