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Facebook for kids

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Queef Debris, May 22, 2010.

  1. Queef Debris

    Queef Debris
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    <a class="postlink" href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/For-Children-a-Social-Network-nytimes-142793176.html?x=0&.v=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://finance.yahoo.com/news/For-Child ... l?x=0&.v=1</a>

    "Three years later the result is Togetherville, a social networking site intended for use by children between the ages of six and 10 and their parents. It aims to keep children safe from cyberbullying and other online dangers while allowing them to become comfortable with online interaction. The site, which has been in private beta for several months, was opened to the public on Tuesday night."

    Focus: Discuss the potential consequences of exposing kids to the internet at an early age.
     
  2. kuhjäger

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    Well now I have a place to try and get a date.
     
  3. toddus

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    One of the guys I play Rugby with has a 7 year old kid who tried to add me on Facebook. I summarily rejected but not before noticing he was already friends with half the team. Why anyone would allow their children to do this is beyond me. Then again this is also a 29 year old man who one game after not getting any time on the field sat on the ground legs cross, sullen expression while he cried and called everyone pricks. Yep he actually throw a child like hissy fit.
     
  4. katokoch

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    Six year olds will discover porn.
     
  5. Kubla Kahn

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    I really don't see it as anywhere near as bad as that Single Ladies dance routine we had in a thread last week. I really don't think being involved in a social network would rob them of some imagined child innocence like say over sexualizing teens/children has. What would a social network be subjecting their undeveloped minds too any more than their normal interactions in real world networks? I didn't have facebook when I was 6-10 years old but I still experienced a lot of bad influences because I had an older brother and some friends that weren't upper middle class goodie goodies.
     
  6. MoreCowbell

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    Honestly, I'm not sure this is a bad idea.

    I think we can agree that seven year olds on MySpace or Facebook would be bad. There's creepy dudes, and a lot of shit they're too young to understand ("Mommy, why is his face buried in my sister's ta-ta's?"). That said, they're eventually going to get on the Internet somehow. It's inevitable. And they'll probably do so without supervision.

    Yeah, I know, the parents should be keeping track, it's their responsibility, blah blah blah. But let's stick to the Real World, not ImaginaryLand. Think of every thing that you did when your parents weren't looking. You looked at porn. You rode your bike w/o a helmet. And you watched those violent movies at Jimmy's house. We all did. The fact of the matter is no matter how closely parents monitor their kids, unless they're absurdly Draconian, the kid will find a way around it.

    At least here, they're being primarily funneled down safe avenues, and they can gain some familiarity w/ the Web before wading into more dangerous places.

    Complaint 1: You're exposing them to the Internet too early!
    Answer: They're already there. If they weren't on this website, they'd be somewhere else.

    Complaint 2: It will encourage them to get addicted to the Internet/rely on social networking sites.
    Answer: See Complaint 1.

    Complaint 3: Pedophiles.
    Answer: See Complaint 1. Granted, it sort of herds the targets all in one place. I assume the site will take appropriate measures. At least here, there will be more safety protocols in place.


    This could provide a useful function in showing kids how to act appropriately online before they move on to more adults venues. Sort of like training wheels for Facebook.
     
  7. skyello

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  8. toddus

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    That won't be happening if my future Togetherville account has anything to do with it.
     
  9. Kubla Kahn

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    I mean I know there are bad things on the internet but over all there are way to many positives on the internet that I don't see why people would be so scared and want to completely shield their kids from it. Wikipedia for one, though not the college paper required citing of sources (though I know some teachers that were lazy and allowed references anyway), is an amazing place filled with endless knowledge. When ever I pick up a new hobby there are countless sites and messageboards devoted entirely to helping you out. This really gets to the heart of why the internet is so important to us in a historical and human advancement sense. I'd say embrace it and use it to help develop your children's outlook on the world.
     
  10. KIMaster

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    It's a pretty awful idea. Not only is six year old kids looking at porn and being sexualized at such an early age bad enough, but there is also the whole utter waste of time.

    And what's the benefit, really? You think a kid is going to spend their time on the Internet reading classic literature from Project Gutenberg and university lectures on partial differential equations? Give me a break. Very few adults even do that.

    I think 13 or 14 years old is a much more reasonable age to give someone free reign to do whatever they want on the Internet. At that age, they are reasonably mature, probably find the opposite sex attractive, and will thank you for the easy access to porn.

    On an unrelated note, what is "cyber-bullying"?
     
  11. Beefy Phil

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    When people are honest and someone can't handle it.
     
  12. MoreCowbell

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    Do you really think modern children are waiting until they're 13 or 14 to use the Internet? I know I was using the computer by 11 or 12. And this was back in the day of dial-up modems, and when Google was in infancy. I have to assume children are using it more and more these days.

    Six is a stretch, but ten year olds? Probably already using it. And I would rather give them something targeted towards them than letting them wade amongst the cesspool of the larger Internet.

    This is like saying that one needn't bother with children's programming on television, because children shouldn't be watching TV.
     
  13. KIMaster

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    How exactly would a kid access the Internet if their parents didn't want them to? Just put a password on each account. Bingo, done. Problem solved.

    And if you're unreasonably worried that your kid is a high-level hacker that can crack any password, then simply take the power cables with you.

    Edit-

    Are you seriously comparing the porn, both legal and illegal (children, animals, snuff), that can be found on the Internet, with the content that is on television?
     
  14. MoreCowbell

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    School. Library. Friend's house. When you thought they were doing homework. When you're not home. When the babysitter isn't paying attention.

