Chelsea Clinton: We Must Protect The Children On The Internet

from the oh-come-on dept

Adam Singer points us to a silly and vapid op-ed piece from CNN written by Chelsea Clinton (daughter of Bill) and James Steyer (founder, boss of Common Sense Media, an operation that has done some good, but lately is getting the reputation of being anti-internet) entitled is the Internet hurting children? Just the fact that it would lead with such a ridiculous question gives you an idea of how problematic the entire piece is. It's written as if they haven't been aware that such a "debate" has gone on for ages. Take this, for example:
We urgently need a public conversation in our country among key stakeholders: parents, educators, technology innovators, policymakers and young people themselves. The dialogue must focus on the ways social media and technology enable our kids to give up their privacy before they fully understand what privacy is and why it's important to all of us. We should also discuss how social media can help empower kids to find their voice, find their purpose and potentially create the next technology revolution.

All adults know that the teen years are a critical time for identity exploration and experimentation. Yet this important developmental phase can be dramatically twisted when that identity experimentation, however personal and private, appears permanently on one's digital record for all to see.
Every few months, we see basically the same announcement from some somber-looking-concerned-person-of-importance who seems to feel they just discovered the internet. Suddenly, this person realizes that, you know what, not everything on the internet is appropriate for children, and then, suddenly, "we need to have a conversation." You know what? That conversation has been going on for ages, and there's tons of great research being done already. Don't ask for a conversation in a silly paternalistic tone. How about you go talk to researchers like Danah Boyd, who has done some really fantastic work in the space that involves (*gasp*!) actually going and talking to kids and seeing how they use the internet, rather than making that concerned pouty face about the need for "a conversation."

Even worse, after admitting that they haven't been a part of the ongoing conversation, Clinton and Steyer immediately jump to the "but we need laws!" as the answer. Notice that it's the very first thing they suggest:
We need legislation, educational efforts and norms that reflect 21st-century realities to maximize the opportunities and minimize the risks for our kids. Only then will we be able to give them the safe, healthy childhood and adolescence they deserve.
We've gone through this dozens of time. No, the internet is not perfectly safe for kids, but neither is walking down the street. In some cases, you don't let your kids walk down the street alone, but as they get older, you teach them how to have a basic sense of street smarts, and you give them more power. None of that required special "protect the children!" laws. It does seem clear that kids need to learn some "internet street smarts," but that shouldn't require legislation. We've already seen how "protect the children" legislation has backfired in a big bad way.

For example, we already have COPPA, which basically makes it very very very difficult for companies to offer services to kids under 13-years-old. But this artificial barrier means that parents lie to help get their kids online. It's not clear how that "protects" those kids. It doesn't keep them offline, but it does teach them that lying is a good idea.

So rather than rushing to regulate, and acting all "concerned" about children -- most of whom do a pretty good job on their own figuring out how to stay safe -- perhaps we shouldn't just look at the exceptional cases and jump to legislation, but figure out what a reasonable response should be by taking more typical usage into account. You're never going to stop kids from doing stupid things. It's part of growing up. We can certainly help to educate kids, but taking on a totally paternalistic role is bound to backfire.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    fb39ca4, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:37am

    I am 15 years old and I can say that COPPA has stunted my internet development and made me turn to lies. I made my first email account at age 8 and I had to "borrow" my parents' credit card. Since then, I have had to lie about my age in many places. Facebook and Gmail currently think I am 25, not 15. Please end this insanity and let us kids be kids.

     

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    A Guy (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:39am

    for the children

    We should censor everything I don't like on the internet... for the children.

    We should also print up a big batch of money and transfer it into my bank account... for the children.

    Finally, we NEED everyone who disagrees with me to stop speaking up so I have all the power... for the children.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:44am

    Blah blah blah. Just more excuses to give government control of the 'Net.

     

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    Applesauce, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:45am

    James Steyer is a lawyer, Chelsea is the daughter of two lawyers. Of course, the first (and only) thing they think is that we need more laws.

    When the only tool you have is a hammer...

