The Week in Online Safety, July 25, 2011
A weekly global view of online safety news, policy developments, research, and influence
Online reputation is a growing concern in online safety as today’s digital youth become adults and enter the workforce. An embarrassing digital past is proving to be problem for some, as The New York Times reports in an article, Social Media History Becomes a New Job Hurdle. The Wall Street Journal also picked up on this theme last week in an article on Facebook Is Fun for Recruiters, Too. Kashmir Hill of Forbes also covered digital reputation with a three-part series on online defamation, which included Someone Posted Something Nasty About You On The Internet. Now What?
Australia Looks at Regulating Sexting and Social Networks
Controversy in Australia over how to best protect children online has existed for several years, with much attention focused on proposed legislation to require ISPs to filter pornography. This week The Age reported on a controversy similar to that in the United States: “Teenagers caught with raunchy images of girls sent to them via ”sexting” have been charged with child pornography offences and placed on the sex offender register, ruining their career options and branding them for years. The cases have alarmed lawyers and youth advocates who are calling for urgent amendments to the law.”
The Australian reported this week that “The nation’s attorneys-general will discuss whether laws should be introduced to allow parents access to their children’s Facebook accounts and social networking sites, allowing them to legally breach their privacy.”
Online Safety Legislation
Last week, California’s governor signed into law AB 746, which the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports “declares that posts made on social network sites are covered under the Education Code anti-bullying provisions and allows school officials to suspend student violators.”
Several news surveys were published last week on online safety. The University of Rhode Island published research showing that More than half of all college students have been ‘sexted’, and the American Osteopathic Association, released a survey showing that 85% of teenagers are on social media, and that Parents Fearful of Cyberbullying. Laptop Magazine published a survey of parents showing that More than half of parents use Facebook to spy on kids.
Steve Balkam of the Family Online Safety Institute wrote an editorial in the Huffington Post opposing the Do Not Track Kids Act, and Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, released his testimony supporting the “The Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act”
– Compiled by David Burt