Danish youth panel sends open letter to Facebook January 21, 2010Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Facebook, Privacy, Youth.
Before Christmas the Danish youth panel “Medierødderne” sent an open letter to Facebook explaining their thoughts on privacy on the site. For instance, they wrote:
For us it’s important to have privacy online to protect ourselves from people we don’t know. […] We want it to be easy and simple for us to change our personal settings when it is needed. In general it is hard to find out how to protect ourselves the best. We want to be the boss of who can see our profile.”
I think that privacy is going to be a big issue among youth – especially, now that they have to “share” social network sites such as Facebook with their parents.
Three kinds of online safety May 6, 2009Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet Safety, Talks, Youth.
During the past few weeks I have been giving a couple of public talks at different conferences in Denmark, all focusing on youth and digital media. Even though my talks usually don’t include many perspectives on online safety and focus more on communicating my research results and giving a general introduction to how Danish youth use social network sites, I know that many of the participants (often teachers, social educators, parents, librarians etc.) are interested in knowing how to teach kids about safety issues.
In this regard I recently read an interesting post from the NetFamilyNews blog. Here, Anne Collier offers three perspectives on online safety and internet literacy:
- Physical safety – the one we have focused on the most, freedom from physical harm by predators and bullies
- Psychological safety – freedom from cruelty, flaming, and other forms of harassment and cyberbullying involving ex-friends, mean kids, bullies, colleagues, etc. […]
- Reputational and legal safety – these can overlap with the psychological kind, where, for example, online defamation can harm someone’s reputation; they provide for freedom from restriction or repercussion as a result of online communication or production by one’s self or others […].
She argues that US kids “have practically tuned out the term online safety” because of a strong focus in US society on the first perspective. The term “can’t really help them deal with the complexities of their online/offline social lives, it’s in danger of becoming irrelevant to them”, she writes. I agree very much with Collier and her point is quite similar to what I was trying to argue in this article on Nettendenser in December. I think it is important to focus not only on the threats and risks (and thereby treating children and young people as victims) in order to get them to listen to advice on online safety.
Read the post from NetFamilyNews here (which also includes many relevant links) .
How to communicate to youngsters about Internet safety March 22, 2008Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Children, Internet Safety, Youth.
The 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.
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.
New survey on young people, sex and the internet February 7, 2008Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet, Sex, Youth.
A new Danish survey dealing with young people’s use of the internet to purchase or sell sex shows that every tenth of the participants in the survey has received payment.
2367 Danish young people between the age of 14 and 24 have participated in the survey.
- 79,8 % of them have never given or received any payment for sex – and don’t know anyone who has.
- 9,8 % of them know someone who has either given or received payment for sex.
- 9,1 % of them have received some kind of payment for sex.
- 1,3% of them have given some kind of payment for sex.
The study is conducted by Cyberhus, a Danish online community for children and young people run by social workers, for Aarhus City Council. Read more about the study here and read the whole report here (only in Danish).
It is important to know that one cannot simply conclude that one out of every tenth youngster in Denmark has received payment for sex. As project coordinator, Jonas Ravn, says in a newsletter from Cyberhus:
Man kan ikke ud fra undersøgelsen konkludere, at hver 10. unge i Danmark har solgt sex. Men 9,1 procent af de unge, der har valgt at deltage i vores undersøgelse, har fået betaling for at levere seksuelle ydelser. Men egentlig er det ikke undersøgelsens primære mål at undersøge omfanget, men at se på, om og hvordan de unge bruger nettet til at lave aftaler om sex.
Also, the definition of payment includes not only money, also but material things such as alcohol, cigarettes and clothes.
Furthermore, the study shows that the sale and payment of sex often take place between friends and acquaintances. And most often as a sudden impulse.