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Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13

The website The Information (subscription required to get past the first paragraph) is reporting that Google has been “working to overhaul its web services so it can legally allow children to use them.” Google hasn’t commented on the report but I hope it’s true. To comply with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, Google, […]

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Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more

We need to prevent and solve bullying. No question. But we also need to encourage and empower our children with the knowledge that most kids don’t bully, that bullying is not normative – that, in fact, kindness is. As Dr. Marc Brackett at Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence said Friday at the federal government’s […]

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Beginning of the end of #purge, revenge porn or social cruelty?

We so want to believe it: that the fact that Twitter and Instagram are actively taking down #purge-related accounts signals “the tipping point of this particular phenomenon – and its end has begun,” as professor, author and cyberbullying expert Sameer Hinduja writes in an informative blog post. It’s very possible we’re seeing the tipping point […]

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Let’s stop persecuting ‘Auschwitz selfie girl’ for smiling at a camera

I grew up Jewish so I’m naturally very sensitive to the horrors that took place at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. I’m also very critical of Holocaust deniers and those who would minimize what the Nazis did to Jews, gays and other “undesirables.” But I think we need to give that young girl who took a […]

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Proposed ‘rightful’ framework for Internet safety

Internet safety is a basic right of Internet users. But it’s not the only one. There are other fundamental rights that Net users of all ages have, and I propose that Internet safety will actually serve all Internet users better – and have much more relevance to the younger ones in our homes and schools […]

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The anti-EDIs social norm: A counterargument

They’re more like DEDIs (digitally enabled displays of insensitivity) than EDIs (electronic displays of insensitivity), because the behavior on display is human not electronic. But that’s beside the point. This NPR commentary suggests that EDIs are becoming a social norm. It cites an unscientific survey of 2,000 newsletter subscribers as finding that this insensitive behavior – […]

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The why of the Facebook research fracas & what it calls for

Wondering about the “Facebook Emotional Manipulation Study” so much in the news these past few days? If so, you’re not alone. What’s causing this firestorm? Consumer research is nothing new, and we all know academic research certainly isn’t. There are some aspects of this that are very different, however, and so cause a great deal […]

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A task force report & a student bill of rights

One of the most remarkable things about the report of the Aspen Task Force on Learning & the Internet, I believe, is how in sync it is with students’ own view of what needs to happen in US education. Clearly, if a constitutional convention on students’ rights were held today, the various parties – students, […]

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Toward student-centered learning: Delete fear, add agency

“School,” said University of Maryland student and game designer Erik Martin in a TEDx talk last fall, “operates counter to the interests of children. In school, we’re not really taught to overcome a challenge; we’re taught to fear the prospect of failure…. How on earth can you innovate in a system that fears failure so […]

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For solving social problems: The social media jujitsu remix

The other day I blogged about the collective conscious that social media users could become – are becoming, actually. Then I wrote about how users themselves – and not just ethical venture capitalists – could demand that startups bake safety and other pro-social basics into their apps and other services and that anti-social policies in […]

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