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Summary

  1. Income tax rates, homeless veterans and recruitment of teachers are all raised during general question
  2. MSPs take evidence on the Scottish Police Authority
  3. Nicola Sturgeon is quizzed by opposition MSPs during first minister's questions
  4. SNP MSP Gail Ross leads this afternoon's member's debate highlighting international ME day
  5. The Scottish government leads a debate on keeping children safe online

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from Holyrood Live...

Holyrood
BBC

That brings to an end our coverage of the Scottish Parliament for Thursday 11 May 2017. 

We'll be back next Tuesday. 

Have a good weekend. 

The government motion as amended is agreed to unanimously

The government motion as amended is agreed to unanimously.

Motion
Scottish Parliament
Tory amendment
BBC
Lib Dem amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Lib Dem amendment is agreed to unanimously

The Lib Dem amendment is agreed to unanimously.

Lib Dem amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Tory amendment is agreed to unanimously

The Tory amendment is agreed to unanimously

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

Even in those safe spaces online there are risks says minister

Mark McDonald
BBC

Mr McDonald says parents have a role to play in making sure they are up to speed and have an understanding of the risks.

The childcare minister says even in those safe spaces online there are risks to many children and young people online.

He says in terms of parents, carers and families, the government will be working with caring organisations.

Mr McDoanld says the Scottish government will remain engaged with the UK government. 

He says the Scottish government will be engaging with Police Scotland and other partners. 

Internet safety must focus on psychological harm as well as physical harm

Parents onine
bbc

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald says the imagery that is projected through social media creates a false image of the perfection of people's lives.

Mr McDonald says he is interesting in the filtering of images and says his wife there is no filter that could improve his image.

The minister says young people must be made aware of what is appropriate to share online, even with their friends.

He says internet safety must focus on psychological harm as well as physical harm. 

Childcare minister praises contributions during consensual debate

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald
BBC

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald says this is another debate he has brought to the chamber that has been consensual. 

Mr McDonald says one of the challenges faced by a number of organisations is that creating an app is more straightforward and does not require a big operation.

The childcare minister says one of the timescales within the action plan has changed because a summit has been moved due to the snap general election. 

Tory MSP says there are some excellent awareness raising initiatives

The rismks
bbc

Mr Whittle says we need to ensure children get access to this wonderful educational tool while keeping children safe.

The Tory MSP says there is undoubtedly a reluctance in major social media companies to address safety for fear of driving away customers.

He says there ares some excellent awareness raising initiatives that need more promotion.

Mr Whittle says his nine year old daughter went through an NSPCC course that was enlightening. 

He says the action plan must keep pace with software platform technology developments.

'The internet can be a wonderful learning tool'

Tory MSP Brian Whittle
BBC

Tory MSP Brian Whittle says he is a board member for the West of Scotland NSPCC.

Mr Whittle says the debate has highlighted the dilemma for parents in protecting children online. 

The Tory MSP says "the internet can be a wonderful learning tool." He says it encourages outdoor learning. 

Mr Whittle says says children are better online than adults are and there is a struggle to qualify the risks for children online. 

He says there are many apps that are easily downloaded that allow unfiltered content. 

Labour MSP calls for ICT training for teachers

Mr Johnson says the policy approach must keep place and he says the action plan is an excellent start.

The Labour MSP calls for more evaluation to be embedded in the plan.

He says the debate has focused on cyber bullying and grooming, but there is also consumer related risks like gambling and alcohol.

computing
bbc

Mr Johnson says we must make sure our children become responsible digital citizens.

He says one trainee teacher told the Eduation Committee she received no ICT training whatsover which is "deeply alarming".

The Labour MSP calls for the government to address the lack of ICT (information and communications technology) training of teachers.

'It can really suck being a teenager'

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson
BBC

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson says this issue is one for the whole of society.

"It can really suck being a teenager," he says, "It is almost as bad as being a parliamentarian," he adds. 

Mr Johnson says he is thankful that some of the communication tools were not available when he was a child because it is an added pressure. 

The Labour MSP says says social media is pervasive in nature.

