A reader in India, where a "Blue Whale" scare has now taken off, asked it's a genuine threat, so I'm reposting here the following response I posted in Comments to give you an update (see also a sidebar below about the all-important Russian context): In answer to the question in the headline up there, maybe both. It is also now quite likely a cybersecurity risk to people's devices and data (see … [Read more...] about ‘Blue Whale’: Clickbait or a new form of online grooming?
Risk & Safety
Two years ago, the headline in the Washington Post about researcher Jean Twenge's work was, "Happiness levels are rising for teens, but not for people older than 30," and she was quoted as saying, "our current culture is giving teens what they need, but not mature adults what they need." I'm confused – because the headline in the latest Atlantic Monthly about Dr. Twenge's work suggests the … [Read more...] about The generation-destroying smartphone: Researchers push back
It isn't often that a social media startup has the stated "ambition to become a major social platform and a leader in safety [emphasis mine]." But that's what the team behind Yellow, a fast-growing, Paris-based videochat app that just launched in the U.S., says, and I believe them. Details about safety measures in a minute, but first: Intention alone is huge in an industry where startups and … [Read more...] about Yellow app: Signs of smarter digital safety
The term "fake news" has largely (and rightfully) been discredited because, at best, it's simplistic and, at worst, used to dismiss or discredit legitimate news providers. But there is such a thing as real fake news: misinformation and disinformation that goes viral in this digital age and then leads to real tragedy. So the "Blue Whale" story is no longer about "fake news." To Dan Reidenberg, … [Read more...] about When ‘fake news’ becomes real: What next with ‘Blue Whale’?
Now that I've just passed the 20-year mark of writing about youth and digital media, I thought I'd share with you my top takeaways as a participant observer in the Internet safety space. Here's Part 1. Now the three chunks of Part 2: 4. It's individual, situational and contextual. Internet safety works best from the inside out. I love the irony of generalizing the individuality of social media's … [Read more...] about 6 takeaways from 20 years of Net safety: Part 2