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Online SafetyReality Check Anne Collier Co-Director ConnectSafely.org Executive Director Net Family News, Inc.
Net safety as we know it is obsolete • One-size-fits-all; fear-based • 1.0 focused largely on crime & adult content • 2.0 added peer-related harm • Both present youth only as potential victims • Both present tech as both problem & solution • Not relevant to its “beneficiaries”
On Web 2.0... “...everybody knows you’re a dog.” --Michael Kinsley, Slate.com, 11/27/06
A triple media revolutionMedia shifts of past 500 years:• Printing press => 1 to many, 1 direction• Telegraph/phone => 1 to 1, 2-way, real time• Recorded media (photos/sound/film) => 1 to many, 1 direction, asynchronous• Recorded thru the air (radio/TV) => 1 to many, 1 direction, asynchronous then real time• Internet => 1 to 1, 1 to many, many to many (all directions); real time; pipeline for all other media; user-produced; social
What are they doing in there?Good or normative… Writing software code Hanging out Sharing/producing music “Social producing” Producing & editing Learning social rules videos Designing profiles (self- Discussing interests expression) Social/political activism Exploring identity Keeping in touch with friends long-term Risk assessment
What else are they doing in there? Neutral or negative… Damaging Seeking validation reputation Competing in a Pulling pranks popularity contest Getting even Venting Threatening Showing off Harassing Embarrassing self Bullying
Largely a positive experience • “People in social network sites are generally kind” – Amanda Lenhart of Pew/Internet • 95% of Americans 12-17 are online, 80% of them use social sites • 69% say their peers are mostly kind to each other in SNS, 20% say peers are mostly unkind, 11% that “it depends.” • 78% of SN teens report at least one good outcome and 41% report at least one negative outcome • 88% have witnessed others being mean or cruel
The under-age question • 7.5 million U13s in Facebook • FB removes upon detection, but can’t keep up • Parents not only not worried, they help • Facebook not designed for U13s… • But also not dangerous for U13s • Unintended consequencesSource: Pew Internet& American Life;Consumer Reports
2 types of social networking ...on all devices, fixed and mobile: • Friendship-driven (84% of 15-25 YOs in a qualitative study at Harvard School of Education) • Interest-driven (80% involved in “at least one such online community”) Source: Digital Youth Project, November 2008
Social networking’s progression• Hanging out – casual socializing• Messing around – collaborative tinkering with info, ideas, media• Geeking out – using media the way artists do, in a focused, professional way
Interest-driven communities“Were growing a bunch of [young] people who see what they do as social and collaborative and as part of joining communities...“They function quite naturally in ‘teams,’ where everybody is an expert in something but they know how to integrate their expertise with everybody else’s; they know how to understand the other person’s expertise so they can pull off an action together in a complicated world.” – author and professor James Paul Gee Source: Digital Youth Project, November 2008
Mobile social toolsCellphones are mobile computerswith... • Mobile social networking • Photo- & video-sharing • Web browsing • Texting • Gaming • GPS & social mappingMobile phones will be the “world’s primarytool for connecting to the Net” by 2020–Pew.
Teens prefer texting• 87% of teens text (80% use SNS)• 54% of all teens text daily (compared to26% who use SNS daily)• 1/2 send 50+ texts/day (1,500/mo.)• 1/3 send 100+/day (3,000/mo.)• Teens exchange an avg of 3,417 texts/mo.(7 per waking hour)
They’re intuitively, intelligently seeking happiness• “Our happiness is completely and utterly intertwined with other people…. Happiness is not a noun or verb. It’s a conjunction. Connective tissue.” – Author Eric Weiner• Greatest form of happiness: “intense, optimistic engagement” with the world and people around us … when we are “completely activated as human beings.” – Author & scholar Jane McGonigal
The importance of play Neoteny – “what makes young creatures stretch beyond their capacity ... just to see if they can. That stretching, that enlarging of ability and confidence, is the underlying motivation of all true play.” – Author & sociologist Martha Beck Safety – the polar bear & the huskie, “a marvelous example of how a differential in power can be overridden” by play – Psychiatrist Stuart Brown
So play… & protectsEngages, causes learning, aids mental health
Kranzberg’s 1 law st“Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral.” (He’s talking about context.)
What we now know...from youth-risk research:Harassment & cyberbullying = most common riskNot all youth are equally at risk A child’s psychosocial makeup & environment are better predictors of online risk than the technology he or she uses No single technological development can solve youth online risk
Types of online safety• Physical safety – freedom from physical harm• Psychological safety – freedom from cruelty, harassment, and exposure to potentially disturbing material• Reputational and legal safety – freedom from unwanted social, academic, professional, and legal consequences that could affect you for a lifetime• Identity, property, and community safety – freedom from theft of identity & property
OS 3.0: A layered approachPrimary: new media literacy & citizenship – all students, grade levels, appropriate subjectsSecondary: more focused prevention e.g., bullying, sexting; taught by experts as needed (situational) & developmentally appropriateTertiary: prevention and intervention for youth already at risk; done by social workers, mental health professionals, etc.
