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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 March 2008, 14:48 GMT
At a glance: The Byron Review
On 6 September 2007, the UK government commissioned a review of the risks children faced from exposure to harmful or inappropriate material on the internet or in video games.

Psychologist Dr Tanya Byron was asked to lead the six-month review and the report detailing the work was published on 27 March.

Here are some of the key points taken from the report.


Children will be children - pushing boundaries and taking risks.

The safety of children should be a central concern for parents and society as a whole.

Google homepage, Getty
The report wants search sites to show when searches are safe
[The] remit has been to look at the grey areas - of legal, adult material such as 18 rated video games, and the risks to children online from a huge range of potentially harmful or inappropriate (but legal) content, contact with others and their own conduct.

Mixed research evidence on the actual harm from video games and use of the internet does not mean that the risks do not exist.

To help measure and manage those risks there needs to be a focus on what the child brings to the technology and use our understanding of children's development to inform an approach that is based on the "probability of risk" in different circumstances.

Efforts should be focused on reducing the availability of harmful and inappropriate material in the most popular part of the internet.

Parents also have a key role to play in managing children's access to such material.

Teenage boy using computer, SPL
Parents need help to keep up with their children online
The internet cannot be made completely safe. Because of this, children's resilience to the material to which they may be exposed must be build up to ensure they have the confidence and skills to navigate these new media waters more safely.

There are also steps that need to be taken in the UK and on a global platform to make the waters of new technology easier to navigate safely. This is about providing children and their parents with the proper tools, clear standards and signposts and somewhere to go when things go wrong.

Alongside new technology a new culture of responsibility is needed, where all in society focus not on defending entrenched positions, but on working together to help children keep themselves safe, to help parents to keep their children safe and to help each other support children and parents in this task.


Create a UK Council on Child Internet Safety that leads development of a strategy with two core elements:

1) better regulation - in the form of voluntary codes of practice that industry can sign up to.

2) better information and education, where the role of government, law enforcement, schools and children's services will be key.

Pegi logos, Pegi
The report wants games clearly labelled with age ratings
The council should investigate how the law around harmful and inappropriate material could be usefully clarified (including suicide websites) and explore appropriate enforcement responses.

Develop an independently monitored voluntary code of practice on the moderation of user generated content, including making specific commitments on take-down times.

All computers sold for home use should have kitemarked parental control software and ISPs should offer and advertise this prominently when people sign up.

The council should ensure search providers agree to make it obvious what level of search is on (e.g. safe or moderate) and give users the option to "lock it" on. Every search engine clearly link to child safety information and safe search settings on the front page of their website.

A properly funded public information and awareness campaign on child internet safety to change behaviour.

Sustainable education and children's services initiatives to improve the skills of children and their parents around e-safety.

Creation of a "one stop shop" for child internet safety within the DirectGov information network, based on extensive research about what different groups of users want.

Computer keyboard, Eyewire
The report wants new home computers fitted with filters
100% of schools should have Acceptable Use Policies that are regularly reviewed, monitored and agreed with parents and students.

Ofsted take steps to hold schools to account on their performance on e-safety.

Sustained, high profile and targeted efforts by industry to increase parents' understanding and use of age-ratings and controls on consoles.

That the statutory requirement to age classify games be extended to include those receiving 12+ ratings.

Introduce a hybrid classification system with BBFC logos on the front of all games (18,15,12,PG and U). Pegi to rate all 3+ and 7+ games and their equivalent logos (across - all age ranges) will be on the back of all boxes.

That there should be focused efforts to monitor enforcement of the statutory age ratings at the point of sale.

The BBFC and Pegi develop a joint approach to rating online games and driving up safety standards for children and young people in the games, under the auspices of the UK Council for Child Internet safety.

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