This is a pivotal year for children’s online safety and human rights. One important reason is the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s call for public comments to help it develop the first General Comment on the digital part of fulfilling children’s human rights. Those rights are extensive. There are 54 articles in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, falling into 3 categories labeled … [Read more...] about Digital youth: Honor ALL their rights
It's like a moral panic on steroids. Adding to the "reckoning" already under way since the 2016 election (see Related links below) is the news yesterday of a new, high-profile coalition of some of social media's creators and backers and Common Sense Media. The steroids part is the funding ($7 million from individuals, the Omidyar Network and Common Sense Media), the PR ($50 million in donated … [Read more...] about We need to manage the social media backlash too
For our children's sake, it's more important than ever that we not "black box" our media, whether as researchers or as parents and educators. An essay from psychologist and media professor Sonia Livingstone in the new scholarly journal Social Media + Society got me thinking about this. Dr. Livingstone observes that scholars in disciplines other than media and communications are doing that … [Read more...] about For kids’ sake, don’t ‘black box’ social media
I don't know about the millions of people in developing countries going online for the first time with mobile phones but, here in the developed world, something strange happened when we moved onto the Web nearly 20 years ago. It's as if we checked our thousands of years of social-norms and ethics development at the door of cyberspace. Somehow we saw that space as "technology" and got stuck there – … [Read more...] about ‘Disconnected’: Crucial book for closing the ‘ethics gap’ online
My heart sinks when I see uncritical thinking in commentaries from Internet safety advocates about the media young people love – thinking that defaults (and contributes to a society-level default) to fear that new media's harmful and young users are either potential victims or up to no good. Take videogames, for example. We know that… "Videogame play is pervasive throughout our society," as … [Read more...] about The videogame discourse: Default to open-mindedness!