- One way of finding and sharing information and communicating with friends online is through social media
- You should be protected from seeing and hearing things that could be harmful to you on social media
- If someone treats you badly through social media, they could be breaking the law
You have the right to information and to share your views and opinions, so this includes what you post on social media. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says that the government should protect children from seeing things that will harm them. Although there are some specific laws about some types of content, and some types of online behaviour, there are no general laws protecting you when you’re online, including when you use social media.
Social media isn’t really set up so that you can be protected from seeing things that might upset you or be harmful to you. Content on social media isn’t ‘age restricted’, although social media platforms have a ‘lower age limit’ to have an account. Even though content isn’t age restricted, some content is blocked, and people who post inappropriate things on social media or people who use social media to target a child, could end up being in trouble with the police.
Just as you should be protected when you use social media, you have to be aware of other people’s rights and the laws that protect them. If you don’t you can end up in trouble with the police yourself either because you posted something you shouldn’t have done, or because you used social media to target someone.
Each social media platform is different but each one has rules and functions so that you can stop seeing posts by people if they are upsetting you. You can also stop people seeing you and your posts, and you can stop them tagging you in posts.