Monday, July 13, 2009

Child internet safety group says "'just say no' to chatrooms!"

Rebecca Hagelin has an eye-catching column on p A18, “Culture”, in the Monday July 13 2009 Washington Times, “’Just say no’ to chat rooms”. Sure, she echoes Nancy Reagan (and maybe better times, in the minds of some). She calls chat rooms “the culture challenge of the week”. The link is here.

She refers to Donna Rice Hughes, president of “Enough Is Enough”, as recommending that parents ban all online chat rooms as too difficult to monitor. The website is here. The group offers an Internet Safety DVD at this link. Hagelin is willing to accept the idea that large companies like Facebook may offer acceptable safety if parents insist that their kids mark their profiles as private.

The Times story and EIE website do talk about the ease with which predators can impersonate kids, with all the security problems, some of which were documented in NBC Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” with Chris Hansen. A summary episode from that series was rerun last night on MSNBC.

I guess for safety, some advice is "go outside into the real world. Climb a mountain." The picture comes from the W-WVa border on an obscure mountain trail.

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