     

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  5.  
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    Keii (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Re: for the children

    I think I need another cup of coffee... for the children.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:49am

    Chelsea? Really?

    I think Chelsea should be far more concerned about her father having access to children than them having access to the Internet...

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:50am

    What is really hurting the children?

    Lazy parenting.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:52am

    with all the attention being raised at how 'the children' must be protected from internet porn (kids and porn should never mix but why must it be up to anyone/everyone else to do the parenting?) would someone like to point me to any case where law enforcement are acting to close down an internet porn site? i can only find cases where alleged copyright infringing websites are targeted but i cant for the life of me think how that is more 'dangerous' than porn, unless, of course, you take the punishment of life imprisonment that is now being made available for downloading a few movies. now that is dangerous!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:53am

    What I don't fucking understand is all these stupid articles written by the establishment saying all these little tiny things are destroying children. No. You are destroying children by denying them proper education and by being lazy parents.

     

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  10.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:57am

    Re:

    Because fearmongering is how the establishment stays in power.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    Law Hammer! Protecting the children from the evils of danger! Law Hammer! Delivering justice like Walker, Texas Ranger! Law Hammer! You would think a more subtle and helpful tool would suffice! Law Hammer! Yeah, like society could use a Law Floatation Device!

    Law Hammer!

     

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    John Doe, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:00am

    Today's children must be the happiest, healthiest, most well adjusted in the history of man

    With all the "for the children" stuff going on, the children today must be the happiest, healthiest, safest and most well adjusted children in the history of man.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:03am

    Buy a clue, Chelsea and James: Kids are more internet-savvy than their parents, and they can learn about drugs, porn, self-harm, and violence in pretty much every high school across the country. If you haven't taught your kid to be wary by the age of 12, they're going to have problems with or without the internet involved.

    For parents, I suggest making a list of things your child should never say online and drill it into them until they feel uncomfortable even reminding their bff of their mailing address over email. If you really want to make them safe, I mean. And don't sweat the badly drawn cartoon porn. Focus on safety.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:04am

    What's the old rule? If the title of the article is a question, the answer is probably no?

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:05am

    Re: What is really hurting the children?

    I don't know if it's entirely lazy parenting but I almost threw up a little when I read
    We urgently need a public conversation in our country among key stakeholders: parents, educators, technology innovators, policymakers and young people themselves.
    No, what needs to happen is a private conversation amongst the only "stakeholders": parents and children. It doesn't need to be public, it doesn't need to involve educators or technology makers and heaven help us if policymakers of any kind are involved.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:05am

    The whole purpose behind the actions and opinions of Chelsea Clinton and James Steyer are to bring about a paternalistic system of governance where they and people like them get to tell us what to do.
    This can be seen in the anthropogenic climate issue, fast and furious, the list go on and on.

     

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    Liz (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:05am

    Is the Internet hurting children?


    When the simple answer to a headline like that is, "No," then I don't see why the rest of the article should be written.

     

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    BreadGod (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:08am

    There's that convenient excuse of "protect the children" again. I swear, someone needs to create a "protect the children" equivalent of Godwin's Law.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:08am

    Y'know, this particular bit of grandstanding might actually have some use. Someone with political clout is freaking out about privacy on social networks, and wants new legislation? How about a law against potential employers logging onto would-be employees' social network accounts? Y'know, so teenagers' "wild years" don't come back to bite them later on.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:09am

    First we have to protect children from books, plays, telephones, radio, movies, TV, drive-in theaters, pools, parking lots, dancing, and from information concerning their ability to procreate.

    After that is done, then we can get started shutting down the internet to protect the children.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: What is really hurting the children?

    Educators are involved by default because we have to have policies about what sites to block at school and which ones to leave alone. (I favor leaving most of them alone.) To be honest, we're pulled between different parents with different preferences, and we have to find a happy medium. That makes us stakeholders, albeit mostly passive ones until the parents who want to block every site they disagree with come along. Then we're not so passive anymore.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:10am

    Her mom wrote a book about it taking a "village" (read: Federal Government) to raise a child.

