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How safe is the interwebs?

**helen****helen** Mod malarkistPosts: 9,235 Listening Ear
:wave:

Last week was 'Safer Internet Week' so you might have seen various announcements and warnings made by Government bodies, charities, doctors, and anyone else who has an opinion on how safe or dangerous the internet is.

At TheSite.org towers we want to invite some of the UK's leading professionals to have a good old argument about it, but want to know what you think first.

Whose responsibility do you think it is to keep children and young people safe online? For example, is it website providers, children, parents, individuals, the Government or the Third Sector?

What do you think is the best way to ensure young people aren't in danger when using the internet?

What kind of things do you think could, and do, work? (banning websites, awareness campaigns for parents, peer support, personal responsibility? etc).

We're hoping you'll give us a realistic insight into the issue and help shape the debate to reflect how real people feel about it!

So please don't hold back in posting your thoughts here.

Thanks :thumb:

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In a lot of ways the internet is safer than real life. I'm sure plenty of stuff I've come out with during a heated P&D debate would have had me punched in the nose if we were face-to-face. :D

    My first thought is that 'the internet' itself isn't dangerous - it just is what it is; people are dangerous, and I can't think of any problems off the top of my head which are unique to the internet. Perhaps how brilliant it is a facilitating access to information - if that information was 'how to build a whacking-great bomb', for example?

    I think the same sound advice that'd see you well in real life, will also see you well on t'internet: if you wouldn't think twice about getting into a van after a sweaty man with a mitt full of sweets promised you a puppy, then maybe you'd be as foolhardy on the web.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's the responsibility of the parents (and those in loco parentis).

    Web enabled mobiles makes things much harder.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Parents - YES, deffinately, to me I know it is my responsability if my son went online.

    Internet Providers - NO WAY, just because they provide the service, they should not be responsable,

    Goverment - Somewhat, Ido not believe they should make it "safe" and run the internet or it is their responsability but I believe they should offer help, advice and support on how to keep the internet safe for young children.

    Best peice of kit tbh is software to block dodgy websites, monitor what they are doing etc,
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    Whose responsibility do you think it is to keep children and young people safe online? For example, is it website providers, children, parents, individuals, the Government or the Third Sector?

    I cannot see the role of the Third Sector in this and the Govt are the last people I would want to see making the internet "safe" mainly because I don't trust them to do this but maintain the freedom to access information - for example a Govt may think it's "unsafe" for people to access certain information, wensites about homosexuality or even places like this that give advice your youngsters. We've already seen what the Daily Mail think about that and we all know how the media can pressure Govts.

    Parents actually have the largest share of responsibility here in taking ownership of the access that their own children have to the internet. For example I would not grant access to certain websites to one of my children that the other one has - I take the view on their maturity in the same way I do about films and TV programmes for example.

    Website owners (but not ISPs) also need to take some responsibilty. Moderators such as in use here are a good way of doing that ,for example.
    What do you think is the best way to ensure young people aren't in danger when using the internet?

    To be honest it's no different to any other aspect of society and the internet is only really a reflection of society as a whole. Again parental responsibility is at the forefront here - just as I would be careful who my child interacts with IRL, so I should on the net.
    What kind of things do you think could, and do, work? (banning websites, awareness campaigns for parents, peer support, personal responsibility? etc).

    Awareness and education are part of the response but not scaremongering. I don't believe in banning sites, to me that is akin to censorship. Banning itself bring in the need for legislation and Govts and that just takes me back to my first point...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The responsibility lies with the parents and the users themselves. I've lost count the number of Facebook bullying type incidents I've dealt with and will continue to deal with, involving groups of kids who, when I was at school would have had a scrap or an argument and that would have been the end of it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Won't somebody think of the children?!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be honest: I do what I want online. I hate the way that they always blame the parents!
    We do have the ability to lie to them you know...
    That said, I'm not stupid enough to go round posting my address etc and I don't use social networking sites. I think it's the job of an adult (e.g a parent or teacher) to educate the child as to what is safe, but to be honest we don't listen and most of us don't care. But then if something happens, like we get bullied, it is then our problem not theirs.
    If someone has tried to educate you, and they do at school and I'm sure the majority of parents (or as big gay said, those in loco parentis) to stay safe, and you ignore it that's no ones fault but your own. If you got an STI from unsafe sex, you couldn't blame school for it (or those who care for you) as they have educated us in safe sex. Like they have with web saftey.
    Xx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I do think that children + young people need educating about the internet.... I know I didn't really get taught much about the dangers when I was younger.. maybe because the internet wasn't such a big thing then. But still I had Windows 95 with a slowwwwwwwwwww connection :rolleyes:

    Anyway, think that it should be taught in schools, along with a whole list of other things. I reckon that parents should also do stuff like not let kids have computers in their rooms when they're young. And even after that, make some attempt to monitor what they're doing. With them knowing of course... no sneaking behind their backs or anything.

    Finally... I think there are *really* dangerous sites out there... and I don't know how it works, but I think they certainly need removing/banning or whatever. I'm not talking about porn.. but like websites that encourage eating disorders / self-harm. I think its terrible tbh... they pretend like they're there for support, and as a result people can often find them when looking for help. And then instead of being a supportive environment, its one where people manipulate each other, and turn everything into a competition with triggering content. Yeah those horrible websites need to go. (rant over :p )
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it is taught in schools... every year. We've just fineshed a 6 week course on it (so thats 3 IT lessons a week, each one hour... soo whats that? 18 hours?)
    Xx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Really curious, can you describe what the 6 weeks covers - what you're actually taught? Might help provide some understand for those of us who went to school before computers were invented :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it is taught in schools... every year.


    But teaching about internet safety isn't compulsory in schools is it? I read something about it becoming compulsory but can't remember when.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    haha, well...
    We did this thing called "watch out or elf" about a fictional character who was named "elf" and pretened to be a child on a social networking site. We then had to design a website about a crime on the internet and how to be safe. It was made really fun, we did photoshop images of people and stuff like that... and the websites, we each designed our own, had information on them as to how to keep safe and what to aviod. Thats for 12/13 year olds. Last year we did a simliar thing, 11/12 year olds, and had to do a powerpoint on what is and isn't safe on the internet.
    We are currently doing web validity, which is teaching us not to belive everything on the internet (I would like to add that during the web validity work, wiki is banned haha!)
    Xx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh, and I don't know if it's compulsory. But I've been to 4 schools and done it in all of them as far as I can remember, they are even touching on it at my half sisters nursery now.
    Xx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    my ten year old has had a few lessons on internet safety, on social networking website safety like who to add and who to deny.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it is taught in schools... every year. We've just fineshed a 6 week course on it (so thats 3 IT lessons a week, each one hour... soo whats that? 18 hours?)
    Xx

    Really, that's good.
    When I was at school, I only remember hearing about lessons on internet safety. At that time there was a storyline in coronation street where Sarah Platt met that guy off the internet. So, she came to my school to have a talk to the years below me, about being safe on the internet.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey all, just thought I'd see if anyone had any other thoughts on this. It's been really useful so far :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    These are questions for Derek Wyatt too, I'd say.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Banning Facebook would be a big help. *had a couple of weeks worth of incidents at work caused by the bloody thing*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Banning Facebook would be a big help. *had a couple of weeks worth of incidents at work caused by the bloody thing*

    :confused:

    Surely caused by the people who use it, rather than the site itself...?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    :confused:

    Surely caused by the people who use it, rather than the site itself...?

    definitely, why should we/legitimate users suffer because a few people use it to bully people,

    the same was said with mobiles when they first got big, a lot of people got abusive/threatening sms messages and people screamed "ban mobiles" etc.

    You can't ban stuff because people use it irresponsibly, does that mean we should banned, Alcohol, Cars, Bikes and anything else that someone could use irresponsibly,

    A better option would be banning the idiots who use them idiotically.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    :confused:

    Surely caused by the people who use it, rather than the site itself...?


    Unfortunately the problem with message boards is that it's often difficult to convey emotion.

    I'm sick of Facebook, I'm sick of some of the people who use it to make other people's lives a misery. My frustrations have run away from me and manifested themselves in a desire to ban the bloody thing :lol:;)


    It is worth pointing out however that social networking sites have facilitated a whole new way of bullying people, which from the experience I've had at work is really quite insidious and distressing for the people involved.

