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Scare tactics, blocking sites can be bad for kids | InSecurity Complex – CNet News

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Scare tactics, blocking sites can be bad for kids | InSecurity Complex – CNet News

"Schools often filter sites or block social networks, believing it is in the best interest of the students," Elinor Mills writes at CNet, but "blocking the sites can have a negative effect on student safety," according to the 148-page "Youth Safety on a Living Internet" report commissioned by the US government. Among others, the report debunks the myth of widespread child sexual predation on the Internet, noting that "use of MySpace and Facebook by adolescents did not appear to increase their risk of being victimized by online predators."

While "'new' issues" like sexting have grabbed headlines, cyberbullying—particularly against GLBT youth—is a far bigger problem. Other under-reported problems are identity theft and loss of reputation. The report says child safety concerns, particularly around sexually explicit material, should be approached by promoting "media-literacy education," not "scare tactics."

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