He says the government could go further and specify who should be taking these actions. 

Background: How can I keep my kids safe online?

Kids online
bbc

We know just how much time kids spend chatting, surfing or playing games online and how much they love connecting and sharing with people all over the world.

But there are risks that lurk in cyberspace, so the BBC teamed up with e-safety organisation Internet Matters to help you make the internet a safer place for your kids.

The good news is that keeping them safe online doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s more about common sense and communication than computer know-how. In fact, just a few simple steps can ensure that every child can surf safely.

Just click below: 

Important roles that Internet Watch Foundation and Police Scotland

Kid on a computer
GETTY IMAGES

Mr Scott highlights the important roles that Internet Watch Foundation and Police Scotland play in this issue.

The Lib Dem MSP  ask what the increase in internet use means for reading and writing.

He calls for more research into this area.

Teacher training for the next generation that are to look after children is important says Lib Dem MSP

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott
BBC

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott says there is a balance between privacy and the need for knowledge as to what is going on with children online.

Mr Scott says this is a good action plan which drives towards the issues to be addressed. 

The Lib Dem MSP says we have to accept as parents the challenges of that role. 

He says teacher training for the next generation that are to look after children is important. 

'It is society's responsibility'

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire
BBC
SNP MSP Ruth Maguire

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire says the world today is radically different to the one she grew up in.

Ms Maguire says the online world and offline world are one thing to young people.

The SNP MSP says cyber-bullying allows bullying to take on another dimension and young people cannot escape it. 

She says "it is society's responsibility" to make sure we are speaking to children and young people. 

Labour MSP says teachers must be properly trained and supported to tackle online safety

Labour MSP Monica Lennon
bbc
Labour MSP Monica Lennon

Labour MSP Monica Lennon says it is very much welcome to see the action plan published.

Ms Lennon says the internet and social media brings opportunity and risks that must be navigated.

She says Barnardo's Scotland stress the concerns around the dangers online are around "stranger danger" and grooming.

The Labour MSP says the outside world is suddenly more accessible to children in places where they should be safe.

She says teachers must be properly trained and supported to tackle online safety.

'My great uncle Socrates'

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson says when you go online you are confronted with a series of risks.

Mr Stevenson says he sent his first email in 1980 and first did his internet banking in 1983.

Labour MSP Daniel Johnston asks if he was alive when Socrates warned about the dangers of writing.

'My great uncle Socrates'
bbc
'My great uncle Socrates'

Mr Stevenson responds saying "ah yes my great uncle Socrates".

He says youngsters must be protected from psychological dangers as well as physical dangers. 

Mr Stevenson says he has a blue tick on his Twitter page which proves he is who he says he is. 

The veteran SNP MSP says if someone wishes to follow more of his seminar he will be in the bar from 5pm.

Tory MSP welcomes the action plan and the protection it will hopefully give

Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour says this is a deeply serious debate and he says he is an IWF champion.

The Tory MSP says cyber bullying goes on and goes with the victim into the house and the bedroom.

Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour
bbc
Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour

Mr Balfour says sadly his niece was very badly bullied on Facebook and she had nowhere to hide.

The Tory says he welcomes the action plan and the protection it will hopefully give.

He says he is pleased the government went out of its way to speak to children in formulating this plan and he calls on the digital industry to do more.

'The internet and I have grown up together'

SNP MSP Kate Forbes
BBC

SNP MSP Kate Forbes says "the internet and I have grown up together."

Ms Forbes says the internet has been a never ending stream of communicating.

The SNP MSP says the internet is now thoroughly embedded in children's lives and she still finds it remarkable watching toddlers navigate tablets.

She says the internet brings out the best and the worst in people.

Ms Forbes says the government's commitment to engage with parents is very important.

Trainee teachers do not believe that their training covers this says Labour MSP

Teacher and pupils
Thinkstock

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald intervenes to say he is aiming for more participation from parents and teachers.

Mr Gray says that is "heartening to hear".

The Labour MSP says trainee teachers do not believe that their training covers this. 

