After a study on hate on the Internet, Faeser and Paus want chat rooms especially for children and young people

( – Federal Interior Minister Faeser (SPD) and Federal Family Minister Paus (Greens) want to initiate virtual chat rooms exclusively intended for children and young people. It’s about creating a larger number of “protected spaces” on social media, said Faeser, according to a media report. To guarantee this, parents should be required to verify their age and agree to which platforms their offspring use. This is intended to prevent children from coming into contact with sexual violence. So-called grooming has recently “gained a lot of weight,” Faeser said.

The minister advised vigilance. “As a mother, I think parents should ensure that children don’t spend their lives just on their cell phones,” she noted. Parents can convey respect, tolerance and democratic values better in real life than in virtual spaces. Faeser proposed cultural workers who create media such as podcasts should check the suitability analogous to an age rating. There is still no timetable for the two ministers’ plans.

In a study by the Competence Network against Hate on the Internet, which was presented last week, an increased number of attacks on the Internet was identified. According to the findings, 49 percent of people in Germany have already been victims of insults online at least once. Especially people with a migration background, young women and people with non-traitional sexual orientation. As a result, more than 50 percent of those surveyed express their political opinions less often, take part in discussions less often and formulate contributions to discussions more cautiously. More than three quarters expressed concern that hate speech could also increase violence in everyday analogue life. “Many people are repelled or intimidated by it, hold back or remain silent,” Paus commented.

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