Report: How digital design puts children at risk (recommended reading)

Via Nathan Kinch I was made aware of a great report on the impact of digital design in social media on our children. The report contains analysis and recommendations:

We’ve heard from children themselves that they are spending extensive amounts of time on social media, interacting with content meant for adult audiences and often incredibly caught up in how they present themselves online. It’s a subject that so many people are interested in – parents, government, teachers, children and platforms themselves – and there has been much debate around the impact social media has on children and what should be done about it. But the question we really need to answer first is:

How do digital products shape the lives and experiences of children?

To find answers, we’ve combined a detailed exploration of the platforms themselves, findings from in-depth interviews with children and data from online ‘avatars’ – to provide comprehensive insight into the impact of digital design on young people.

The 108 page PDF of the report is available for download. A detailed Table of Contents can be found on page 16.

In the Annex from page 90 you can find screenshots that highlight the harmful patterns that designers use to lure children deeper into their products.

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