Leslie Haddon, from London School of Economics, presented a paper about the type of strategies that parents use to control information and media consumption and the effectiveness of these interventions on children. A majority of children regard these interventions “as helpful and appreciated the attention that their parents have” with them, he said.The sensitive areas mentioned were sexual images, cyber bullying or sexting and meeting strangers and parents did not know of their children’s experiences.
In most cases, children preferred to talk about this “with anyone instead of parents”, he said. But why? Haddon tried to explain the reaction of the children who said that parents sometimes “are embarrassed” to speak about certain issues and let it show to the children.
The parental mediation “is a way” to keep children safe and away from the risks that the online world can have. As the presenter said, to understand children’s perspectives “it’s necessary to know how parents are acting”.
However, this is “a little hard” because children tend to hide “their fears and thoughts” from parents. Haddon, gave a crucial advice for a better control: “checking children’s profiles”, for example, and try to be “realistic and specific”, because only then it is possible to build “a greater credibility”, he explained. Such advice must be followed without the child feeling threatened or judged, as well communication with parents will be reduced and the problems will eventually be solved.
The second speaker brought a completely different theme. Cornelia Brantner, from University of Vienna, started their presentation with the case of Akademikerball organized by the right populist Feedom Party and by German-national student fraternities.
This group has permission to use a public space for their events each month of January and for spending public funds for granting the ball participants safety. In these meetings there are always reports of violence between police and protesters, and therefore would be covered in real time by the media. The fact of combining mobile advices, social network sites and the struggle for political visibility breaks the traditionally stable conceptions of public space.
She talked about twitter with the goal of showing the usefulness of hashtags in tweets, saying that only then the events can be followed, commented and shared at the moment and helps build public space, even” if it is not built by the traditional media”, she said.