He says there must be more responsibility demanded from the companies and that they have only "scratched the surface" of their overall responsibilities. 

Mr Gray says the Tory amendment is right to demand that parliament is kept updated. 

'The risks are real and not exaggerated'

Labour MSP Iain Gray
bbc
Labour MSP Iain Gray

Labour MSP Iain Gray says MSP unite on this topic drawn together "by our shared bewilderment".

Mr Gray says perhaps we are overprotective of children in the real world when the greatest risks are in the bedroom, school or their pocket where their smart phone lies.

He says: "The risks are real and not exaggerated". 

The Labour MSP says the risks seem to multiply everyday.

He says: "We have to admit we find these risks frightening and difficult to understand."

'This world keeps evolving' says Lib Dem MSP

YouthLink Scotland website
YouthLink Scotland
Lib Dem MSP calls for the government to work with YouthLink Scotland.

Mr Scott asks how parents, carers, teachers and young people cope with all this information which is "at their beck and call".

The Lib Dem MSP says there is currently no training for teachers on online safety and says one of the action points should specifically draw out a module on this.

He says he wants the government to build in a degree of knowledge and understanding during a teacher's training. 

Mr Scott says he hopes the government would consider how youth workers may be used as a resource to promote young people's safety online. 

He says "this world keeps evolving" and that he hopes the government will continue to work with teachers, pupils and YouthLink Scotland.

Lib Dem says social media and the internet are a double edged sword

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott
bbc
Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott says social media and the internet are a double edged sword.

Mr Scott quotes an article from the Times Education Scotland which says in 370 BC Socrates warned that the "new fangled writing" could lead to forgetfulness.

However he says the internet requires more safeguards than the introduction of writing and the printing press.

The Lib Dem MSP calls for more research in this area.

Here is the Lib Dem amendment

Here is the Lib Dem amendment.

Lib Dem amendment
Scottish Parliament

Plan could go further on revenge porn says Tory MSP

Children using mobile and tablet
Thinkstock

Ms Wells says she welcomes the minister's commitments on training.

The Tory MSP says the plan could go further on revenge porn and that this form of abuse is on the rise. 

She says advice for parents and children must be made available.

Ms Wells says her amendment asks for parliament to be kept updated. 

Background: Police start online campaign to tackle child sex predators

Man standing behind girl
Police Scotland

Police Scotland launched its first public information campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE) in September.

It ran across social media and digital platforms warning potential and existing child sex predators that officers are "on to them".

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said he would not tolerate Scottish children being groomed.

The Scottish government supported the £40,000 campaign.

Tory MSP welcomes the government's action plan

Tory MSP Annie Wells
bbc
Tory MSP Annie Wells

Tory MSP Annie Wells says children and young people can be bombarded with harmful texts and on social media.

Ms Wells says children and young people abused online often find it difficult to speak to parents.

She welcomes the government's action plan and calls for parents and teachers to work together.

The Tory MSP says it is imperative to strike the balance between monitoring our children's online activities with the freedom to explore the internet.

She says the action plan should go further, with a parent friendly website giving advice on how to spot online abuse.

Background: The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)

The Internet Watch Foundation website
The Internet Watch Foundation

The IWF minimises the availability of online sexual abuse content. Specifically:

  • Child sexual abuse content* hosted anywhere in the world.
  • Criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK.
  • Non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK. 

The majority of our work focuses on the removal of child sexual abuse images and videos. 

'We must tackle the serious problem of cyber-bullying'

Tory MSP Annie Wells
BBC

Tory MSP Annie Wells says her party supports the government motion and Lib Dem amendment. 

Ms Wells says the IWF is one of the most successful hotlines in the world and it carries out outstanding work. 

The Tory MSP says the internet is a fantastic tool for educating children and young people. 

Ms Wells says the internet does have a sinister side which has brought about this debate and she welcomes the action plan to tackle abuse head on. 

"We must tackle the serious problem of cyber-bullying".

Here is the Tory amendment

Here is the Tory amendment.

