The use of Internet filters has outpaced scientific evidence suggesting they protect young people online. This project investigates whether Internet filters help make young people resilient in the Internet age.
Internet use has become increasingly significant in children’s lives, with average weekly time online doubling for UK 12-15-year olds between 2005 and 2015. For all the opportunities that the Internet provides for education and communication, concerns about children’s access to illegal or harmful content such as pornography remain high on the policy agenda. Given the widespread availability of pornography, the use of Internet filters—technologies designed to prevent access to pornography or other online content perceived as harmful—has increased. Unfortunately, their use has outpaced scientific evidence suggesting they protect young people online. The project combines investigation in the empirical and policy and policy domains to determine whether our trust in these technologies is well placed. Knowing this is key to determining if filters help make young people resilient in the Internet age.