    What else would you expect from Chelsea?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:12am

    To borrow a sentence construction from Jason Mazzone: When Chelsea Clinton, speaking from firsthand experience of the effects wide broadcast of inappropriate acts can have on children, demands greater protection for children online, we should listen.

    Nah, I'm just kidding. I think Chelsea is all right, and generally fairly sharp, but this is a pretty ignorant position for her to hold.

     

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    Eponymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:12am

    Here's a thought experiment:

    I think we need to protect the children too. From organized religion.

    We urgently need a public conversation in our country among key stakeholders: people of faith, believers in science, and young people themselves. This dialogue should focus on the benefits of organized religion. But it should also recognize that the influence of organized religion has been linked bigotry, hatred, racism, and discrimination, in several well-documented cases, crusades, jihads, and terrorism.

    We need legislation, educational efforts and norms that reflect 21st-century realities to maximize the opportunities and minimize the risks for our kids from organized religion.

    Oh, you don't like that? You attend a Methodist church?

    Well, then, how about you protect your children from what you think children need to be protected from, and I'll protect my children from what I think children need to be protected from.

     

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  25.  
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    Doc, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:14am

    Can not have children forming their own opinion

    No, we must have them properly indoctrinated, so we can't allow them to circumvent what we are trying to beat into their heads, we have to control the Internet... Just like every other communist and totalitarian country does...

    Once upon a time the US was a beacon of freedom - now it isn't, heck China seems to be freer than the US these days... That is a SAD state of affairs.

     

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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:17am

    Maybe Chelsea should be lobbying for laws that prevent stupid people from having kids?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:17am

    Finally, someone thinks of them.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    What is porn? What is a kid?

    When kids get sexually interested, we call them teenagers, and they will find material about sex. I snuck my mother's romance novels, and those were pretty steamy. (I can still only remember the sex scenes in "Clan of the Cave Bear". I'm told I'm not missing much.) Other teenagers found an older person's porn stash or bought magazines. In today's world, teenagers do have easier access to porn, but difficulty of access or threat of discovery didn't stop earlier generations.

    Also, I have yet to see a study that clearly connects access to porn with earlier, more frequent, or more risky sexual behavior in teens. If you've seen such a study, please point me to it.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    You just did.

     

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  30.  
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    Gwiz (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:21am

    Re:

    First we have to protect children from books, plays, telephones,.......

    Don't forget about other kids too. They can be soooo mean sometimes.

    We wouldn't want little Johnny's delicate psyche to suffer any damage before it can be properly crushed by the school of hard knocks when he reaches adulthood.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:24am

    Old people keep trying to restrict kids access to the net because kids keep using it to make the old people obsolete. On other words, the old people can't compete so they need to be protected from the children. Sound familiar?

     

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  32.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:30am

    Re:

    We urgently need a public conversation in our country among key stakeholders: parents, educators, musicians, policymakers and young people themselves. The dialogue must focus on the ways Rock-and-Roll music influences kids to give up their modesty before they fully understand what love between a husband and wife is and why it's important to all of us. We should also discuss how music can help empower kids to find their voice, find their purpose and potentially enrich artistic culture.

    All adults know that the teen years are a critical time for identity exploration the growth of faith. Yet this important developmental phase can be dramatically twisted when obscene music, however melodic, alters one's peceptions to love and its physical expressions for life.


    I close my eyes and I can smell the 50s. Oddly it's like TV dinners and irrational social repression.

     

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  33.  
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    Overcast (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:33am

    Who is she again?

     

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  34.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:34am

    Re:

    No, I think Hillary wrote the book literally, that she hires people who live in foreign villages as cheap labor to work as nannies to raise her children.

     

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  35.  
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    Rich Kulawiec, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    How about a law against potential employers logging onto would-be employees' social network accounts?

    This is

    a) already in process or enacted in some places (e.g., Maryland)

    b) but it won't help.

    Thanks to entirely porous "security" at social networks, meager-to-nonexistent protections against insider attacks and data exfiltration, and the soon-to-come mandatory back doors, it's a near-certainty that every scrap of data held by every social network will -- sooner or later -- be for sale on the open market.

