Sunday, January 18, 2009

Report: Is the Web as Dangerous as We Think?

Don Tapscott provides some interesting snippets from Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies, a report from the Internet Safety Technical Task Force. In addition to the lengthy report, there is an executive summary available, as well as a podcast featuring an interview with John Palfrey, chair of the Task Force, and Dena Sacco, one of its co-directors.

Potential harm to youth from Internet overblown

a new 278-page report this week suggests that such concerns are often exaggerated, and that such myths “distract the public from solving the actual problems youth face.” Indeed, it’s youth bullying one another that poses the biggest threat to the well-being of youngsters online and offline. The widely-anticipated report is from the  Internet Safety Technical Task Force, comprising non-profit organizations, academics, researchers and technology companies.

‘It doesn’t look like just because kids are more accessible on social networking sites, that poses a lot of risk,’ said David Finkelhor, director of Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, who helped prepare the report.

‘This shows that social networks are not these horribly bad neighborhoods on the Internet,’ said John Cardillo, chief executive of Sentinel Tech Holding, which maintains a sex offender database and was part of the task force. ‘Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.’

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