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UK data security breach & kids

A massive security breach involving the personal information of "virtually every child in Britain" has occurred in the United Kingdom, The Guardian reports. It "could expose the personal data of more than 25 million people – nearly half the country's population," CBS News reports. The data concerns "families with children, including names, dates of birth, […]

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Librarians: Parents’ best friends

Here's a thought to bookmark, parents of teens: If you have questions about how social networking works or a particular site, a really good person to ask is your local librarian. So many people now log on to their profiles and blogs at public libraries that librarians (and not just youth librarians) have become experts […]

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YouTube’s push to beat bullying

YouTube has set up an anti-bullying channel, the BBC reports. The channel "aims to revolutionise how young people access information on how to avoid being bullied and importantly on how to avoid being the person who does the intimidating." Here's YouTube's channel (see also "What does cyberbullying look like?"). It comes at a good time, […]

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What virtual worlds teach kids

Their effect is not entirely unlike hanging out at the shopping mall in the "real world," is my take-away from reading CNET on researchers' just-released study of kids' virtual worlds. Of course, my characterization is simplistic and on the negative side, but "the inherently commercial nature of virtual worlds like Club Penguin and Webkinz, which […]

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UN to target Net predators

One of the outcomes of the United Nations' recent Internet governance conference in Rio de Janeiro was a call to protect young Net users from predation. "The meeting, which was attended by more than 1300 representatives of governments, the private sector and the internet from 109 countries, centered on keeping children safe from pedophiles lurking […]

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Extreme cyberbullying: US case

Unlike other extreme cyberbullying cases I've written about, this one occurred in the US and ended in a teenager's suicide. In this case, covered this week in a suburban newspaper in the St. Louis area, Megan Meier, 13, committed suicide allegedly because a 16-year-old boy had changed his mind and no longer wanted to be […]

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Japan’s cyberbullying problem

Bullying can be 24/7 in Japan too, but there it's as much over the phone as on the Web in this country where 96% of high school students have mobile phones. Reuters cites the experience of now 19-year-old Makoto, who stopped going to school it was getting so bad. But even after that he "became […]

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For videogamers’ parents

Less than half – 43% – of parents of kids who play video games play them with their children, the Associated Press reports, citing a just-released AOL/AP survey. "Overall, the survey highlighted how pervasive – yet age-related – interest in electronic gaming is today." The survey found that 81% of children 4-17 play computer or […]

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Videogames: Great teachers for good & bad

They are very effective teaching tools, a new study found, including for teaching aggression. "Students who played multiple violent video games actually learned through those games to produce greater hostile actions and aggressive behaviors over a span of six months," reports Science Daily, citing a study of almost 2,500 young people – "Violent Video Games […]

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Bebo’s part in differentiation trend

Bebo stands out as a great example of how social sites are differentiating themselves. It's moving from being purely about social networking to being a social-media platform, as The Guardian puts it. For one thing, the site (based in San Francisco but huge in the UK, with 10.7 million "regular users" there), it's specializing in […]

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