New Media, Right to Internet Access and Youth: Some Debates from the Turkish Case

TitleNew Media, Right to Internet Access and Youth: Some Debates from the Turkish Case
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Hasdemir, T. A.
Affiliation (1st Author)Gazi University Faculty of Communication
Section or WGAudience Section
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeAUDW4b
Slot Code (Keyword)AUDW4b
Time of Session16:00-17:30
Session TitleYouth Media Consumption: Behaviour and Practice I
Submission ID6090

Alongside the enormous development in ICTs, new regulations, policies and practices became part of our world. The right to internet access is one of the topics discussed widely not only by the academicians but also media professionals, practitioners and other persons related with the issue. This right was also elaborated and handled in the domain of international human rights systems including the United Nations as well as the Council of Europe. The right to internet access, like the right to information, has important ties with the first level of rights and freedoms. In that sense, it is not a new form of rights and freedoms, with an inseparable relation with the right to freedoms of thought and expression, but on the other hand, it is treated within the third level, in other word “new” rights and freedoms. This is one side of the fruitful discussions on the issue. With the growing popularity of the internet within the last decades, new issues, such as safer use of internet, have contentious nature and were closely related with different agents of any given society. From public institutions to individual users, the safer use of internet is highly concerned at the national as well as international levels. In this paper, the recent practices of the “Safer Internet Service” titled and presented by Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) in Turkey is the focus of the study. . By ICTA, it was announced that the “Safer Internet Service” aims to protect child and youth audiences from harmful content on the internet. This service consists of two profiles called family and child profile. ICTA established its policy on the basis of the Regulation on Consumers Rights in Electronic Communication Sector, and Rules and Procedures determined by ICTA in accordance with this Regulation In addition, ICTA stated that this service is optional and free of charge. This service has been launched since November 2011 in Turkey. Although ICTA declares that this service highly respects the liberties of internet users, it was strongly criticized by some NGOs, academicians and experts, and it was treated as central filtering practice. In this respect, the main aim of the study is to elaborate the policies and practices related with “safer internet service” by regarding continuous debates as well as regulations on the right to internet access at the national and international levels. Specifically, child profile of the service will be under consideration. In this sequence, EU Kids Online Survey results about the experiences and practices of European children and their parents regarding use of the internet and online technologies in 25 countries including Turkey provides important tools to evaluate the issue. Also the recent practices of the “Safer Internet Service” which proposed to aim at protecting child and youth will be evaluated by considering the related regulations and policies adopted at the European level. And the last part is reserved for further evaluations and suggestions for the future policies and practices on the issue.

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