    The words "I'm gonna fucking kill you and burn your house down" are often hard to take seriously when uttered from the mouth of a 14 year old girl. When that same girl sets up an anonymous account and sends it to you in black and white or creates a group advertising for people to join the hate campaign? It can really be quite vicious.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Unfortunately the problem with message boards is that it's often difficult to convey emotion.

    I'm sick of Facebook, I'm sick of some of the people who use it to make other people's lives a misery. My frustrations have run away from me and manifested themselves in a desire to ban the bloody thing :lol:;)


    It is worth pointing out however that social networking sites have facilitated a whole new way of bullying people, which from the experience I've had at work is really quite insidious and distressing for the people involved.

    The words "I'm gonna fucking kill you and burn your house down" are often hard to take seriously when uttered from the mouth of a 14 year old girl. When that same girl sets up an anonymous account and sends it to you in black and white or creates a group advertising for people to join the hate campaign? It can really be quite vicious.

    But how is that the social networking sites problem, obviously they should remove it, and when reported they do move it, very quickly in my experience.

    I think your laying to much of the blame on the website and not enough on the individual here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hellfire wrote: »
    But how is that the social networking sites problem, obviously they should remove it, and when reported they do move it, very quickly in my experience

    It isn't. I was pointing out that social networking has, as a whole helped to facilitate a new kind of bullying that in my experience tends to be quite bad, and can become far worse than "traditional" bullying.

    Disagree with me if you like, just pointing out what i've seen and dealt with.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    It isn't. I was pointing out that social networking has, as a whole helped to facilitate a new kind of bullying that in my experience tends to be quite bad, and can become far worse than "traditional" bullying.

    Disagree with me if you like, just pointing out what i've seen and dealt with.

    Fair enough, I apologise for misunderstanding, however the way you came across was like you were blaming these websites for the bullying,
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hellfire wrote: »
    Fair enough, I apologise for misunderstanding, however the way you came across was like you were blaming these websites for the bullying,

    Nope, blaming the bullies. The websites just make it easier for them. It takes a certain kind of person to bully another in real life. It takes a much lower, cowardly kind to do it online.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We got an internet connection when I was about 7 or 8, and i had internet in my room when I was 14 ish (15 at the latest), so I pretty much grew up with it.

    Some of the stuff I got up to online when I was younger doesn't bear thinking about.

    Having said that, I never put myself in a position where I was in danger in real life. I would not have met up with anyone from the internet unless they were a friend of someone I knew in real life, and even then I told folk where I was going and how long I'd be.

    I think if young folk are told about things like the case that has been publicised recently with the girl being murdered then that's important. It's all very well saying to kids "don't smoke" but unless they've seen or heard about lung cancer it's not going to have an effect.

    I also think parents have some level of responsibility. I wasn't allowed out of the house without saying where I was going, who with and when I'd be back. If I'd said "I'm going to meet someone I met on the internet" I would have been subjected to hours of questioning!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sera wrote: »
    I also think parents have some level of responsibility. I wasn't allowed out of the house without saying where I was going, who with and when I'd be back. If I'd said "I'm going to meet someone I met on the internet" I would have been subjected to hours of questioning!

    I agree completely. My parents have me as a friend on Facebook; so do know what I get to. (it just means having put up with them constantly asking me about my stastuses - my dad now thinks I watch far too much Jonathan Ross:lol: ) And they are aware that I have met someone I met on the internet.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Finally... I think there are *really* dangerous sites out there... and I don't know how it works, but I think they certainly need removing/banning or whatever. I'm not talking about porn.. but like websites that encourage eating disorders / self-harm. I think its terrible tbh... they pretend like they're there for support, and as a result people can often find them when looking for help. And then instead of being a supportive environment, its one where people manipulate each other, and turn everything into a competition with triggering content. Yeah those horrible websites need to go. (rant over :p )

    This is the sort of thing I was talking about - http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/mar/12/self-harm
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know of a lot of sites that restrict kids from going on websites and chatting but these kids can definitely figure out a way around them!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know how safe the internet is anymore.

    There's this website that launched last week where people are posting private phone numbers and personal information about people.


    Hilarious and sacry at the same time!
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