It's a fledgling concept, but there are some interesting community-policing efforts afoot in virtual worlds such as Second Life, VZones, World of Warcraft, and mobile-phone-based Cellufun for mobile phone users, the Washington Post reports. For example, "in World of Warcraft, a popular online fantasy game, a character who is acting out runs the risk of being attacked by a group of self-appointed sheriffs. While the avatar doesn't face official penalties, the interference from other players can deter future crimes." In one of Worlds.com's worlds, users created a novel sort of virtual scarlet letter: "an animated bird that drops an unpleasant [virtual] substance on the heads of outlaws, known as 'griefers' in virtual-world lingo." There needs to be a flip side too, of course. I love the way London-based Childnet International put it recently: "Digital citizenship isn’t just about recognising and dealing with online hazards. It's about … using your online presence to grow and shape your world in a safe, creative way, and inspiring others to do the same" (see this item) – an important focus for parenting and schooling going forward along the lines of "an ounce of prevention," "a stitch in time," etc., etc…. Speaking of which, virtual world safety expert Izzy Neis recently blogged about how a kids' world itself will be used to teach civility. She wrote that Dizzywood.com for kids 8-12 was "selected by the YMCA of San Francisco to enhance the youth program’s technology curriculum … to reinforce its program emphasis on activities that promote values such as caring, honesty, respect and responsibility."
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments