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November 2018

YouTube, Snapchat & Co

Dr. Stephan Dreyer talks about the relation of digital media and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in his keynote "Artikel 17 der UN-Kinderrechtskonvention und die digitalen Medien – Über das Spannungsfeld von Teilhabe und Schutz aus der Kinderrechte-Perspektive [Article 17 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Digital Media – On the Tension between Participation and Protection from the Perspective of Children’s Rights]" at the symposium of the Landesverband Kinder- und Jugendfilm and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on 29 November 2018 at Haus Königstadt in Berlin. This year's nationwide symposium will focus on a field of tension that is both unsolvable and relevant for the work in political and media education. Article 17 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child calls for access to the media for children, but at the same time expects adequate protection for children and adolescents.

The symposium will deal with both key issues demanded in Article 17 in technical contributions, panel discussions, workshops and best practice examples: the protection of the welfare of the child on the one hand and the ability to participate in digital media on the other hand. The conference asks how compatible these demands, which at first glance appear to conflict, are and what consequences they have for the pedagogical practice.

The symposium consists of lectures, a panel discussion and workshops and sees itself as a platform for exchange for actors from the fields of political, cultural and media education with schools and child rights initiatives, but also involves producers and providers of children's media, where actors and multipliers from the fields of cultural education, media education and schools meet media producers and initiatives for children's rights. The cinema premieres of the Children's Rights Film Festival will be the first of a series of short films on the subject of children's rights made by elementary school pupils, which will be followed by a discussion at Haus Köngistadt on the challenges and opportunities of children's media participation.

Digital participation is now a prerequisite for social participation in our mediatised world. And without participation, there is no democracy. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to access media, as well as the right to participate. However, the large social networks and messengers, which are also popular with children, are only available for children aged 13 and older, and there are virtually no reliable age controls on the Internet. The low threshold of access in turn leads to phenomena such as hate speech, fake news and cyberbullying, against which children must also be protected in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Access for children to new media is therefore always in an area of conflict between youth media protection and digital participation. logo, ZDF's news programme for 8-12 year-old children, has had an Instagram account since this year, which is not only used to distribute the logo news. The account is moderated around the clock; the children can communicate with logo via Instagram. Can - or should - an offer for 8-12-year-old children be disseminated at all on a platform for children 13 years and older? And even invite them to interact?

Best Practice Example? - "Die Internet-Ritter" [The Internet Knights]

In June 2018, the Children's Rights Film Festival experimented with how (and whether), for example, a YouTube project can be implemented for children in a target group-appropriate and, at the same time, safe way using its own YouTube channel with several classes of schoolchildren. With more than 1.5 million hits and numerous comments, the films shot by children as part of the Children's Rights Film Festival have had a great response on the Internet. Reason enough to search for strategies in dealing with hate speech and cyberbullying together with the students in the project "Die Internet-Ritter [The Internet Knights]" on the basis of concrete and real comments on the films. The children were empowered to react independently to the comments and thus actively advocate fair and democratic dealings on the Internet. In this case, the children commented in a safe room and not directly on YouTube.

Questions and Aims of the Symposium

How should the dilemma of having to consider the legal basis and at the same time want to reach children and young people be dealt with? The symposium raises the question of whether media pedagogical projects and offers for children should always include only those apps and platforms that are approved for the age of the target group or - because it cannot be prevented that the kids use them anyway - these offers should not be discussed with the children in order to sensitise them to the chances and risks. How can the two seemingly contradictory legal claims in digital offerings for children be considered together in this context? Is "real" participation for children in digital media only possible with limited protection?
Lectures, a panel discussion and workshops in various working groups provide an opportunity to discuss these current issues in greater depth.
The event not only aims to contribute to the discourse, but also to discuss and develop concrete recommendations for practical educational work on the basis of it.

Infos zur Veranstaltung


Haus Königstadt
Saarbrücker Straße 24
10405 Berlin

Contact person

Dr. Stephan Dreyer
Senior Researcher Media Law & Media Governance

Dr. Stephan Dreyer

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung │ Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 33
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 77

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