New York Times article on Age Verification for Social Networking Sites

by on May 7, 2007 · 4 comments

Jennifer Medina of the New York Times penned an article yesterday on the debate over social networking fears leading to calls for age verification mandates. She noted that measures are moving in several states that would require social networking sites to age-verify users before they are allowed to visit the sites or create profiles there. But Medina also noted that there are many difficult questions about how age verification would work and how “social networking” would even be defined. (I summarize these questions in my recent PFF report, “Social Networking and Age Verification: Many Hard Questions; No Easy Solutions.”)

Ms. Medina was also kind enough to interview me for the story and she summarizes some of what I had to say in her piece. In a nutshell, I stressed that the most effective way to deal with this problem is to get serious about dealing with sex offenders instead of trying to regulate law-abiding citizens. We need to be locking up convicted sex offenders for a lot longer in this country to make sure they behind bars instead of behind keyboards seeking to prey on our children.

I also stressed the importance of online safety education as part of the strategy here. But my comments on that didn’t make the cut in the story. But you can read my big recent paper on this issue for additional details.

  • http://InternetSafetyAdvisor.info Jace Galloway

    Hi. Stumbled on your blog. Great!!

    For the past two years, I have championed online safety education and awareness not only in my elementary school,but entire region. I am the Regional Office of Education Internet Safety Coordinator and obviously very interested in this issue. Besides developing and implementing online safety curriculum, presentations for parents, teachers and children, writing a regular newspaper column on said issues, and work with over 500 children every week in a computer lab environment. I guess you could say, Internet Safety is more than a job for me, it is something I am deeply passionate about.

    I wrote a while back about this particular issue,specifically a company in California, and age verification.

    If you have a moment, please take a look at my educational resource blog for parents, educators and law enforcement.

    I look forward to reading your paper and further articles. Thanks so much!!!

  • http://InternetSafetyAdvisor.info Jace Galloway

    Hi. Stumbled on your blog. Great!!

    For the past two years, I have championed online safety education and awareness not only in my elementary school,but entire region. I am the Regional Office of Education Internet Safety Coordinator and obviously very interested in this issue. Besides developing and implementing online safety curriculum, presentations for parents, teachers and children, writing a regular newspaper column on said issues, and work with over 500 children every week in a computer lab environment. I guess you could say, Internet Safety is more than a job for me, it is something I am deeply passionate about.

    I wrote a while back about this particular issue,specifically a company in California, and age verification.

    If you have a moment, please take a look at my educational resource blog for parents, educators and law enforcement.

    I look forward to reading your paper and further articles. Thanks so much!!!

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