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Safety & civility advice for anonymous apps

A growing number of apps allow people to post anonymously. Some of the better known ones include Ask.fm, Whisper, Secret and Yik Yak but there are new ones all the time, including After School, that’s been downloaded more than 100,000 times including by students from more than 14,000 U.S. high schools, according to Recode.net. As […]

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Jason Brand: Digital & social: A teen’s perspective on parenting

Guest post by Jason Brand This guest post by family therapist Jason Brand is a composite of many teens’ views and experiences, those expressed in family and individual therapy sessions. “It’s some of the words behind the anger, avoidance or even just frustrated eye-rolling that teens can use in response to parental questions or concerns,” […]

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Sexual harassment victim’s secret weapon — ‘telling their mothers’

Alanah Pearce, a 21 year-old game reviewer from Brisbane, Australia has had more than her share of online hate, including rape threats. But, she told Alternet about her plan for dealing with her young harassers. I only realized quite recently that the majority of sexually explicit comments or messages I get come from young boys, not […]

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Google ditching CAPTCHA for ‘I’m not a robot’ checkbox

A couple of decades ago — before former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s anti-crime initiative helped reduce lawlessness — I stayed with a friend in New York but was annoyed at how much work I had to do to get into his apartment. I had to unlock a bolt lock, a regular door lock and a “police […]

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Social problem data & youth: Cause for celebration

“We should be celebrating young people’s good judgment and self-control — and extolling their parents and teachers,” writes David Finkelhor, director of University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center, in a Washington Post article just before Thanksgiving. “They have brought delinquency, truancy, promiscuity, alcohol abuse and suicide down to levels unseen in many […]

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Of parenting & a class called ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’

One of the central stereotypes of (or maybe urban legends about) us, our tech and our time is people filling every free or empty moment doing something on a screen – texting, playing a game, posting a photo, listening to a tune, checking email, reading a book, etc., etc. It makes us feel guilty or […]

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Anonymous apps get bad raps, but they fill gaps: The good side of anonymity

There are a growing number of social media apps that encourage anonymity. Popular services such as Ask.fm, Secret, Whisper and Yik Yak allow people to post under an assumed name, or no name at all. A new one, called Rooms, is actually owned by Facebook — the very company that popularized the “real-name culture.” Plenty […]

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Do surveys about parents’ concerns increase digital-parenting confidence?

Predictably, the media coverage of a new survey of parents on digital-age parenting focused mainly on their concerns about tech and the Net. We need to question that – question the value of repeatedly reporting about concerns if, as a society, we want parents to feel confident in helping their children navigate today’s media. Here are […]

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Americans lack confidence about controlling privacy

Whether it’s from government snoops or online marketers, most Americans feel that they have little or no control over how their online personal information is being collected and used. These are the findings of a study, Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era, that was released today by the Pew Research Center. […]

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Survey finds parents mostly OK with kids’ use of tech

A survey released today by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), found that “93% of parents feel that their child is at least somewhat safe when he or she is online,” while only 37% say their child is “very safe.” The survey found some ambivalence when it comes to using smartphone apps and playing online […]

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