Indictment in Megan Meier case

Lori Drew, the mother who allegedly helped create a fictitious MySpace profile that led to 13-year-old Megan Meier's suicide has been indicted. She has been "charged with conspiracy and fraudulently gaining access to someone else's computer" by a federal grand jury. Drew and some of Megan's peers had set up the profile of a fictitious […]

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Online aliases: The new privacy

Young people are increasingly finding the need to put up firewalls between private and public online lives. They're "assuming online aliases" on social-networking sites "to avoid the prying eyes of parents, college recruiters, potential employers, and other overly interested strangers," the Washington Post reports. "They are also being more selective in who they allow in […]

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Self-injury ‘support’ online

This is an example of how at-risk teen behavior can get the wrong kind of reinforcement online, but the Internet can also be a means of earlier detection – if parents and friends find out where on the Net a teen is getting that reinforcement. Experts say increasing numbers of teens are discussing self-injury on […]

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What kids search for

Interestingly, even at school, "games" is the No. 1 search term young people type into the search box. "Animals" did very well too, with "dogs" No. 2, "animals" next, and "sharks" and "frogs" in the Top 15. "George Washington," "Holocaust," and "Abraham Lincoln" ranked 5-7. NetTrekker, a search engine used in 20,000 schools throughout the […]

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What mobile carriers need to do for youth

Great progress with parental controls – Web filters, number-blocking, etc. – has been made, but technology's not enough. Here's why.

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Anyone can have a social site now

This has actually been true for a while. A year ago I wrote "Mini-MySpaces: Social Web's new phase" about how anyone could create his own social-networking site on Ning.com. Last month I blogged about competitors to Ning offering would-be social site owners more options. This week Google further upped the ante in announcing Friend Connect, […]

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MySpace, Facebook, et al: Data portability

"Data portability" is kind of a techie term, but it's something a lot of avid social networkers have been waiting for – being able to have their "credentials" (user name, password, profile info, etc.) move around the social Web with them, rather than having separate IDs and log-ins all over the place. It's great if […]

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Global SN growth: Study

The Philippines has been dubbed "the social networking capital of the world" by a CNET blogger citing a new 29-country survey by Universal McCann called "Wave 3." The country only has 15% Internet penetration, but 83% of those Net users have social-networking accounts, adds Inquirer.net in the Philippines. The vast majority of those social-networking accounts […]

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‘Curmudgeon’s’ guide to widgets

Not everyone loves widgets, those little applications supposedly adding fun and a sort of animation to social-networking profiles. Parents, here's the perspective of someone who finds some of them a little annoying (words such as "insidious" and "invasive" are used), including Facebook's No. 1 app, the FunWall. Another, bigger, reason to be wary of widgets […]

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Digital media’s impact on youth: Research

"America's young people spend more time using media than they do on any single activity other than sleeping," according to The Future of Children, a joint project of Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. So we all need to know how our children and students use media – the Web, phones, videogames, instant messaging, music, […]

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