    The Internet is a fact of modern life. The problem is not preventing children from gaining access to the Internt. That hen has left the coop. It's what we do to make this a good thing, now that they are already there.

    The same argument pretty much holds for social networking sites.


    Is the website in question porn? And don't many browsers still come equipped with parental controls?




    Also, to go back to your original post, you're the only one talking about giving children "free reign." In fact, the original article states that the site is intended to be used with their parents.

    I'm not saying "PORN FOR ALL!" I'm saying this seems like a decent way of channeling them to somewhere safe.
     
  15. KIMaster

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    There is a huge difference between using the Internet with heavy adult monitoring and lots of people milling around, as most of the examples you give, and unrestricted free access as a child.

    I don't know where you went to, but nobody was browsing for porn on my elementary school's library computers. In fact, in high school, that was the one place where people usually did work. Librarians were constantly checking on what people were doing, and there were safeguard programs on each computer.

    10 year-olds visit the city library all by themselves?

    Didn't I already answer this in my last post? Simply put a freaking password on each of the accounts. Takes five seconds.

    "Drinking alcohol is a fact of modern life. The problem is not preventing 6 year olds from drinking alcohol. That hen has left the coop. It's what we do to make this a good thing, now that they are already drinking."

    See what I did there?

    I wrote that it's ridiculously easy to keep a child from using the Internet because my friend's parents were able to do that effectively to their kids, and if my parents banned me from using the Internet at home, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, even as a high school student.

    And I'm saying the much better solution is to prevent kids aged 6-10 from using the Internet at all.
     
  16. MoreCowbell

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    I could play the "Let's change quotes to something ridiculous!" game too, you know. And with something much more analogous than "The Internet is the equivalent of booze." It's a cheap rhetorical trick.

    "And I'm saying the much better solution is to prevent kids 6-10 from reading books at all."

    See what I did there?





    Honestly, why are we talking about porn?

    The kids are six to ten. How many kids are even trying to look at porn at that age? You're taking this weird, absurd hypothetical where the Internet is all about porn and only porn, and using it to talk about the Internet as a whole

    So you want to ban the entire Internet, including Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, Nickelodeon.com, etc, because some sites are inappropriate? Does the same argument not apply to the local library, where some books are inappropriate?

    What do they do at libraries? They don't ban children. Instead, they create an environment targeted at them and full of material appropriate for them. They encourage parental involvement. And then, when it's appropriate, they encourage the children to explore the rest of the books. They don't start off by handing them Maquis de Sade, and saying, "Have a ball!"

    This site is trying to create a "children's section" of the Internet, to channel them there and not to say, MySpace, without banning Internet access as a whole. Because there might be useful things on the Internet.


    And again, no one besides you is talking about unrestricted access, or letting kids look at porn willy-nilly. You're arguing against a straw man who exists only inside your head.
     
  17. KIMaster

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    In this case, it's not. What you're arguing is that parents are helpless to stop a 6 year old child from using the Internet if he wants. Well then, would you say the same about alcohol?

    The idea that parents can't control their child is absolutely silly. It may be true for a 16 year-old hell-bent on defying his parents at every turn (and even then...), but not a freaking 6 year-old.

    No, I don't, actually. Comparing unrestricted free access to the Internet to words written on the pages of published books is even more ridiculous than your earlier comparison of network television to the Internet.

    And by the way, I wasn't allowed to read pornographic books like Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" until I was a teenager. So yes, monitoring the books a kid reads isn't a bad idea, either.

    "How many kids are even trying to look at Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, and/or educational sites at that age? You're taking this weird, absurd hypothetical where the Internet is all about education and only education, and using it to talk about the Internet as a whole."

    Really now, I only started using the Internet for anything resembling "learning" when I was in college. When I was a teenager, the Internet was for porn, games, and reading about boxing and basketball, in that order.

    The idea that kids get more out of using Wikipedia than reading a good math/science textbook is completely absurd, by the way.

    That's my entire point; kids shouldn't be on the Internet at such an early age, period.

    I know a fair bit about learning and becoming really smart, and not from myself as much as my friends. The Internet is worthwhile if you're a college student knowing where to go and what to learn. (And even then, that's true for the vast minority)

    As a child, you would learn and get infinitely more from reading a good textbook or print-out, with none of the risks.
     
  18. MoreCowbell

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    Sigh. I suppose children of your day might have read textbooks in their spare time as an eight year old, in between porn sessions. And did so more regularly than children today access Wikipedia or Nickelodeon. And maybe the Internet is less like literature and more like alcohol.

    However, since I don't live in this universe, I shall concede the argument.

    If you want to continue tilting at windmill-arguments that aren't being made by anyone, feel free.
     
  19. KIMaster

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    You don't have to concede anything, but there's a major difference between a media's potential and its actual use. People once thought television would be the educational tool of the future. Only in the majority of instances, it wasn't. It helped for a young kid learning how to speak and what the alphabet is, and that's about it.

    An 8 year-old kid left to his own devices in front of a television is going to learn nothing.

    Similarly, the Internet is great if you're an educated parent trying to find some article or book to print out for his kid, or someone in college browsing various scientific journals, papers, or course materials. But for an 8 year-old? It's just a meaningless waste of time, even if you ignore how easy it is to stumble across porn.
     
  20. Aetius

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    If this bickering doesn't stop I'm about to put some parental locks on your accounts. And the password won't be 1,2,3,4, it'll be something really complicated that you'll never ever guess, so don't even try to guess it so you can watch scrambled porn at 2AM. Because it's not like 10,000 combinations isn't too many for a horny kid to brute force.