First Lady Michelle Obama recently made it known that as a parent she didn't feel comfortable letting her young daughters go on Facebook. Of course, the Secret Service doesn't feel comfortable with this, either, but I think we all understand the First Lady's point, and I agree with her. The web is a dangerous place for kids - not just because of online predators, but because of online bullying.
So, President Obama and Facebook have teamed up to make the web a safer place for kids. If you want to know how effective I think this effort will be, you're welcome to visit my Facebook Wall. For now, we'll just focus on how this works.
Basically, instead of having to forward links or screen shots of examples of online bullying to their parents or teachers, kids who want to report bullying will now be able to "report" bullying incidences directly to people in their network from the site, the same way they have been able to report abusive behavior to Facebook all along. The logic is that the Facebook doesn't have time to follow-up on every single report of abuse, and will usually only be able to act when a large number of reports come in on a particular account. Now it will be a bit easier for kids to report incidences to someone who actually knows them and knows the situation, and may be able to intervene.
For examples and screen prints of how this works, click HERE.
My friend, John, summed it up thus:
They're making a FB app to allow people to forward offensive content to parents or teachers? Finally, bullies have met their match! No longer can they abuse their victims who are unable to copy and paste.
For those who are still not convinced, and insist on protecting your own children online, check out ...Are you Kidding Me? and What does a child predator look like?
Jennifer Pointer is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.