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Oz panel to study social-site safety

Australia's federal government announced it has appointed a task force "to investigate the safety of social networking sites and the danger they pose to Australian children," Australia's ABC News reports. "The Social Network Consultative Group is part of the Government's $189 million NetAlert program." The panel will also consider "strategies," including legislation, that might make […]

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Parent-teen connectedness, online & off

Pediatrician Trish Hutchison and ob-gyn Melisa Holmes, authors of the "Girlology" books for girls 11-16, say that "leaders in the field of adolescent health" call parent-child connectedness a "super-protector" for teens. They say it can have positive effects like fostering teen self-esteem and coping skills, reducing violence and drug use, and improve social relationships. In […]

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Innovative child-protection tech

Its creator, Adam Hildreth, 22, calls it the Anti-Grooming Engine, The Guardian reports. "He claims the product is 99.9% effective in identifying adults online with a sexual motivation," and it's not keyword filtering. "The software is designed to look out for conversation patterns, typing speed, use of grammar and punctuation, and any aggressive or bullying […]

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YouTube scene in RL

This Washington Post article offers insights into what you might call the YouTube scene, the one populated by YouTube celebrities and their fans. It tells about a recent gathering of YouTubers in "real life." An example of the former: SXePhil. That's " the alias of 21-year-old University of South Florida student and Web heartthrob Philip […]

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Adult’s view of 3 social sites

San Jose Mercury News columnist Dean Takahashi wondered "which social network [was] worth joining" among three biggies: MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The three "all make it easier for you to express yourself and meet people with shared interests, but each focuses on a different area." You'll want to read the article for details on each, […]

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Increasingly connected online kids

For a long time in online safety talks, we've been stating what is probably obvious but deserves some family discussion: The number of devices on which and access points (friends' houses, wi-fi hot spots, etc.) at which youth can social network and otherwise use the Net is growing fast. The newest iPod is yet another […]

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CA may ban teen tech use in cars

California is one of 11 states considering a law banning teens' use of cellphones and other electronic devices while driving. "At least 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed bans," the Associated Press reports. California has already passed a law that will require adults to use hands-free phones and takes effect next July, […]

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If Gandhi had a MySpace profile

"What would Gandhi have done if he had a MySpace account?" Stephen Carrick-Davies, CEO of Childnet International, asked social networkers at a talk he gave this past weekend in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. He asked them to use social networking to "channel their creativity, energy, idealism and vision in creating and promoting peace across cultures […]

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Calif video game violence law

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appealed a federal court's injunction against a law banning violent videogame sales to minors, the Associated Press reports. "The law, signed by the governor in 2005, prohibits the sale or rental of violent video games to anyone under the age of 18 and requires that such games be clearly labeled. […]

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Laws & child exploitation

The Vancouver Sun cites some outdated research from the US and confuses chatrooms with social-networking sites, but this about Canadian law and online child exploitation is notable: Because Canada's age of consent is 14, "under Canadian law, a 54-year-old man from Berlin can fly to Vancouver to have consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl he […]

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