The ‘Net effect’ How the Internet changes the equation... • Persistence & searchability: Net as permanent searchable archive • Replicability: ability to copy and paste from anywhere, to anywhere • Scalability: high potential visibility • Invisible audiences: you never know who’s watching • Blurring of public and private: boundaries not clear AND • Disinhibition: Lack of visual cues reduces empathySource: danah boyd: Taken out ofContext, 2008
What else we know …from youth-risk research: “Youth who engage in online aggressive behavior … aremore than twice as likely to report onlineinterpersonal victimization.” – Archives of Pediatrics, 2007
W hat causes risk? 12 11.3X 10 8 4.6X 6 3.4X 2.3X 2X 4 2 0 ve s s r rs vio ay er he bo ng w ha ot fa ra e be pl g lo st sin e Al ith ul siv as m xw rr es in ba gr se ng Em Ag ng ee lki M Ta“Posting personal information does not by itself increase risk.” --Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2/07
Teens’ response to strangers"For all Internet problems, the vast majority of [SN] teens either had appropriate reactions or ignored the behavior.” – Prof. Larry Rosen• 92% responded appropriately to sexual solicitation• 90% to harassment• 94% to unwanted exposure to sexual materials
As for predators in social network sites...“There is no evidence predators are stalkingor abducting unsuspecting victims based oninformation they posted in social sites.” – Crimes Against Children Research Center, 3/09
Clear downward trend 25Rate per 10,000 Children (<18) 60% Decline 20 (during the period of the 25 Web’s existence) 20 15 15 10 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 10 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 Confirmed cases of child sexual abuse Source: NCANDS / Finkelhor & Jones
As for other risk factors...“Youth violence is way down, as is teen pregnancy,smoking, alcohol and drug use, suicides, and highschool drop-out rates – whereas civic engagement hasimproved along with youth taking more AP classes inhigh school. Standardized educational achievementscores have either remained steady or improved slightly. Aside from obesity, perhaps, most trends in youthbehavior are moving in a positive direction.” – Prof. Christopher Ferguson, Texas A&M
Understanding ‘cyberbullying’ 1. Willful repeated aggression 2. Embedded in ‘real life’ 3. Power imbalance (sometimes anonymity) 4. Not arguments, angry posts, or drama 5. Bully & target often switch rolesSources: UNH CACRC, ‘07; Agatston, Kowalski, Limber,‘09; Burgess-Proctor, Hinduja, Patchin, ‘09
More cyberbullying facts • About 20% of US teens have ever experienced cyberbullying • Only 10% of cases get reported • Behavioral more than technological • Fluid, fast, hard to escape • Focus on environment: school, not technology • “Cyberbullying” is an adult termSources: UNH CACRC, ‘07; Agatston, Kowalski, Limber,‘09; Burgess-Proctor, Hinduja, Patchin, ‘09
Whole school approach needed “Because a bully’s success depends heavily on context, attempts to prevent bullying should concentrate primarily on changing the context rather than directly addressing the victim’s or the bully’s behavior.” This involves “the entire school community.” – Yale psychology Prof. Alan Yazdin and Carlo Rotella at Boston College
Most kids don’t cyberbullySource: Cox Communications Teen Online & Wireless Safety Survey
Perception => reality:The power of ‘social norming’ Source: Craig & Perkins, Hobart and William Smith Colleges 2008
Reinforcing social normsSource: Assessing Bullying in New Jersey Secondary Schools: Applying the SocialNorms Model to Adolescent Violence: Craig, Perkins 2008
‘Sexting’ defined• Nude or sexually explicit photo-sharing ortext messages• Usually via cellphones, but possible viaother devices and Web• Illegal when involving minors• Overzealous prosecutors have chargedteens with production, possession,distribution of child pornography–felonies
Sexting is actually rare• Teens engaging in sexting a lot less than previously thought• 1% of teens surveyed had created or appeared in sexually explicit pictures• 21% of that 1% reported feeling very or extremely upset, embarrassed, or afraid as a result• 7% have received “nude or nearly nude” photos• 25% of that 7% reported having those negative feelings• Arrest is not typical in youth sexting cases• Researchers’ conclusion: “Appearing in, creating, or receiving sexual images is far from a normative behavior for youth.”
Possible non-legal consequences• Emotional or reputational damage• School discipline• Invisible viewership – can be forwarded to anyone• Potentially searchable on the Web, possibly forever
Our report to Congress, June 2010...“Promote digital citizenship and newmedia literacy in pre-K-12 educationas a national priority.” – Youth Safety on a Living Internet: Report of the Online Safety & Technology Working Group
The pillars of citizenship learning • Infrastructure • Practice • Guidance • AgencyPhoto by Julian Turner
Why citizenship?• It’s protective• Fosters critical thinking• Promotes agency, self-actualization• It turns users into stakeholders – citizens• Supports community well-being & goals• Citizenship is a verb!
The most basic definition “The central task of citizenship is learning how to be good to one another.” – A.J. Patrick Liszkiewicz
Expanded definition (draft)Citizenship: the rights & responsibilities of full, positive engagement in a participatory world• Rights: access & participation, free speech, privacy, physical & psychological safety, safety of material and intellectual property• Responsibilities: respect & civility => self & others; protecting own/others’ rights & property; respectful participation; learning and benefitting from the literacies of a networked world
What’s in it for students?• Safety and support• Power – as agents for social good (online &offline)• Success in social media and life• Opportunities to collaborate with fellowchange agents• Opportunities to co-create the social norms ofsocial media• Professional training & leadershipopportunities online and offline.
‘With great power comes great responsibility’“ As a society, we have spent too much time focused on what media are doing to young people and not enough time asking what young people are doing with media. Rather, we need to embrace an approach based on media ethics, one that empowers young people to take greater responsibility for their own actions and holds them accountable for the choices they make as media producers and members of online communities. – Prof. Henry Jenkins, USC
So Online Safety 3.0 is…• Research-based, not fear-based, so relevant• Flexible, layered – not one-size-fits-all• Respectful of youth agency – stakeholders in making it good, not just potential victims• Positive, empowering: Not just safety from (bad outcomes) but safety for...• Full, constructive engagement in participatory media & society
Thank you! Anne Collier firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com://os3.connectsafely.org