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

Minister highlights 5 Rights coalition

5Rights
5Rights
5Rights

Mr McDonald says all children and young people must have the knowledge of their rights, to use the internet safely.

The childcare minister stresses the importance of peer mentoring.

The minister refers to the 5 rights framework. 

5Rights takes the existing rights of children and young people (under 18), and articulates them for the digital world. 

Signatories to the 5Rights framework believe that young people should be supported to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly.   

Children will learn about the responsible use of the internet under Curriculum for Excellence

Mark McDonald
BBC

Mr McDonald says all schools are expected to develop an anti-bullying strategy which is also attributable to online. 

The childcare minister says children and young people will learn about the responsible use of the internet under the Curriculum for Excellence.

Labour MSP Daniel Johnston intervenes to ask the minister to elaborate on the training for existing teachers. 

Mr McDonald says the government is committed to teacher training. 

He says it is more important than ever for parents and carers to engage with measures. 

Background: A quarter of Childline calls on bullying involve online abuse

Kids online
bbc

Almost a quarter of Scottish children who contacted Childline about bullying in the past year were concerned with online abuse,  figures published in November show.

The charity said 201 of the 873 counselling sessions it arranged were connected to cyber bullying.

Children as young as seven told Childline counsellors they were being tormented by malicious and hurtful messages.

Across the UK, the charity counselled 4,541 children about online bullying.

That 2015/2016 figure represented an 88% increase from 2,410 in 2011/12.

Matt Forde, national head of service for NSPCC Scotland, said: "Online bullying is one of the biggest child protection challenges of this generation."  

Online bullying should not be treated differently in any way from other types of bullying

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald
bbc
Childcare Minister Mark McDonald

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson ask how parents can be supported in tackling this issue, as children are probably more expert in this environment.

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald says he agrees and say as a parent he finds it difficult to relate to the online activity his daughter engages in.

Mr McDonald says as the action plan was developed, children told the government their main concern was bullying online.

He says online bullying or cyber bullying should not be treated differently in any way from other types of bullying.

Social media companies 'must do more to protect children from harmful content'

Child on laptop
Peter Byrne

Mr McDoanld says over 4500 children per year are being harmed or potentially harmed online and that this could potentially be more.

The childcare minister says the government is committed to child protection training for those who work with children. 

He say he is happy to accept the Lib Dem amendment. 

Mr McDonald says social media companies must see the protection of children as a priority and "must do more to protect children from harmful content."

He says the government have committed to working with the digital media industry and carers. 

Minister says increasing reliance in online technologies makes children potentially vulnerable

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald says there is greater interaction online than ever before.

Mr McDonald says increasing reliance in online technologies makes children potentially vulnerable.

He the internet is increasingly being used as a cover by those who wish to harm or abuse children.

Mr McDonald says over a six week period last summer 523 children were identifid as victims or potential victims of online child sexual abuse.

Children should be protected, safe and supported in the digital world says minister

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald
BBC

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald says on the 21 April he launched the national action plan for internet safety for children and young people.

Mr McDonald says he has worked with stakeholders on this plan.

The childcare minister says children should be protected, safe and supported in the digital world.

He says the online industry must play a role in protecting you people.

Mr McDonald says we must ensure the internet equips children. 

National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People

National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People
Scottish government

According to the Sccottish government he National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People builds on actions set out in the 2010 Action Plan on Child Internet Safety and the 2011/12 Scottish Action Plan on Child Internet Safety and Responsible Use. 

The commitments included in these plans were structured under three broad aims: 

  1. Giving everybody the skills, knowledge and understanding to help children and young people stay safe online: we will help parents, carers and people who work with children and families to understand how to help children stay safe online and how to deal with problems if they occur;
  2.  Inspiring safe and responsible use and behaviour: we will make it clear that individuals, including children and young people themselves, need to take responsibility for their own online behaviour
  3. Creating a safer online environment: we will work together to make sure that children are less likely to come across or get access to things online that are not suitable for them. 

This action plan aims to build on the progress already made under each of the above aims and has been developed in partnership with organisations with an interest in internet safety for children and young people.