Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Massachusetts, Parents and MySpace.Com

I fully recognize the need for our children to be safe and secure when they start surfing the web, and especially when they place profiles and such on sites like MySpace.Com. My oldest daughter has just now started going to some sites that my wife and I have approved of and only under the supervision of one of us (Meaning yes, we do litterally stand over her shoulder).

An article on which you can read here, outlines the concerns of state officials about the safety of young teenagers on the MySpace site. Now, I do agree with their concerns about the threat of online child predators that are using the MySpace site to try and lure young victims into harms way. However, I do not think that it should be up to MySpace exclusively to provide for the security of the younger users of that site.

The State of Massachusetts did offer some good suggestions to MySpace and I do agree that they should implement some of those ideas, but I firmly believe that it should be the responsibility of the parents of the younger users to monitor what sites their children are going to, who their online contacts are, view their online messages and generally, just be in their life so much that the parents are viewed as nuisances to their children. They might be viewed as such but I guarantee that the kids will be much safer than "Stand offish" parents.

If the parents aren't sure how to monitor instant chats, or block websites, or filter sites or if they just aren't internet savvy, then for pete's sake, GET THAT WAY! Doing so means that you do love your kids...after all, Love is a VERB and verbs require action.

MySpace can not guarantee the safety of children; they can put into place safeguards to help, but it is really up to the parents to provide the safety and safeguarding of the children.

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