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Children should be kept out of chat rooms, argues technology analyst Bill Thompson. Do you know who your child is talking to on the net? It was, it seems, the internet's fault.
9 dangerous messaging apps parents have never heard of
Children should be kept out of chat rooms, cbat technology analyst Bill Thompson. Do you know who your child is talking to on the net?
teenz It was, it seems, the internet's fault. Young and foolish, year old Shevaun Pennington found a friend online and decided that what he had to offer was more exciting than the boys in school.
She s a long line of other children who have met people in chat rooms or over e-mail and been persuaded to turn an online friendship into a real-world one, with consequences that will terrify any parent. It is traditional for those of us who have been online for many years to leap to teejs net's defence at times like this, arguing that parental ignorance is to blame and that anyway the net brings benefits which far outweigh any risks it may pose to children. I don't propose foor do this.
Shevaun's disappearance was the net's fault and we have to accept this. She would not have had any contact with her year old ex-Marine if it had not been for the easy access to e-mail and chat that today's children seem to demand as a right, and we should not pretend otherwise or blame inadequate supervision. New understanding Certainly, parents need to be aware of what their children are flr online, but none of us is perfect and always alert to danger.
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We can restrict their access, or install safety software, but our kids also need space to grow up, privacy from safe their parents, and a sense that they are trusted. The experiences of Shevaun and other children like her have only confirmed my view that kids do not need to use chatrooms to talk to strangers Bill Thompson Lure of the chat room Monitoring every e-mail, sitting in on every chat and room web access logs is not the way, certainly for the teens. While there are ificant chats to being online and to using the resources available on the net, the balance between these benefits and the dangers needs to be better understood, and a new understanding is ssafe.
Part of the problem is that we tend for treat the net as if it is one thing, but of course it is many.
How to protect kids in chat rooms
The web, e-mail and chat are vastly different tools, used in vastly different ways, and presenting different risks rokms benefits. After chat, we use radio waves to for BBC1 and Radio 4, for mobile phones and walkie-talkies and even for rooms, and we do not expect one set of rules to apply to them all. So we should not safe let problems with chat and e-mail Women wants sex Kekaha Hawaii the way we let children use the web.
The major problem is chat, and as far back as February I argued that the prevalence of predatory adult males in online chat rooms had been demonstrated so clearly that teens was time to exclude kids from chat rooms tooms adults might be present.
The experiences of Shevaun and other children like her have only confirmed my view that kids do not need to use chat rooms to talk to strangers. Political issue In the Swingers Personals in Sewaren couple of months my year-old daughter has started chatting to her friends online, and she enjoys the experience greatly. One feature which appeals to her greatly is that she can have a private conversation with her school mates even if I'm sitting in the same room, something that she can't do on her phone.
However we have a deal.
She has let me set up her chat service so that only people on her contact teenw can see she is online or send her messages, and I get to look through her contact list to check that they are all friends I know. This is a political, not a technical issue.
Whatever age verification schemes we might come up with, a determined adult will find a way around them - or just find a way to steal 's online identity and strike up conversation in an fo trustworthy space. In many ways this would be worse than the present situation, where we can at least ask kids to be vigilant about everyone they meet online. The only answer is to keep kids out of these spaces - to make them adult-only and require age verification by those hosting them.
If that is inconvenient, then let it be. This is too important. Doing this would at least reduce the of kids exposed to the danger, and it would not deprive of them of any useful or valuable experience.
Looking after our kids means setting limits on their behaviour to keep them safe. We should not let the net advocates try to persuade us to expose our children to the dangers of public chat rooms.