Action is needed

Picture of  a child using a laptop computer
Picture of a child using a laptop computer
Have your say

Tech companies are not doing enough to keep children safe.

Barnardo’s has recently done some research with young people and it found that more than half of 12-year-olds have posted live videos on apps and websites meant for older children and adults.

We know from our specialist services across the UK that children are at risk of ‘live grooming’ on online platforms.

This is borne out by our survey with YouGov which found that 57 per cent of 12-year-olds, and more than one-in-four children aged 10 (28 per cent), have live streamed content over the internet.

The results suggest thousands of younger children may be putting themselves at risk by sharing live videos on sites with a minimum age limit of 13.

We feel tech companies are simply not doing enough to keep children safe.

Children are using livestreaming apps that are not appropriate for their ages, so tech giants need to makes sure they have strong age-verification rules in place.

Theresa May vowed to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, but new laws are not expected for at least two years and this is simply not good enough for the children, who need protecting now.

Urgent action is needed.

Steve Oversby

Director Barnardo’s East Region

Ghoulish turn of mind

I wonder if Mr Olsen could, for those of us of a more ghoulish turn of mind, let us know where we might find the remains of those people who have been “literally hung drawn and quartered” in the debate around our new Lord Mayor.

Joyce Crowther

Greystones, Sheffield

Green war on high streets

What was most obvious to me watching TV reports of the fall of the House of Fraser was that most of their soon-to-be-closed stores are situated in pedestrianised streets with no parking spaces.

I haven’t gone shopping in my local department store in more than 25 years due to the impossibility of getting my car within several hundred yards of the front door.

I prefer to frequent out-of-town malls with a superfluity of free and convenient parking.

It must be nice for the Green anti-car lobby to smugly walk and cycle past the shuttered shops of our high streets, the death of which are largely due to their blinkered efforts.

John Eoin Douglas

Edinburgh , EH7


The posse smells a rat. We can wistfully think some of the £400,000 will go on our bonus, now that we are going to be industry leaders of the future.

Tony Burgin

Sheffield, S6

Get some exercise

Schools selling off playing fields makes no difference to kids being overweight.

When I was at school the field was out of bounds except for sports day, when you ran to win. The rest of the time we walked round the yard.

Last time I looked, parks were free, so if you fancy a nice run round or stroll it’s there for you.

I always tell my son, back in the day I played out from morning until night. We ran around for hours, kids today don’t.

Now social interaction is mostly done at school and on games, sad but true.

Yes kids are getting fatter but parents need to get a grip on it at home and, let’s be honest, when you see an overweight child it’s usually followed by parents who are the same.

The whole family need to help each other.

As Blur say, you should cut down on your porklife, get some exercise.

Jayne Grayson

Sheffield, S35

Racist opinions

To publish racist opinions is to normalise them.

To give a platform to racists is to send a clear message that their voices are worth listening to and to encourage others who share their views to make public their own opinions.

The idea that not publishing racist letters allows “hate to fester” is laughable.

Airing racist voices does not lance the boil, relieve the pressure or allow a release of tension, it does the exact opposite.

It justifies, legitimises and unites racists.

The rise of the far-right in the recent past has been greatly enabled by the notion that racist views are worthy of serious discussion.

To see a racist opinion in a newspaper very clearly makes the case that that opinion has value.

It does not. Not every opinion has the right to be heard, not every voice deserves to be listened to.

There is no ‘other side’ of racism.

There is no dialogue or free and open debate to be had with racists.

This is not an issue of freedom of speech or of democratically debating a political point nor is it about ignoring “opinions we don’t agree with”.

The action of allowing even the slightest indication that there is value to a racist opinion leaves you inherently bound to the position that that opinion might be correct.

The causes of racism is an entirely different matter and should be at the top of every journalist’s to do list.

The Star has a duty to the residents of Sheffield to thoroughly investigate how and why racism exists in our city and to publish all findings.

But just as a medical journal dedicated to finding a cure for mental illness would see little value in publishing an article in which a mental patient explains in their own terms why their delusions are all real, it is the context and causation that is pertinent, not a legitimate consideration of the symptoms.

The symptoms of being a racist are to make racist comments.

Society needs to understand why this happens while consistently and unequivocally dismissing racist opinions as illegitimate.

C Loftus

Sheffield, S1

Footnote: Editor Nancy Fieler said in her opinion of May 29, “Not publishing letters or comments because we don’t agree with them changes nothing. It allows hate to fester and grow without challenge or the chance to change.