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Last Updated: Friday July 07 2006 15:20 GMT

CBBC message boards 'very safe'

CBBC's safe surfing pages

CBBC has reassured kids and parents that its message boards are among the safest on the net.

It follows a newspaper story suggesting that kids may be putting themselves in danger when talking to people online.

A CBBC spokesman said trained experts read all messages before they were posted on the boards, including those for Newsround.

The spokesman added that many organisations only check their messages AFTER they appear on their websites.

The CBBC spokesman also pointed out that the service only includes message boards and not chat rooms - where kids reply to each other immediately.

The people monitoring the messages - called moderators - are police-checked to make sure they have no record of bad behaviour.

They undergo strict training and are always on the look-out for inappropriate web-use, including bullying or users behaving out of character, the spokesman said.

CBBC asks all its users to tell their parents they are using its service.

"They shouldn't be using the internet in secret," said the spokesman. "They should tell their parents what they are doing."

Responsible

Chief executive of children's charity Childnet, Stephen Carrick-Davies, has worked with CBBC on internet safety issues.

He said: "I think the BBC is among the most responsible and careful providers of message boards for children.

"It's about giving children the opportunity to express their opinions while safeguarding and protecting them."