    It will be purchased in bulk by brokers who will turn it over to skilled programmers capable of de-anonymizing it (if necessary/desirable) and of correlating multiple collections with each other to produce more enriched databases. These in turn will be combined with other data sources (e.g., CarrierIQ, Euclid, etc.) further enriching the result. The final product will be sanitized and marketed as a service to employers seeking to screen employees. This will provide not only all the information they could possibly want, but it will come with a handy dose of plausible deniability for all involved.

    They won't need to log on to anybody's account.

    p.s. Danah Boyd does excellent work. She's so good that she's making me reconsider my long-held position that Microsoft should be burned to the ground, sown with salt, covered in toxic waste and nuked from orbit. Really, though, go read her work. All of it. It's absolutely worth the investment of your time.

     

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  36.  
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    iambinarymind (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:39am

    More Power for Coercive Government?

    Is it something that will give the leviathan that is the current state of coercive government in the USSA?

    Then they will push for a law.

    This is why there's always so much government backing over environmental issues and "saving the children". Will it give the people calling themselves government more power? Then the government people are behind it 110%...using the money they stole from you to take away ever more of the freedom you have left.

    I believe Tacitus said it best:
    "The more corrupt the State, the more it legislates."

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:40am

    Another ignorant person acting like they know something no one else does.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re:

    Captain Law Hammer. He must protect the children.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:43am

    I like how they cite the Children's Television Act as a positive example. Isn't that the law that led to a massive drop in both local programming and educational children's shows?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:49am

    more harm done to kids when the parents get caught having affairs. she ok?

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:49am

    CPS Approves 3-year-old on Psychotropic Risperdal, antipsychotic.

    But yet the Government can treat kids like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXt9c8s4o50&sns=fb

     

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  42.  
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    Hypnosis Blogger, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Really?!

    Really?!

    Protect the children? Chelsea Clinton? How about "Protect the Interns?"

    The politicians really need to come up with some new battle cries...

     

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  43.  
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    Jay (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Re:

    It's called Pedo's Law.

     

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  44.  
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    Kerry, May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:09am

    15 and on Techdirt

    I thought that you had to be 18 to comment on Techdirt or at least have a MCSE, MCP, CCIE, RHEL Cert, CEH or some other SANS cert... Oh yeah 15 is about the right age then never mind.

     

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    meddle (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:13am

    I got an idea -- Chelsea can worry about Chelsea's family, and I will take care of mine. Nobody in my (immediate) family has taken advantage of any interns at work, and I don't invest in Tyson.

     

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    Dustin, May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:16am

    education is the way...not filters

     

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    GeneralEmergency (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:18am

    I have a better idea.

    .

    If I'm not mistaken, we adults outnumber the "Children" at least 8 to 1.

    Let's kick 'em off the frikkin' internet and tell them to go do their god-damned homework and -then- clean that pig sty of a room!

    And...if they get that done, reward them with a nice bedtime story about the four Piggy-Bears, Bill, Hillary, Monica and little Chelsea. Oh! And tonight's chapter is "The Attack of the Sloppy Cigar Monster"..

    .

     

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  48.  
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    meddle (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: What is really hurting the children?

    That does not mean you are a stakeholder. If you are an educator, then you are a supplier. Still a massive step above Chelsea, she's not in my child management plan at all.

     

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    Robert (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:20am

    Re: Chelsea? Really?

    Her father is not Michael Jackson.

     

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  50.  
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    meddle (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re:

    You are so wrong.
    We all know that before the internet, there was no teenage sex, bullying, porn, rape, or any other bad thing. Just listen to the news.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What is really hurting the children?

    I have a state-mandated responsibility to educate students. The tools I can and can't access affect my ability to do that. Therefore, I am a stakeholder. It's about being able to do my job and serve the kids well.

    I didn't say I was a majority stakeholder - I'm not - but please don't dismiss the issues faced by those in professions that interact with kids and the internet.

