Friday, April 14, 2006

Internet safety for teens. There is an interesting debate going on in the commentary pages of InternetWeek about MySpace.com and other teen sites. The editor, Antone Gonsalves, called for these sites to greatly increase their security. Here are some responses from readers:
How does one prove online that he's a teenager (or younger)? You call for a "strong verification process" saying that it would be "a small price to pay," as though you have this problem solved. If you have a suggestion for how this verification process would work, and an estimate for it's cost, let your readers be the judge of whether or not it's a "small price to pay," or whether it is even really feasible." -- Scott Davis

"As a parent, I could not condone any activity that does not allow parental supervision." -- Jim Hendricks
The editor replied:
Despite not having a solution for the problem, I believe social-networking sites aren't spending enough money on monitoring their properties to make sure they're safe. I felt it was a good move for MySpace to hire Nigam from Microsoft as chief security officer."
Here at Westsidedad's house, we don't let our 10-year-old use the computer without adult supervision, but our 14-year-old can. Two reasons. First, I trust his judgement. Second, when they get to be teens, they are spending a lot of time out of the house and away from adult supervision, so these kinds of rules become impossible to enforce.


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