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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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Sex-trafficking in Canada, US

This story about sex trafficking in the Edmonton Sun is not about teen social networkers, it's about adults. But I'm including it this week as an extreme example of how vulnerable young people whose brains aren't fully developed can be found online, then victimized (prefrontal cortexes, or the executive part of brains, aren't developed till […]

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Clear-eyed look at Net risks

Rarely do we see balanced reporting on the subject of children's online safety. So it was good to see USATODAY's Janet Kornblum looking at both the real risks and the misconceptions that have developed about how teens are victimized online. Not that dangers don't exist, but "some worry that parents are falling victim to 'predator […]

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Virtual vs. real: Line blurring

William Gibson – the one-time science fiction author who now writes about the present and coined "cyberspace" – had something to say about youth in an interview he gave Rolling Stone for the magazine's 40th anniversary issue. He said (and I think he's right) that "one of the things our grandchildren will find quaintest about […]

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Social networking: What cops know

Indiana State Police Lt. Charles Cohen's 16-year-old nephew "has seven MySpace pages, including one in which he and his buddies pretend to be Chuck Norris," the Associated Press reports. That's a great observation for parents to hear, echoed by many experts on Web 2.0 – that there are all kinds of blogs and social-networking profiles, […]

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Tragic school shooting in Finland

A high school student in Finland shot and killed himself, six other students, and the school principal yesterday "after announcing plans for the rampage on YouTube," the Financial Times reports. The FT cites a Reuters reports saying the boy's video was "called 'Jokela High School Massacre' and posted by a user called Sturmgeist89, meaning Storm […]

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‘Kickstart’ for students

Yahoo has a new niche social site for college students that's supposed to be more professional than social but not quite as professional as LinkedIn.com, a PC World blog reports. Apparently a profile on "Kickstart" is designed to be more like a resume than a place for friends' "pokes" and comments. The site's photo upload […]

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