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Facebook changes new user default privacy setting to friends only — adds privacy checkup

This post first appeared on Forbes.com. Until now, when new Facebook users sent out their first post, the default setting was public, which means that anyone could see it. It’s long been easy to change the audience to Friends only but if you didn’t know about that option, you could have accidentally told the world […]

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Remember: The ‘right to be forgotten’ is shared

A lot has been published and broadcast about Internet users’ “right to be forgotten,” long before and since last week’s ruling by a high court in Europe (see the BBC), including the important points that… Scratching the surface. Suing a search engine to take down links to offending content doesn’t mean the content itself gets […]

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Kik Messenger’s smart new safety features

Kik Messenger, which claims to be the US’s 7th most popular social app and ranks even higher in some other countries, today released a new version that gives its 120 million+ users more control over who can text them. Over the past year, its creators at Waterloo, Ontario-based Kik Interactive noticed the app has become […]

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A media mentor for every child

Author and journalist Lisa Guernsey has a great idea – one that clearly grows out of her research for the recent book, Screen Time: How Electronic Media – From Baby Videos to Educational Software – Affects Your Young Child, and her work in early childhood education for public policy think tank the New America Foundation. […]

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Our kids’ privacy & a White House report on ‘big data’

Referring to a new report from the White House that she contributed to, social media scholar danah boyd points out how impossibly simplistic it is to view “big data” as either all good or all bad. I’m thankful for the balance it struck in its findings on big data in education between the tremendous opportunities […]

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‘Being Ginger': A film for anyone addressing bullying

Being Ginger is really about being human. In a fundamentally kind, sometimes humorous, amazingly un-moralistic way, director Scott Harris shows what it both feels and looks like to be dehumanized and what healing from that looks like, even as the casual cruelty he documents continues. Sometimes he asked for it while doing his filming but […]

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An 18-year-old’s exploration of ‘Internet addiction’ in video

In a series of man-on-the-street interviews, one young woman’s answer to the question, “Do you think you’re addicted to the Internet?” was: “Yes…. Twitter. I can’t get off of it.” Another responded, “I love creeping on Facebook. I never post; I’m just always creeping, creeping, creeping [also called “lurking,” looking at people’s comments, likes, photos, […]

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Snapchat settles FTC charges about disappearing posts that don’t disappear

As I reported nearly a year ago, Snapchat’s so-called disappearing messages don’t necessarily disappear. It has always been possible for people receiving a Snapchat message to capture the screen either directly from the device or by taking a picture of it with another device. There was also a report about a forensics firm that had successfully restored supposedly deleted […]

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PBS Kids app lets parents control and monitor screen-time

Calling it a way to give parents a “super power,” PBS Kids is now offering a free app that lets parents monitor and control what their kids are “watching, playing and learning” on PBSKids.org. The app, called PBS KIDS Super Vision, now available on iPhone and iPod touch,  enables parents to remotely see what apps their […]

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The videogame discourse: Default to open-mindedness!

My heart sinks when I see uncritical thinking in commentaries from Internet safety advocates about the media young people love – thinking that defaults (and contributes to a society-level default) to fear that new media’s harmful and young users are either potential victims or up to no good. Take videogames, for example. We know that… […]

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