Peer to Peer

Friday, January 23, 2009

Transcript

Last year, 49 state attorneys general created The Internet Safety Technical Task Force to study the problem of how to keep kids safer online. A year later, the task force's findings have caused some controversy. Namely that the biggest threat to kids on the internet comes from their peers. Task force member and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute Stephen Balkam discusses the study.

Comments [11]

Rocio

On the other hand; I forgot, situations like you seem to have in USA with imprisoning and law suits against silly naive parents is really remarkable when there are mistreated or abused children. The abused children need more help from the society and the police than naked babies on a photo need.

Mar. 04 2009 09:36 AM
Rocio

David; I have grown up. Have you or do you just have issues with people who don´t share your opinion? And why is it worse to show naked pictures of older children or adults? THey can at least choose but these tiny babies are supposed to be protected and why do parents hang them out on the web? And maybe you and those parents can learn, like I have, that you can share millions of pictures with people you know without involving all people in the webworld. YOu can make pictures private and for friends. Did you know that, David? And by the way, why do always people like you, who preach for a naked child in public, say "grow up"? Our grown-up society is the dressed one and that is what consideration and adult behaviour is about. And if those parents wants to make a statement about nudeness then why don´t they post themselves naked on the web?

Mar. 04 2009 09:33 AM
David from Rhode Island

Rocio - Are you kidding??? Ridiculous. Sharing pictures of your infants with family is age old, and often in the pictures the babies are naked. I remember an issue of Life magazine where there was a picture of a mother lying on her bed reaching for her naked baby, sheer joy on her face. By the way, she was naked too, and Life actually showed her bare breast. Shocking!!

These days, families often live far apart and more and more they share pictures via the internet. These kinds of pictures are as natural and normal as can be. When they get older, you stop having pictures of them naked. It is normal judgement to know when it is OK for it and when not. Just like people will let toddlers of opposite sex take a bath together, then not when they get older. Grow up.

Feb. 07 2009 10:03 PM
John Halligan from Vermont

I agree with this 100%. When I lost my son Ryan to suicide in 2003, it was revealed he was the victim of bullying and cyber bullying by his peers. A boy spread a rumor at school and on-line that he was gay at the end of 7th grade. My son tried to establish a relationship with one of the pretty popular girls at his school on-line ... I sure as a way to address the gay rumor ... she pretended to like him back but set him up for humiliation by sharing their personal exchanges with her friends. She told him when they returned to school for 8th grade that he was a loser and that she was just joking and really did not like him. Sure, this kind of behavior has been going on since the beginning of time, but technology enables this hurt to be accelerated and amplified to levels most of us would have a hard time surviving emotionally. Adolescence is often referred to the toughest times by most adults. We should all pause and try to imagine reliving those years in today's world enabled with anonymous texting and cell phone picture/video invasions by those peers bent on terrorizing others. http://www.ryansstory.org

Feb. 07 2009 07:27 AM
Rocio

I wonder why parents put up pictures of their naked children if they are aware of the situation with "fear for pedophiles"? One issue is fear of pedophiles but also a respect for privacy. Once and for all, and maybe sad, we live in a "dressed" society and where I live it is even a crime to walk naked around the streets and all public areas. So why should we put up pictures with the naked babies? Isn´t it enough for them to run around with their folks? Is it necessary to post naked pictures ? We have our "dressed" history and culture and whether it is good or bad, I don´t see the point in exploiting children and their naked bodies. That seems to be the issue to many parents but if they just let their kids run naked and "unseen by the webworld" then should that harm the child and its view on its naked body? Are "natural naked" and "naked in public" necessarily synonyms?

Feb. 07 2009 06:11 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

How did "no" creep in there? MS, I guess.

Jan. 29 2009 02:58 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

There is a big problem around this issue in part because knowledge about pedophilia was so suppressed for so long and now that charges are so widespread and, in some cases, so ancient it has no become almost a national obsession. We see predators around every corner and find enough to feed the frenzy.

There is, in these cases, no presumption of innocence and for that we can mourn.

Jan. 29 2009 02:55 AM
David from Rhode Island

David Parks - That has to be one of the most moronic comments ever posted on here. On so many levels.

