Grand Theft Auto IV’s realism all bad?

A lot of media reports about GTA IV's blockbuster release last week focus on the negative. Don't get me wrong, this violent game is appropriately rated "M" for ages 17+ only in the US, but listen to this in Slate.com and see if it isn't somewhat encouraging: "Based on my play experience [with GTA IV] […]

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‘The talk’ revisited

It's not what you might think it’s about. It's not even a single, now-you-get-it conversation. It's an ongoing, long-term conversation families need to have about safe, constructive use of the Net and communications devices because both kids and technology keep changing. Marian Merritt, Symantec's chief online-safety evangelist, recently wrote about it, and I agree with […]

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Nude photo-sharing: Q from a family that’s been there

In response to a New Jersey mom's question about her daughter's photo-sharing nightmare, some advice from a police detective and a psychiatrist

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Nude photo-sharing: Q from a family that’s been there

In response to my feature "Naked photo-sharing trend," "Marcia" in New Jersey emailed me about her own daughter's extremely difficult experience with sharing a photo of herself. With Marcia's permission, I sent her story and question about it to psychiatrist Jerald Block in Oregon and Det. Frank Dannahey, a youth division officer in Connecticut and […]

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Online teens: Snapshot by numbers

A whopping 93% of US teens (12-to-17-year-olds) are online, Pew/Internet's Mary Madden told NPR recently. That's up 20 percentage points from the 2000 figure for online teens in the US. Not surprising to most of their parents, the "frequency and intensity" of their Internet use is "also increasing, such that most teens are online every […]

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‘Honest Box’ encouraging cyberbullying?

You've probably seen mentions of JuicyCampus.com, which has gotten some national attention. I've also blogged about "Honesty Box," which – as a widget social networkers can put on their profiles – is in effect a mini JuicyCampus (see this about the latter). These are phenomena of the participatory Web, on which too many people have […]

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Teens’ definition of writing…

…does not include all the texting, IMing, blogging, and commenting they're constantly doing online, and yet they're writing all the time as they compose phone text messages, IMs, blog posts, and comments in social-networking sites. This disconnect between what they're doing and their perception of it is a very interesting finding from a new study […]

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‘Grand Theft Childhood’?

The release this week of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto (IV) sparks a new flood of headlines about 1) how the hot videogame industry is headed for the stratosphere (USATODAY) and 2) videogame violence. Interestingly, a $1.5 million study by two Harvard Medical School professors funded by the US Justice Department found that […]

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Chat, Webcams used to trick teen girls

A Canadian man could get a life sentence for allegedly tricking or coercing at least 12 teenaged girls, one as young as 14, to pose nude for him in front of a Webcam, The Register reports. Daniel Lesiewicz, 27, of the Montreal area, "was arrested in March and charged with possession and production of child […]

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Young teachers: *Not* thinking about privacy

In that last item I linked to a National Public Radio report about how more thought is going into online privacy on the part of teen and 20-something social networkers. The story didn't say they were being more private but that they were considering their options a lot more (though 66% of teen social networkers […]

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