Exploring Safety in the Online Content Journey
The societal benefits of the internet in stripping away geographical barriers, transforming access to information and enabling people to connect and to share information instantaneously are enormous. For millions of people around the world, the internet has become an intrinsic part of their daily life. However, coupled with the many benefits of these innovations, this relatively effortless and immediate access to online services creates challenges related not only to security and privacy of users but also in ensuring their safety.
The online ecosystem is becoming ever more relevant to Ofcom’s work, and our remit has recently expanded to explicitly include online content for the first time. Given our new online duties, we are committed to deepening understanding of the wider online ecosystem and sharing our knowledge with people, industry and governments.
This report provides an overview of the existing and upcoming challenges and opportunities for enhancing online safety through the lens of a typical content journey. It explores how the technical infrastructure and architecture of the internet enables content sharing and identifies the organisations responsible for providing, supporting and administering its technical functions. The report does not aim to provide an exhaustive analysis of the online safety ecosystem – rather, the objective is to identify, at a high level, potential opportunities for further research which will inform our future work in this area.