So your reasoning is, we should all decide what the single biggest problem facing the whole world is, and only focus on that. Because anything else is less of a problem and therefore we are wasting time focusing on it. Brilliant.

And sure, let's prevent kids from having access to a technology that is clearly ubiquitous and critical to functioning in our world today. We should take away telephones too, because people used to, and maybe still do, make obscene phone calls and kids might pick up the phone.

Or maybe the answer is to study the problem, understand it, and try to come up with the best, though clearly not perfect, solution. And by the way, people do try and demand those protections you mention for kids (and adults) all the time. It is called welfare, Medicaid, SCHIP, Head Start, and many many other programs. Yeesh. There should be an IQ test before they let people comment on here.

Jan. 26 2009 02:31 PM
Betsy Ross

I would like to know how many parents, who love/cherish their children, have been prosecuted in the US for photographing their naked children as the children were growing up. I have heard horror stories for years about parents losing their kids, going to jail & having to go through horrendous court trials, where they've had to endure unimaginable & embarrassing accusations from & in front of strangers... including media personnel... all because they took photos of their nude child, documenting their growth or some precious moment. I've heard of workers in photo-developing shops calling law enforcement over obviously innocent naked baby or naked toddler shots. Now, with digital & the internet, what of those parents who email innocently & lovingly taken photos to their friends/family, or post such photos on their web pages?

Though it's true there are loads of perverts out there, the destruction of innocent families should also be criminal. There is a tradition in the US to hunt indecency/perversion to the point that the hunt/hunter become themselves perverted in the obsession to expose/destroy indecency (or what THEY term "indecent"). One of our most recent Attorneys General was actually so prudish that he requested nude/semi-nude art covered.

So are we all supposed to teach our children to feel shame about their & other's bodies? That the naked form is disgusting, ugly, embarrassing & shameful? Wouldn't the opposite be a better idea?

Though this is not a perfect world, any legislation must be incredibly carefully written, not only to prosecute the guilty, but also to protect the innocent... parents as well as children. The trauma of wrong prosecutions is far too devastating to be easily undertaken by witch hunters or media-mad psychos trying to make headlines for themselves.

Jan. 26 2009 04:40 AM
Betsy Ross

I would like to know how many parents, who love/cherish their children, have been prosecuted in the US for photographing their naked children as the children were growing up. I have heard horror stories for years about parents losing their kids, going to jail & having to go through horrendous court trials, where they've had to endure unimaginable & embarrassing accusations from & in front of strangers... including media personnel... all because they took photos of their nude child, documenting their growth or some precious moment. I've heard of workers in photo-developing shops calling law enforcement over obviously innocent naked baby or naked toddler shots. Now, with digital & the internet, what of those parents who email innocently & lovingly taken photos to their friends/family, or post such photos on their web pages?

Though it's true there are loads of perverts out there, the destruction of innocent families should also be criminal. There is a tradition in the US to hunt indecency/perversion to the point that the hunt/hunter become themselves perverted in the obsession to expose/destroy indecency (or what THEY term "indecent"). One of our most recent Attorneys General was actually so prudish that he requested nude/semi-nude art covered.

So are we all supposed to teach our children to feel shame about their & other's bodies? That the naked form is disgusting, ugly, embarrassing & shameful? Wouldn't the opposite be a better idea?

Though this is not a perfect world, any legislation must be incredibly carefully written, not only to prosecute the guilty, but also to protect the innocent... parents as well as children. The trauma of wrong prosecutions is far too devastating to be easily undertaken by witch hunters or media-mad psychos trying to make headlines for themselves.

Jan. 26 2009 04:40 AM
David Parks

Peer to Peer
" Last year, 49 state attorneys general created The Internet Safety Technical Task Force to study the problem of how to keep kids safer online. "

Can someone, maybe half a planet away, reach through their computers and grab children or anyone else? What about their cell phone? ... could that endanger them?
There are children in the USA who don't have enough food, clothing and medical care , who live in poor housing and dangerous neighborhoods ... but no one demands their protection ... if someone did they would branded as socialists .
Get rid of the computer if you fell so threatened.

Jan. 25 2009 05:36 PM

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