TMG and ITU publish child online protection report

TMG Press Release
November 7, 2023

TMG, in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), developed and published a report to enrich the ongoing conversation about safeguarding children online. This new report, Safeguarding Children Online: A service-specific view on risks and parental attitudes, builds upon the ITU’s Guidelines on Child Online Protection, underscoring the collective responsibility of parents, educators, the ICT industry, and policymakers in bolstering child online protection. It acknowledges the importance of involving parents – as well as children – in the development and implementation of safeguards and strategies. 

Gathering evidence across five different online services – messaging applications, online games, social media, streaming services, and user-generated content platforms – the report presents insights on parents’ perceptions in terms of the benefits that these services provide, perceived risks for their children’s online experiences, and the adaptive strategies that parents employ in response to those risks. Additional insights into children’s perceptions complement the study. 

According to the study, parents showed different levels of risk perception and concern based on the type of service, and correspondingly deployed different parenting styles to manage their children’s use of each service type. 

​The main findings include:  

  • Parents broadly have a positive view of their children’s use of technology, particularly as a means of achieving success and learning. 
  • Alongside the benefits, parents have concerns about children’s online engagement, particularly around content (e.g., extreme violence, pornography, misinformation, and age-inappropriateness), negative influences online, and communications with strangers. Some of these concerns also vary based on the age of the children. 
  • Not all risks are perceived equally. Parents are more comfortable with their children using streaming services, online games, and messaging applications than with social media and user-generated content platforms. 
  • Differing comfort levels ma​y relate to specific features unique to particular services. Parents consistently highlighted concerns with user-generated uploads and user-to-user communication. Some parents are also more comfortable with services that involve payment than with free ones. 
  • Differentiated concerns lead parents to adopt different strategies to manage their children online, based on the service. Parents found their strategies to be largely effective and generally believe they have primary responsibility for managing their children’s online experiences. At the same time, parents did report that there are some areas they might need help with, based on the service. 
  • Like parents, children have concerns in particular about strangers and undesirable content. They tailor their behavior online depending on the online service. 

Julia Davidson, OBE, PhD, Professor of Criminology, Director of the Institute for Connected Communities, University of East London, provided research guidance, as well as additional comments and suggestions, throughout the project. The surveys and interviews included in this report were conducted in partnership with the global survey firm Geopoll. The report was commissioned by Netflix. 

About TMG

TMG ( provides customized assistance to a variety of clients in the ICT sector, including current projects enabling innovative technologies such as 5G, submarine cables systems, satellite broadband, over-the-top services, next generation Wi-Fi, and the Internet of Things. Our engagement on contemporary issues leverages 30 years of experience across more than 100 countries advising private and public sector clients on matters including broadband plans, mobile services, and rural connectivity. TMG’s staff develops legal, regulatory, managerial, economic, and technical strategies focusing on issues related to broadband and ICTs, legal and regulatory reform, market analysis, licensing and tenders, and spectrum planning and management. The TMG team is well-known by stakeholders worldwide for its expertise and for delivering thoughtful strategies, detailed reports, sector insights, and capacity-building programs.