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  • 1. Youth Safety on the Social Web Larry Magid & Anne Collier Co-directors ConnectSafely.org Revised 1/09 © 2009 ConnectSafely.org
  • 2. What is the social Web?
        • -- Also known as ‘Web 2.0’--
        • User-produced, youth-driven
        • Multiple devices
        • Multimedia
        • Uploadable, downloadable
        • Difficult to control
  • 3. Web 1.0 …
  • 4. On Web 2.0... -- Michael Kinsley, Slate.com, 11/27/06 “ ... everybody knows you’re a dog.”
  • 5. Social networking is whatever…
        • … anyone wants it to be!
        • Entertainment + socializing + homework help + media-sharing + creative outlet + friends’ latest news
        • A place to learn digital-media skills
        • A “hangout” on Web, phones, gaming
  • 6.
    • Today’s phones are full-blown mobile computers with...
    • Mobile social networking
    • Social mapping
    • Photo- & video-sharing
    • Web browsing
    • 24/7 texting
    • Even less adult supervision
    Cellphones too
  • 7. Majority of teens in social sites
    • 65% of teens use social networks and create profiles (Pew/2009)
    • 70% of 15-to-17-year-old girls
    • 48% of teens visit sites daily or more often; 26% visit once a day
        • 22% visit several times a day
    Source: Pew Internet & American Life survey
  • 8. Not just MySpace & Facebook YouTube, MyYearbook, Bebo, Hi5 & many niche social network sites Ning: Allows users to create their own social networks, or mini-MySpaces. Allows porn (with splash page). Twitter & Plurk: Micro-blogging - 140 characters or less. Kind of like blended chat & IM. Twitter mostly adults, Plurk a little younger. Second Life & other virtual worlds : Users create avatars that interact in a virtual world. Hulu: Fast-growing video-sharing site (153 million video streams, 9/08); popular for viewing whole shows online And some are a bit more questionable …. JuicyCampus Gossip site, total anonymity, no rules.… Stickam : Social video-streaming site with live webcam chat.
  • 9. What are they doing in there?
    • Good or “normal”…
    • “ Social producing”
    • Learning social rules
    • Decorating profiles (self-expression)
    • Exploring identity
    • Writing blogs
    • Writing software code
    • Risk assessment
    • Discovering music
    • Producing & editing videos
    • Discussing interests
    • Social/political activism
    • Keeping in touch with friends long-term
  • 10. What else are they doing in there?
    • Neutral or negative…
    • Seeking validation
    • Competing in a popularity contest
    • Venting
    • Showing off
    • Embarrassing themselves
    • Pulling pranks
    • Getting even
    • Harassing
  • 11. The ‘ Net effect’
    • 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
    • Collapsed contexts: different audiences hear & see different things
    • Blurring of public and private: boundaries not clear
    Source: danah boyd: Taken out of Context, 2008
  • 12. Mostly for real-life friends
    • 72% use sites to socialize with their real-life friends.
    • Only a modest number (17%) of social-networking teens say they use the sites to flirt.
    Source: Pew Internet & American Life survey January 2007
  • 13. Teens do have a clue when it comes to safety & privacy
    • 66% of teens who have created a profile say that their profile is not visible by all Internet users. They limit access to their profiles.
    • 21% say their profile is not currently visible.
    • Just 1% of social-network users say they do not know who can see their profile.
    Source: Pew Internet & American Life survey January 2007
  • 14. Are they careful about photos?
    • Yes and no (more on Web than on phones)
    • Cellphones : Reports of“sexting” (nude photo-sharing) are growing
    • Web : 39% say they restrict access to their photos “most of the time.”
    • 38% report restricting access “only sometimes.”
    • 21% of teens who post photos say they “never” restrict access to the images they upload. (Online adults are more lax in restricting access.)
    Source: Pew Internet & American Life survey January 2007
  • 15. Teens are alive today, thanks to social-networking sites… Plan To 'Shoot Up' School Foiled Jan 12, 2009: “Deputies in Transylvania County said they got a call from a sheriff's office in New York. A teenager there apparently came forward and said she met a 15-year-old on MySpace who said he had a dangerous plan.”
  • 16. Question : What proportion of teens have been approached online by a predator?
