Though the internet can be very helpful in a multitude of situations, it can be a dangerous place for the younger users. One Of the main dangers Of the internet for them is Cyber Bullying. Cyber bullying is getting bullied over the internet. It includes sending hateful messages to kids, spreading rumors and lies about them, creating specific websites just to taunt them, or even send them death threats. What makes this worse is that all of this can be done anonymously by the perpetrator. Even though it is still called bullying, it’s s step up from your normal school bullying.
There’s no emotional filter for the bully – where some bullies may stop what they’re doing or seriously think about it because of the emotional response from the kid being bullied such as tears or faces, bullying over the internet doesn’t give the bully a chance to see the emotional reaction from the other child. In an article by Foresight. Com, with information taken from a 2009 Study by AP-MET on Digital Abuse, they list some of the reasons why cyber bullying is such a big issue, with one of them being the permanence of the harmful messages.
On permanence, Foresight. Com said; The insults, comments, or images can be preserved by the person who was bullied by others so that the victim may read or view them over and over again and the harm is re-inflicted with each reading or viewing”. It’s a big problem, and there are more dangers such as sexual predators, pornography, and the potential to ruin reputations. All of these dangers are bad, but the internet also provides us with some amazing opportunities. The internet is one of the main social driving forces in this day and age.
Sites like Backbone and Youth keep us connected and give others an insight into our daily lives. These sites are mainly populated by younger children who use them to communicate with their peers and classmates. Other forms of communication through the use of the internet have proven to be ridiculously beneficial ever since the first implementation of an internet-like system, e- mail and instant messaging being in the forefront of these communication methods. The internet will always be an important social tool.
The importance and widespread use of these sites and tools, though, makes it very easy for the dangers of the internet to prey on the younger users, which is why some people including some parents, educators, and parts of the government would like to implement age restrictions on some portions of the internet. A question has to be asked here: Should the internet have age restrictions? There are different sides to this argument, with some wanting restrictions, some wanting none, and some wanting to keep the ones we already have.
Let’s look at the ones that are already implemented. Most social websites and even games have age restrictions, usually requiring the child to be at least 13 years of age to access the website. Backbone and Reinsurance are two of these sites. Antennas Burgers of Kevin. Com talks a bit about these restrictions, saying “Many parents believe social media sites are suggested for children over 1 3 years based on the network’s content, like a PIG-13 movie. However, this is NOT true. Users of social media sites must be 13-years old by Federal law. (Burgers) The federal law she’s talking about is called COPRA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. It prevents websites from taking personal information of children under the age of 13. According to Burgers, the protections of the law are being expanded to include “online data tracking, collocation, photos, ideas, and information available to 3rd party advertising networks”. If a parent allows their child to sign up to a website with an over-13 restriction using a fake date of birth, they are circumventing the law that protects their child’s information.
There are some people who don’t agree with Copra’s protection. In an article by Michael Level-Ram on Fortune. Com, he quotes Seersucker saying “In the Future, software and technology will enable people to learn a lot from their fellow students”. He thinks that in order for this to happen, they need to be able to access sites like Backbone from an earlier GE. So what about taking out all restrictions, or implementing new ones? The main two groups who would want some type of change are parents and freedom activists.
While the freedom activists all want the same thing in this situation, the parents would be split fifty-fifty. Some parents believe that the discipline they give to their children will be enough to keep them from being affected from the dangers of the internet. These parents regularly monitor their younger children while they’re on the internet, and see to it themselves that their kids are protected. While these arenas may be able to do this, there are other parents that may not be able to be home enough to monitor their children’s internet usage at all times of the day.
These parents may use programs that exist already such as Net Nanny, but want more restrictions that don’t require purchasing and downloading and using a piece of easily circumnavigate software. In an article on EXTENT. Com, Emil Promotional talks about a statement by Backbone that talks about the importance of parental guidance for children using the internet. The third paragraph Of the Statement reads: However, we agree with safety experts that communication between parents/guardians and kids about their use of the Internet is vital.
We believe that services such as Backbone have a role to play in encouraging this: the recent announcements around social reporting and our safety center are testimonies to our ongoing efforts in ensuring we are giving detailed and helpful advice to help support these conversations. Just as parents are always teaching and reminding kids how to cross the road safely, talking about internet safety should be just as important a lesson to learn. ” Backbone brings In another important topic into this discussion – even with all the restrictions in the world, without proper parenting they won’t be as effective.
With the internet being as big as it is right now and constantly growing, talking about internet safety is just as important as talking about crossing the road safely, or other important things. Parents who are against the restrictions because they feel that they would remove an aspect of parenting by guiding their children for them should be put at ease by this they’ll still have to help out and talk some sense into their children. Freedom activists say that any type of restriction on a utility such as the internet would be stifling our rights as American Citizens.
Restricting what sites We go to could be in direct violation of some of the constitution’s amendments. On a long shot, they could connect it to denying American citizens to their basic rights – free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press. Even so, these restrictions would not be limiting any of this, as they would be filtering out only harmful sites and sites that a young child shouldn’t be on in the first place. To give a counter to them, let’s describe the arguments in favor for placing these restrictions.
There are many different kinds of restrictions that can be put into place that wouldn’t feel very out of place, such as simple filters that block images, or search engine filters that don ‘t show certain results if they’re inappropriate. In a learning environment, its important for children to be able to find educational material fast and easy. These restrictions and filters would make that a breeze by filtering out the useless and dangerous websites that can be found. These restrictions will also work to keep the personal information of hillier safe.
As Antennas Burgers explained earlier on, if a parent signs their child up for a website below the age of 13, their information is no longer protected. In an article by the BBC Staff on BBC. Com, they talk about the findings of a research project carried out by the London School of Economics. In this study, a survey of 25,000 young people between the age of 9 and 1 6 was taken to see how many of them used and maintained a social networking profile. In the K, 43% of kids aged 9 to 12 answered yes. With these restrictions, this wouldn’t be possible.
Finally, these restrictions would do a antistatic job keeping children away from potential bullies and predators. Restricting the download of popular Instant Messengers and social networking sites would drastically reduce the amount Of cyber bullying and would eliminate one of the main gathering places of internet predators. These restrictions would be beneficial to students in an educational and home environment, and can be placed very easily by coding them directly into the HTML code of the websites.
Perhaps an internet-wide account system can be made where people sign up, and it remembers their birthrate to input it onto the websites so that people can’t trick the system. A system similar to this is used in some Asian countries like South Korea. In South Korea, they have to enter their equivalent to our Social Security Number in order to verify that they’re Korean citizens to get access to the sites. A system like this in America would make sure the age of the person is verified.
A lot of people such as the freedom fighters would be against this sort of thing, though, because it is very big-brother in the fact that the government would know a lot more about who successes the internet and what their access patterns are like. Although, in this day and age, they probably already know all about that. These restrictions would filter out dangerous or useless content depending on the age of the user. With this, it would be easier to find educational info.
The restrictions would keep personal information safe – like Antennas Burgers said, circumventing the COPRA law lets websites take important info from younger children. These new laws would not be circumnavigate to the degree that COPRA would be. The restrictions would also keep children away from he dangers of the internet I talked about earlier by restricting access to some social networking sites and Instant Messaging software/websites. All in all, a lot of people are in support of these changes.