Saturday, 28 April 2012

Sexting? Blaim Parents and tech companys

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17853498

Read this artcle on BBC newa about facebook and age limits and I was a little surprised to see it went on to talk about sexting. The stream of the article seems to flow along the lines of. Tech companys have released dangerous tools and should do better to protect people and parents are failing to help their children deal with these modern issues.

Now firstly I agree tech companys should have some level of responsibilty and seeing them invest in prevention advertising would be great (or even better support charities working with young people with this issue). However, its not all their fault. Blaiming parents seems like a particulary easy cop out for the government. That way they get to publicaly acknowledge the problem but dont have to do anything.

No where in this article does it mention the role schools could play in educating young people and the idea of young people taking responsibilty for their actions. I passionatly believe that schools can be the perfect place to make an inmpact on young peoples attitudes and behaviour. Youth clubs equally can be powerful avenues for influencing attitudes not just providing information.

The question of facebook age is interesting. I've lost the exact quote but I'm sure I read Mark Zuckerberg saying he wanted to lower the sign up age but then put in extra security features. I think he said that for younger people they would not have the chance to share publically they could only ever share with friends. Small things like this could make Facebook safer for young people who lie about their age currently.

I think that Facebooks wants the whole family on Facebook so it will find a way to lower the age and restricted accounts may be the way to go. I think parents could get actively involved if they allowed parents to set up the childs facebook page at any age but for however many years maybe until they are 11 they can only interact with their parents and siblings. So a very restricted mini network before they move to a wider network of their friends before finally being able to go public at 16? 18? This wouldnt be perfect but could be better then the current situation of young people lying about their age with 12 year olds pretending to be 17 and connecting with lots of random adults they should not be talking with.