MSP to highlight online safety after North-east incident

Gillian Martin says it is incredibly important more is done to highlight the challenges our young people face in the digital age
Gillian Martin says it is incredibly important more is done to highlight the challenges our young people face in the digital age

A North East politician will be joined by an MSYP tomorrow to talk about sexual harassment and bullying.

The move comes after Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin spoke in Holyrood about the pressures faced by young people from social media last month.

Now she will be joined by newly-elected youth politician Evie Robertson in parliament to discuss the ongoing challenges faced by young people at the Equalities and Human Rights Committee tomorrow (June 14).

Earlier this year, an Aberdeen mum spoke out when she discovered sexual images of her daughter had been circulated on the web. The images had been shared on Snapchat.

The girl, and another Aberdeen primary pupil, were pressured to give in to indecent demands in a series of social media messages.The images were then shared almost 30 times in just three minutes.

The revelation had prompted Ms Martin to have a conversation with her own 14-year-old daughter, before speaking at Holyrood.

Both Evie Robertson and Josh MacRae previously contributed to the politician’s speech in parliament detailing their own experiences of social media.

Ms Martin said: “It is incredibly important more is done to highlight the challenges our young people face in the digital age.

“Since I spoke on the issue in parliament many parents have contacted me to express their concerns.

“I am delighted Evie is able to join me in parliament to give the perspective of a young person who has experienced these challenges themselves.

“People who have teenagers walk a fine line between giving them freedom and trust to find their own path and keeping a watchful eye to protect them.

“For me, that conversation with my daughter was the beginning, and it must continue on so that we can prevent further cases in the future.

"I think it's vital that young people's voices are heard in this debate and I want to work with the MSYPs and young people in Aberdeenshire to ensure that their lived experience informs how we tackle problems around online safety.”