AN ARBROATH dad has been praised in the Scottish Parliament for developing a safe social networking website for children.
Jamie Tosh founded Kibooku, which allows children to connect with social media but requires parents to view their activity.
The businessman came up with the idea after one of his daughters was the victim of cyber-bullying.
And with the site coming in for widespread praise, North East MSP Alex Johnstone invited Mr Tosh to Edinburgh where he briefed other MSPs on the dangers of online behaviour.
And on Wednesday, Mr Johnstone won cross party support for a motion on safe social networking sites for children.
The MSP said: “Just as young people can be bullied in person, they can be equally vulnerable to bullying or other kinds of sinister behaviour online.”
“Research from anti-bullying charity Respectme shows that 16 per cent of children or young people questioned have been cyber bullied and 25 per cent worry about it.
“These figures are deeply worrying when we consider that this kind of behaviour can have tragic consequences.”
“I feel that this is a deeply important issue, and I was delighted to highlight the innovative work done by Mr Tosh whose website I feel, has the potential to make a major contribution in combating online bullying.”
Angus South MSP Graeme Dey, also supported the motion and spoke in the debate.
He added: “We are told that 55 per cent of children and young people access the internet every day so creating a safe environment – free from the risk of bullying or being targeted by inappropriate individuals - in which the under 13s in particular can do this is hugely important.
“Therefore the advent of Kibooku is very welcome. It strikes me that looking at the peace of mind and safeguards which Kibooku offers, the question for parents isn’t so much – why would you sign your children up to it, or something similar, but why wouldn’t you ?”
“Jamie Tosh has clearly put a lot of thought and effort into this set-up and it was good to hear first-hand from him about his ambitions for it.”
Mr Tosh, who attended the debate with business partner Derek Wann, was on hand in the Scottish Parliament to demonstrate the site to MSPs and staff.
And after the debate he explained: “It was fantastic to have the opportunity to attend the debate and meet with MSPs from across Scotland and explain to them how Kibooku works and the levels of safety it offers children and the peace of mind it gives to parents.
“It was clear from the MSPs who spoke in the chamber and those I met later, that there is real concern about children’s safety online, and a desire to do more to tackle it.”
Mr Tosh has now been invited back to the Scottish Parliament to attend the cross party group on children and young people next week which will be covering internet safety.