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New online forum for parents of online children January 30, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet, Parents.
18 comments

The National Consumer Agency of Denmark has just launched an online debate forum for “parents of online children” (called “Forældre til Onlinebørn” in Danish).

I think this is a really interesting initiative and a potential empirical goldmine for me.

On the site, parents are debating how to approach various issues regarding their children’s internet use – both in relation to social network sites, online gaming, gambling and virtual worlds.

You can have a look at the site here. I will definitely keep an eye on the forum.

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Are the moral panics over? January 21, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Moral panic, Parents, Social Networking, Youngsters.
3 comments

In Denmark, Facebook has become so mainstream that you can expect all kinds of people at all ages to have a profile on the site. Apparently, Denmark is the second largest Facebook country measured in profiles per citizens (even though the large number of profiles probably does not equal the actual amount of users).

Today I received a message on Facebook from an 80 year old man who told me that he uses Facebook to keep in touch with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And he is not alone. Many grown up’s are now communicating with their children on Facebook (which I have recently been giving some interviews on). Also those children and young people who normally use Arto, Skum, NationX or other Danish social network sites that are targeted particularity at young people. At the moment I am receiving many friendship requests on FB from my 12-16 year old informants. At least it is safe to say that several generations are now represented on the same site.

And this has made me think: Are the moral panics over? Have social network sites become so naturalised in society that the previous moral panics concerning e.g. Arto in Denmark or MySpace in the US have faded out?  It has been a while since journalists have focused on the fears and dangers of young peoples’ use of social network sites, and when I am being interviewed they certainly ask different questions than they did a couple of years ago. Also, parents ask me radically different questions when I am giving talks at schools. And politicians are eagerly embracing social network sites and social media in general.

Perhaps we are over the worst moral panics when it comes to youth and online social networking? At least I find it interesting if I through my research into this area during the past four of five years have witness this transition.

Talking about Facegroups groups on TV January 13, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Facebook, Media coverage, News media, Television.
1 comment so far

Creating or joining a Facebook group in order to publicly state your opinion about something is the most easy thing in the world. In Denmark, whenever specific court cases are heavily mentioned in the news, people start creating Facebook groups discussing the sentencing (which they almost always think is too low).

tv2_1201092Yesterday several groups (for instance this one) were created about the sentecing in a child abouse case. I was asked to comments on the groups in the news on Danish TV2. You can see my interviews here and here (but only in Danish).

Basically, I say that I think the news media are partly to blame for the groups being created, because they report so much on the specific cases in the first place. And of course, it is self-perpetuating when the news media then report on the groups themselves.

See my other television apperances here.