Online safety in the news again

| November 14, 2012 | 0 Comments

Facebook and YouTube have eventually answered calls to take digital citizenship seriously. Google, which owns YouTube, has launched a 10-step online safety programme for children, and Facebook has joined forces with conglomerate Edutopia to assist schools to draw up sensible social media policies. Before you stand up and cheer though, news is in that Facebook is simultaneously considering allowing children under 13 to become users. “Recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to enforce age restrictions on the internet,” said a spokesperson.

Both moves have caused the eruption of enterprises like FBI Child ID, which will store a picture and description of a child, to be used in the case of kidnapping. Footprints is a company that provides families with a way to track their offspring’s digital footprints. And popping up all over, reports the New York Times, are ‘slang translation apps’ that not only help adults understand what teens are saying online, but will also sound the alarm when an online visitor uses inappropriate language, tries to access an inappropriate site, or spends too long on Facebook.

New York City has answered the call to issue new social media guidelines in an effort to regulate teacher-student social media interactions. “If a particular type of behaviour is inappropriate in the classroom or a professional workplace, then that behaviour is also inappropriate on the professional social media site,” the guidelines state.

Category: Summer 2012

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