    By the same token, I'd argue that anyone who posts anything online is a small bit of a stakeholder in this, because any outcome going beyond a simple conversation between parent and child could easily impact them. Take voluntary isp filters, for example, or filters offered by private companies. Who gets on the filter and in what capacity could become a major issue. Additionally, companies that serve minors online, with email/music/games/educational content/whatever, have a stake in the process of stripping COPPA of its ridiculous hoops and limitations.

    The real situation is unfortunately messier than your admittedly appealing framework suggests.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:44am

    Nuff said

    "Movies today -- even G-rated ones -- contain significantly more sex and violence"

     

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  53.  
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    Robert (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:49am

    Simple Formula

    CwK+RtL
    Connect with Kids and give them a Reason to Learn.

    This involves something strange to some parents (who are quick to join the PTA groups in protest of Internet sites but slow to actually talk with their children), you have to talk with them, respect them (rather than demand it, show how to respect, from toddler forward, from privacy to admitting when you are wrong), and most of all, listen to them.

    Instead of preaching, just listen.

    This can be applied to adults too. It's amazing how far you get when you don't simply dictate and disrespect.

     

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  54.  
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    Ninja (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:50am

    Re:

    It's refreshing to see our kids have a clue. Good for the next generation that's gonna be in Congress.

     

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    Rekrul, May 22nd, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Chelsea looks better with curly hair...

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What is really hurting the children?

    This is why I put stakeholder in quotes. The safety of my children is the responsibility of me and my children, entirely mine when they are born, graduating slowly to be entirely theirs once they are of age. In executing my responsibility, I may or may not call in for help from others, but that responsibility still ultimately rests with me. Some parents and/or children may request the help of educators. Some parents and/or children may request the help of filters, and they can request what does or does not get on those filters. In any case, the conversations that happen with educators, filter makers, or any other outside help, needs to happen after the private conversation between parents and children and still does not need to be public. Policymakers should absolutely be a very last resort.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    Maybe they should think before they speak

    Did it ever occur to Ms. Clinton that the children who are at most risk and need the most protection, don't even have internet access?

    As for the rest, why not let the parents decide what their children need protection from?

     

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  58.  
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    Robert (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Maybe they should think before they speak

    I believe Mrs Hillary Clinton feels that, based on a lot of evidence, a large number (not all, but large enough to be significant) of "parents" in the US do not properly parent.

    Their excuses are likely: no time, no energy, too much work, kids these days, etc...

    Many "parents" plop the kid infront of the TV to keep them occupied instead of spending a little quality time with them. It can help the parent relax if they really try (see Tiger Mother - her real trick wasn't being strict, it was spending time with her daughter while she practiced or did homework) to focus on helping their kids.

    And also many "parents" should stop relying on the education system to raise their children, that's their job not the job of the teachers. The teachers are to teach math, language, history, science, etc... the parents are to teach LIFE skills.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    When is safe too safe?

    This reminds me of an article I read a while back on making playgrounds too safe. Basically being too safe is hampering emotional development of a child since they don't experience any dangers.

    Not the same article I read but very similar.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/science/19tierney.html

     

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  60.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Good thing that's sarcasm, because every one of my aunts were mothers before they were eighteen, and they grew up well before the internet.

     

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  61.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Written by Pedobear.

     

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  62.  
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    meddle (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What is really hurting the children?

    In the raising of my children, you are not a stakeholder. I pay you to educate my child, so you are a supplier. You are a stakeholder of the process in your school or district.

    I am in no way trying to minimize your role. You are probably a good teacher, as most of may children's teacher have been. But there have been a few that have to be reminded of their actual role. And it really makes me angry when I read this "it takes a village" nonsense.

