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Facebook confessions March 26, 2010

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Facebook, Internet Safety.

I am part of the advisory board for Cyberhus, a free, non-profit online counselling site for children and young people in Denmark. Cyberhus does a great job teaching children and young people about safe online behaviour. Recently, they have created a number of ‘Facebook confessions’ on YouTube based on different experiences from children and young people. Here is one where ‘Kristoffer’ (who is not yet 13) discusses being too young for Facebook (in Danish):

I think the videos are great for fostering discussions at home or in school. Check out other videos from Cyberhus’ YouTube page or become a fan on Facebook.

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

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

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.

Swedish kids upset over parents’ internet use June 25, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet, Parents.
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I just read an interesting article about how Swedish children are upset over their parents’ use of the internet – in particular, if the parents are visiting pornographic web pages. It is the recent report from the Swedish organisation BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society) that documents the worries that children have when it comes to their parents’ online habits.

Besides the pornographic webpages the children are also worried that their parents gamble or shop too much online. Also, it seems that many children find that their parents spend too much time in front of the computer screen.

I find it interesting that we often talk about how parents should keep an eye on their childrens’ internet habits, when – apparently – it also goes the other way around 🙂

Read the Swedish report from BRIS (which also entails other interesting points) here.

How to communicate to youngsters about Internet safety March 22, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet Safety, Youth.

hjarnees.jpgThe Danish Media Council for Children and Young People has launched a new campaign about Internet safety aimed at children and young people. The campaign features a fictional character, the 32-year old Hjarness, who has profiles on many different social network sites and uploads pictures, videos and all kinds of personal information about himself (and his friends) on the Internet.

Hjarness has a YouTube profile, an Arto profile, a WordPress blog and his very own homepage. He has also written an article about Internet safety for the online magazine Artomania.

I think this is a really interesting way of communicating to youngsters about Internet safety. Among other things, Hjarnees advises children and young people to put their full name, address, phone number and e-mail address online and to upload embarrassing photos and videos of their friends. There is no finger-wagging here, and the young people seem to really get the point and find Hjarnees really funny.

The campaign is targeted 13-16-year olds and the message is “Life online is what YOU make of IT”. Read more about it here.

Girls spend more time online than boys November 9, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet, Online.

Danish girls between the age of 10 and 14 years old are considered to be “heavy users” when it comes to time consumption on the internet. New figures from The Association of Danish Internet Media (FDIM) show that girls within this age group spend in average 11 hours a month on Danish sites (which are part of the official measurement of internet traffic) whereas boys between 10 and 14 years old “only” spend in average seven hours.

Among the most popular sites for both sexes are Arto, MSN and DR (meaning that those are the sites with the biggest “reach” within the target group of 10-14-year-old’s).

The 10-14 year old girls are most heavily represented on:

  1. Vi Unge
  2. GoSupermodel
  3. Arto

whereas the 10-14 year old boys are most heavily represented on:

  1. Vix
  2. Arto
  3. The Voice

compared to their representation on the internet in general.

The figures also show that the average female Arto user between 10-14 spend slightly more that 13 hours a month on the site, whereas the average male user between 10-14 spend a little under 10 hours a month on Arto.

Read the article from FDIM here and see the figures and measurements here.

(NOTE: These figures are solely based on internet traffic in July 2007, they only measure traffic on Danish sites (and not the international ones that Danish children are using) and only traffic on the sites which are members of FDIM).

New European survey on children and online safety August 16, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet, Internet Safety, New media.
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How do children across Europe deal with online risks? The new Eurobarometer survey from the EU Commission has interviewed children of 9-10 and 12-14 from 29 European countries about their use of new media and online technologies. I find it assuring that the survey shows that children generally are aware of potential risks and the precautions they need to take online :

The results show that children are globally well aware of the potential online risks, such as security, viruses, access to unwanted content, identity theft and potential dangerous contact with strangers.

Unfortunately – but not surprisingly – the survey also shows that European children are reluctant to tell parents about the troubles they face online:

Even though young people know about of the risks and precautions, most would rather try to solve the problem themselves or with friends, and would talk to their parents only as a last resort in the most serious cases.

Read more here or download the overall report.