Dolly’s mother, Kate gave evidence to a recent parliamentary inquiry into social media and online safety, recommending young people have a licence to use social media platforms.
She was asked about the possibility of a designated licence system, similar to a driver’s licence for kids, which then gives them certain levels of access online.
“We’re not allowed to drive a car, we’re not allowed to do so many other things in life without the appropriate education and licensing, it only seems logical we would have something like this in the online world,” Kate told the House Select Committee on Social Media and Online Safety.
Kate told the inquiry she received messages every day from parents concerned about the same issues faced by Dolly. ‘I’m stopped in the street by parents struggling with how to protect the children from the dark holes of social media.”
“Our children are using online services at an increasing rate and at present we are primarily reliant on service providers to manage the security and privacy of our data responsibility,” the Everetts wrote in a submission to the inquiry.
“And when bullying and other social problems spill over into online spaces and escalate there, it’s the school communities of students, parents and teachers who struggle to deal with the fallout.”
Among a number of points they asked the committee to consider, the Everetts’ submission said families needed to be able to trust that online space offered a standard of child safety that reflected community standards and ‘lined up’ with the safety standards of ‘real-world environments where children live, learn and play’.
Dolly’s Dream general manager, Stephen Bendle, told the inquiry no licensing scheme would work unless the social media platforms were made safer places in the first instance.