In brief: Romanian findings from EU Kids Online 2020
Although internet access for Romanian children from mobile devices has increased more than four times since 2010 (reaching 84% in 2018), access limitations remain due to economic factors such as cost or poor infrastructure. Therefore, 65% of children perceive the devices as too expensive, 37% perceive the costs of connecting to the internet as too high, while 25% report the internet signal as being too weak or non-existent in the area in which they live.
Self-reported negative online experiences of children have increased (33% in 2018 vs 21% in 2010). The highest increase can be found among 9- to 10-year-olds (29%), which means earlier exposure to online risks. Regarding cyberbullying, although boys report having been victims more than girls, girls tend to be twice as bothered as boys (53% vs 24%). A third said they had witnessed someone being bullied online in the past year (from 21% for 9- to 10-year-olds to 45% for 15- to 17-year-olds). Of those who noticed online bullying, almost half tried to help the victim, 45% did nothing, while 7% encouraged the aggressor. Sharing children’s personal data on the internet without their consent is frequent in Romania (for 28% of children’s parents and 17% of children’s teachers). As a consequence, almost a third received negative comments (boys more than girls, who were more upset); they were also more likely to ask for the content to be removed.
- Romanian national report: Velicu, A., Balea, B. & Barbovschi, M. (2019). Acces, utilizări, riscuri și oportunități ale internetului pentru copiii din România. Rezultatele EU Kids Online 2018. EU Kids Online și DigiLiv-REI
- A third of Romanian children have been exposed to some form of cyberhate speech in the past year (from a quarter for the 9- to 10-year-old group to half for the 15- to 17-year-olds). Twelve per cent of all children have themselves received hate messages online, targeting them or their group (of these, half received these messages monthly).
- In a rather permissive attitude, almost half of the children condone the use of violence against someone who insults family or friends, reflected in the data about cyberhate: of those exposed to cyberhate, almost a quarter have intentionally searched for this type of content (a worrisome 30% in the 9- to 10-year-old group), while 8% of all children reported they have sent these kinds of messages themselves.
- Velicu, A. & Blaya, C. (2018) Campaniile de siguranță pe internet și prevenire a cyberbullying-ului în școli. O poveste a copiilor spusă de datele proiectului EU KIDS ONLINE (School’s Campaigns for Online Safety and Cyberbullying Prevention. A Children’s story based on the data of EU Kids Online Project),Revista Română de Sociologie (Romanian Journal of Sociology). 1-2
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- Dinh T., Farrugia L., O'Neill B., Vandoninck S., Velicu A. (2016). Internet Safety Helplines: Exploratory Study First Findings, 8 pp: Better Internet for Kids.
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- Ševčíková, A., Šerek, J., Barbovschi, M., & Daneback, D. (2014). The Roles of Individual Characteristics and Liberalism in Intentional and Unintentional Exposure to Online Sexual Material Among European Youth: A Multilevel Approach. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 11(2), 104-115. doi: 10.1007/s13178-013-0141-6. Indexat în Thomson Reuters (ISI).
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Anca Velicu is a researcher at the Institute of Sociology (Romanian Academy). Her main research interests include youth’s use of digital technology, parental mediation, media education and the opportunities to use new media for education. In the last years she becameinterested in young children and digital technology, and how digital literacy is acquired in the early years. Some of the most important projects in which she has participated: 2017-19, Makerspaces in the early years: enhancing digital literacy and creativity (MakEY) (dir. J. Marsh), 2015-17 Friends 2.0 "Friendship" quality in the age of online social networks. Using and abusing personal information among Romanian adolescents (dir. Monica Barbovschi, funded by the Ministry of Education), 2015 Young Children (0-8) and Digital Technologies (dir. Stephane Chaudron), 2014-17, The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children (DigiLitEY) (dir. J. Marsh), 2009-2014, EU Kids Online Project (dir. S. Livingstone & L. Haddon); 2012-2014, Net Children Go Mobile Project (dir. G. Mascheroni). Currently she is the national contact for the EU Kids Online Project.
Monica Barbovschi, Ph.D, is an associated researcher with the Institute of Sociology of the Romanian Academy and a research consultant for other research centres and institutes on the topic of internet and gender issues for young people (e.g. CETIC.br in Sao Paulo, European Institute for Gender Equality in Vilnius). She was involved in the EU Kids Online network as the coordinator of the Romanian team between 2009-2014 and as a team member in the Net Children Go Mobile project (2012-2014, coordinated by Giovanna Mascheroni). More recently she coordinated the UEFISCDI - Young Teams project ”The quality of friendship in the age of online social networks. Using and abusing personal information among Romanian adolescents” (2015-2017).
Bianca Balea, PhD, received her doctoral degree in Sociology from the Babes-Bolyai University with a thesis on digital inequalities among children. She participated as researcher in national and international research projects, among which most important are EU Kids Online (Romanian Team), 2009-2014 (dir. Sonia Livingstone and Leslie Haddon, LSE) and Net Children Go Mobile (Romanian Team), 2012-2014 (dir. Giovanna Mascheroni). More recently she was post-doctoral researcher within the project " The quality of friendship in the age of online social networks. Using and abusing personal information among Romanian adolescents” (2015-2017) (dir. Monica Barbovschi). Her research interests are social and digital inequalities, children’s use of new digital technologies, friendship and privacy on social media.
Gyöngyvér Tőkés, PhD, is Assistant Professor at the Department of Applied Social Sciences, Sapientia University, Târgu Mureş. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in media and society, and methods of researching mass communication. Her research interest is in new media, especially in internet use and the digital divide of youth in Romania.
Institute of Sociology, Romanian Academy, Calea 13 Septembrie 13, Bucharest