Digital Britain report 'must provide clear guidelines'

The Digital Britain report needs to look at content as well as delivery, argues Tamara Littleton, CEO and founder of eModeration.

As well as addressing the issue of the broadband divide and Internet speeds, the Digital Britain interim report by Communications Minister, Lord Carter, expected out this week will also examine security and safety, and 'promoting content standards'. Culture secretary, Andy Burhnam, has gone on record saying that clearer signposting is need to give people guidance on what they might view (similar to television), and to give media owners clear guidelines on safety and decency.

Tamara Littleton, CEO of eModeration, says: "We need clear guidelines that set out consistent content standards to protect Internet users, particularly children, from content that is illegal or unsuitable. Some great work has been done by people like the Internet Watch Foundation and the Home Office to help safeguard children, and the IAB on developing best practice guidelines. All these provide good solid foundations for content on the web.

"What we need to do now it to bring all the various standards together to create a single set of content guidelines that are clear to anyone publishing content online.

"We also need clarity on who is responsible for what, online. If we are to set standards, we need lines of responsibility between ISPs, media owners, individual content publishers, advertisers, and so on.

"The industry has worked hard to protect users, particularly children, and to educate people about the risks online. Now its time to widen the focus and provide clarity to content creators on the rules and boundaries."

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