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Facing off

Original post made on Feb 5, 2009

For the third time in one day, Palo Alto High School junior Olivia Diamond logged in to Facebook. She clicked on her inbox, read two messages, ignored the first one and skimmed the second one. She checked notifications. The first two were junk mail and the rest were "wall" posts. She scanned her wall (where friends leave messages), went back to the home page, read about what her friends have been doing through her mini-feed, looked at the Facebook chat — 88 of her friends were on — decided not to message them and logged out.

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Comments (1)

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Posted by Parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Facebook and the other social networking sites have spent lots of money to promote these sites as harmless fun.

For the most part they can be.

They can also have situations which get out of control.

In many other aspects of life there are controls such as speed limits and drinking ages.

Currently, these site don't want social responsibility to interfere with profits and therefore they are lobbying for no controls.

Someday, when something very bad happens, then we will all wonder why certain controls weren't implemented sooner.

We have laws regarding obscene phone calls, libel and slander in the physical world, however the internet has decided that "no rules" is proper. Just look how well deregulation has worked in other areas, and no one is clamoring to remove rules against obscene phone calls, harrasment, etc.

The internet is a great media, however social responsibility does not sell more ads.

The social (irresponsible) networking companies don't care about your children, just their profits.

I applaud parents who remain concerned and treat this unregulated space with care, there are dangers. In a recent industry funded study, they admit that 9% of unwanted sexual solicitations are from users identified as "significantly older". The industry study uses this figure to justify that these are not "the majority". Frankly, the number is high, and it doubled in 7 years per the study.

There is a danger, and it does not have to be a majority to be significant and dangerous.

Piracy, Privacy, Slander, and Social Responsibility all need to be addressed on the internet, and anarchy is not the answer.

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