    • 1 in 20
    • 1 in 10
    • 1 in 7
    • 1 in 5
    • Almost half
  • 17. It’s a trick question
  • 18. What the surveys really said
    • The survey asked “Did you receive an unwanted sexual solicitation in the past year”
    • The response went from 1 in 5 in 2000 to 1 in 7 in 2005. An improvement
    • 43% of all solicitations and 44% of aggressive solicitations came from youth
    • 39% of solicitors were adult but all but 9% of those were between 18 and 25
    • Two-thirds or more of the youth described solicitations as not particularly distressing
    • The number of children actually molested went from none in 2000 to 2 (out of 1500) in 2005. It can happen, but it’s statistically very rare.
    Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later Crimes Against Children Research Center, 2006
  • 19. Question Do you agree that the growth in young people’s use of the Internet correlates with a rise in sexual abuse against children?
  • 20. SA Sub 1990-2005* Rate per 10,000 Children (<18) Source: NCANDS / Finkelhor & Jones, 2006 51% Decline (during the period of the Web’s existence) Answer: No Confirmed cases of child sexual abuse
  • 21. Deception rarely involved
    • Victims are aware of the approximate age and sexual intentions of the adults who contact them.
    • Only 5% of offenders pretend to be teens.
    • In some cases, the kids are being aggressive and sexually suggestive and pose in ways to make themselves look older than they are.
    • --Janis Wolak, University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center (paraphrase, not exact quote)
  • 22. What causes risk?
    • Aggressive behavior in the form of making rude or nasty comments increased the odds of being victimized 2.3 times
    • Frequently embarrassing others increased the risk almost 5 times
    • Meeting people in multiple ways increased the odds 3.4 times
    • Talking about sex online with strangers doubled the risk
    • Engaging in multiple risky behaviors puts you at greatest risk
    • Posting personal information is not related to victimization
    Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Feb 2007 Ybarra, Mitchell, Finkelhor, Wolak
  • 23. The kids most at risk online are those at risk offline
    • Online risks are not radically different in nature or scope than the risks minors have long faced offline.
    • Minors most at risk in the offline world continue to be most at risk online.
    • The psychosocial makeup and family dynamics surrounding a child are better predictors of risk than the technology used.
    • Messages need to be tailored to the child. One-size-fits-all doesn’t work.
    Source: Internet Safety Technical Task Force Report, January 2009
  • 24. More likely risks
    • Damaged reputation
    • Emotional hurt
    • Self-created child porn
    • Negative validation
    • Defamation
    • Impersonation
    • Permanent archive
    • Inappropriate content
    • PC security
    • Cyberbullying…
  • 25. Cyberbullying
    • The risk that affects the most children
    • 2 separate studies: About 33% of US teens have been harassed or bullied*
    • Online harassment (more common) vs. bullying
    • Cyberbullying : repeated aggression; associated with real life; power imbalance
    • It’s more a developmental than a technology problem
    Sources: Patchin and Hinduja, 2006; Pew/Internet, 2007; Crimes Against Children Research Center, 2007
  • 26. Signs of cyberbullying
    • Loss of friends
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Loss of sleep
    • Doesn’t want to go to school
    • Covers screen or turns off device when others come into room*
    * can also be a sign of an inappropriate online relationship
  • 27. What to tell kids facing cyberbullying
    • Don’t react (often the bully’s goal)
    • Don’t retaliate
    • Block the bully
    • Save the evidence
    • Talk to a trusted adult
  • 28. Keys to finding solutions
    • Understanding that the teenage brain is “a work in progress” (brain takes up to 25 years to develop)
    • What’s happening online is more about adolescent behavior/development than tech
    • Net = amplifier, searchable archive, pretty permanent; User/producers have multiple invisible audiences
    • Collaborative solution-making needed
  • 29. To summarize
    • The social Web…
    • is good and bad for teens
    • is a fact of life - not going away
    • is user-driven (little control)
    • Social Web safety requires…
    • Growing understanding of benefits, risks
    • Multiple forms of expertise
    • Collaborative, long-term response
    • Targeting real risks not high-frequency, low-risk behaviors
  • 30. Thank you & please visit our forum at www.ConnectSafely.org
    • Larry Magid
    • Co-director, ConnectSafely.org
    • [email_address]
    • Anne Collier,
    • Co-director
    • [email_address]