About FOSI
FOSI in the News
Jan
31
2014
PC Pro

UK charities and Internet Service Providers will be working together closely on how best to implement a process for how they label content in their respective filtering systems. David Miles acknowledged the problem and said ISPs would become more transparent about which categories are included with the filters. "Quite a lot of the issues are not to do with inadvertent blocking," he said. "They're to do with the decisions ISPs make around categorisation."

Oct
23
2013
San Jose Mercury News

Facebook found itself in a fresh controversy over a graphically violent video Tuesday, as the world's largest social networking company changed its mind -- twice -- on an earlier decision to block the posting of a clip showing a person being beheaded. Stephen Balkam said that said he complained about the video last spring and was surprised and upset to see it resurface.

Oct
23
2013
The Guardian

Google has started testing new parental control features for its Chrome web browser and Chrome OS laptops to allow easy restriction of content and services. "Chromebooks with this kind of potential for parental internet control, as well as Amazon's Kindle with its family settings, are a tremendous development," said Stephen Balkam, chief executive of Family Online Safety Institute.

Oct
23
2013
BBC News

Facebook has removed a video clip showing a woman's decapitation and issued new rules about what can be shared on its site. Stephen Balkam also welcomed the move. "The Family Online Safety Institute is encouraged by the changes that Facebook announced today to the posting of graphic or disturbing material," he said in a statement.

Oct
22
2013
The Guardian

The Guardian reports that David Cameron has accused Facebook of being irresponsible following its decision to allow a video of a beheading to remain on its website. Stephen Balkam said that the social network should rethink and consider how it uses and adopts its own policies.

Oct
21
2013
BBC News

BBC News reports that Facebook is allowing videos showing people being decapitated to be posted and shared on its site once again. The social network had introduced a temporary ban in May following complaints that the clips could cause long-term psychological damage. Stephen Balkam gave his reaction to the development.

Oct
17
2013
The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal notes criticism of Facebook's recent privacy changes for teens who use the social network. Stephen Balkam gave his thoughts on the changes.

Oct
16
2013
Reuters

Stephen Balkam comments on the changes to teens' privacy settings by Facebook, noting that Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani activist, would not have been able to use Facebook as a broad communication channel under the previous policy. Teens will now be able to share their posts with a broader audience, should they choose, but will also have a more limited default setting.

Oct
16
2013
The Washington Post

As Facebook announced a change in privacy policy for teens, Stephen Balkam commented on the change. Teens who join Facebook will now have stronger initial privacy settings, although the restriction on sharing their posts beyond friends and friends of friends has been removed. Stephen Balkam said that the new privacy settings show that Facebook's attitude toward teen privacy has evolved.

Sep
19
2013
The New York Times

Stephen Balkam comments on the proposed bill by California legislators to give minors the legal right to scrub away their online indiscretions. The legislation puts the state in the middle of a turbulent debate over how best to protect children and their privacy on the Internet, and whether states should even be trying to tame the Web. "This is well-meaning legislation but there are concerns about it," said Stephen Balkam.