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The MySpace experiment

Parents and teens aren't the only ones dealing with MySpace's image. Advertisers and MySpace itself are too. Last week the big story was MySpace as a corporate citizen. This week, a snapshot of where MySpace is as a business too – somewhere between "the chaos that is comfortable to many MySpace residents and the neatness […]

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Game worlds: Growth economy

The virtual economy is strengthening – for gamers, anyway. This is a business story, but of interest to us parents because it offers indicators of where the industry's going. Electronic Arts will soon be offering the next version of its popular Battlefield Heroes game for free, the New York Times reports. You heard right – […]

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FBI agent’s practical advice

The headline on this interview in the Houston Chronicle states the obvious, but its subject – FBI Agent Randall Clark of the Houston Area Cyber Crimes Task Force – does not. This online-safety expert is clearly basing his message on reality, not fears. He says things borne out in the research of people like Dr. […]

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‘TMI’ online

Too Much Information online is becoming a widespread, cross-generation social dilemma, not just a teen online-safety issue (in fact, giving out personal information in itself isn't the safety risk we all used to think it was – see this). For example, your teenaged child just reported details of last night's parent-child argument in her blog; […]

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Growth in sex-addiction cases

In doing some investigative reporting, the BBC recently surveyed 43 sex and relationship therapists and found that almost 80% of them are "seeing an increase in the number of men suffering from sex addiction," it reports, and 74% said "it was becoming increasingly common to see excessive use of Internet pornography as a problem in […]

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Party photos: MN teens suspended

More than a dozen students at a Minnesota high school were disciplined recently for party photos in a social site. They were suspended from sports and other extracurricular activities for allegedly posting photos in Facebook in which "they are either in the company of those consuming alcohol or holding alcohol themselves," KARE-TV reported. "The ACLU […]

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‘Grooming’ by phone too

Online safety news that appeals to fears are counter-productive, so I hope the US news media will approach cellphone safety more intelligently than they did predation on the Web. But, as with the Web, parents do need to be aware of the downsides to this other very useful communications tech too. CNN reports that, according […]

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Where online kids’ worries lie

A quick snapshot from a UK researcher halfway through her cyberbullying study: Well-known psychologist Tanya Byron told the Oxford Media Convention that "children are more worried about being bullied in cyberspace than any threat from paedophiles," the Financial Times reports. On pedophiles, she quoted one girl as telling her, "We kind of know who the […]

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US social networking: Fresh numbers

Here's a fresh snapshot of where and how much Americans are social networking. Hitwise just announced its latest figures, finding that – out of Hitwise's group of 53 leading social sites – MySpace averaged 76.35% of all US visits last year. Next came Facebook.com, Bebo.com and BlackPlanet.com with 12.57%, 1.24%, and .87% respectively. As for […]

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Malicious widgets

You've heard of malicious Web sites – sites people go to by mistake which upload malicious software to their computers. Well, now social networkers need to be aware of malicious widgets. [Widgets are those mini applications people use to add fun and functionality to their profiles - e.g., a slide show, a music playlist, a […]

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