    My daughter says that only four out of her seven teachers actually teach. Some show videos, and others just assign reading from the book.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    It's a trick... the government wants your childrens data

    As adults we've already given over our rights to privacy to the government (not in reality, but effectively we have)...
    Chelsea's just being a good spokesperson for the Man... She's gently pushing us toward legislation that will require all internet activity by minors to be recorded by the government...
    Just wait and see .... mwahahahahaha

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    It's a trick... the government wants your childrens data

    As adults we've already given over our rights to privacy to the government (not in reality, but effectively we have)...
    Chelsea's just being a good spokesperson for the Man... She's gently pushing us toward legislation that will require all internet activity by minors to be recorded by the government...
    Just wait and see .... mwahahahahaha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Austin, May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Darwin is correct

    I got my first laptop when I was 4, and my first dialup account when I was 9. It took me less than 3 hours online to determine that I should use an alias instead of my real name, and less than 2 days to develop a full persona for use online. I learned many new words, better grammar, and generally became a smarter person. Meanwhile, I had near-total privacy.

    As far as I am concerned, if any other child is too stupid to figure out that they, too, should actively defend their own privacy, then they deserve to lose it, plain and simple. Survival of the non-dumbest, I say.

     

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  66.  
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    trilobug, May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    I don't know about you guys but next time I log into Netflix and have to choose "Netflix" or "Netflix for kids" I'm going ape-shit. Everytime? Arrgh!

    That said I would kill to be young again.

     

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  67.  
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    Beta (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    the desire to have something and yet to forbid it

    If the purpose of this were really to prevent young people from committing online indiscretions that they would later regret, the best way to do it would be by allowing anonymity and pseudonymity. Put an end to laws requiring identification, data retention and traceability. (Some online services would still require these things, but some wouldn't, and users who wanted privacy could find it.)

    But of course this would clash with the other thing that all lawyers and lawmakers want: the ability to trace other people and find out what they've been up to.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re: Chelsea? Really?

    Are you sure?

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Re:

    Depending on who is asking and how the question is set up I am between 21 and 111 currently, with a birthday of January 1st. I wonder what percentage of people on the internet share my birthday compared to the percentage of birth certificates with my birtday.

    BTW my actual age is somewhere in that range, but I was not born on January 1st.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Chelsea? Really?

    Are you sure?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
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    Cowardly Anonymous, May 22nd, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Darwin is correct

    In the interest of your education*, that should be survival of the smart enough (non-dumb). Evolution produces sub-optimal results that are merely sufficient. It does not manage complete optimization (fittest/smartest/non-dumbest), nor would this be a good thing for the species if it did happen. It would render diversity too limited to cope with a changing environment.



    *Assessed age as teenager for being young enough to have a laptop at age four but older than nine by enough to have changed connection service at least once (hence stating first there). If this is an underestimate, then replace your education with correcting you. If this is an overestimate, than I will have to assign more weight to your grammar argument in light of the demonstration.

     

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  72.  
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    Rekrul, May 22nd, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    Re: When is safe too safe?

    This reminds me of an article I read a while back on making playgrounds too safe. Basically being too safe is hampering emotional development of a child since they don't experience any dangers.

    Just like the BS that every child is a winner, there are no losers is feeding the sense of entitlement that most kids today have.

     

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  73.  
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    Rekrul, May 22nd, 2012 @ 3:43pm

    Much of the original article concerns how children might post something embarrassing about themselves online and it might come back to haunt them later. Yet nobody ever criticizes the fact that today's society places way too much emphasis on the silly things that people do.

    Maybe we should worry more about how people act in person and less about the silly crap that they post online.

     

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  74.  
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    Simple Mind (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 4:33pm

    Re:

    I was brainwashed from early childhood in the beliefs of Christianity. My mother thought she was doing the right thing, so it is hard to blame her. But what was done to me was wrong!

     

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  75.  
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    Simple Mind (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 4:39pm

    Re:

    Eventually the system learns and stops asking that... unless you have kids that actually click that button sometimes.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What is really hurting the children?

    Ah, then we agree after all.

    However, I do believe that if a filter is going on the market publicly, a public discussion about how the filter works and what goes into it can only be helpful for parents. It also allows others affected by filters to add in their own notes on what their content actually is. Overall, this is why I prefer market-based filters instead of government-mandated ones, not least because they're always opt-in.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What is really hurting the children?

    If you think I'm not part of raising your child after spending 7+ hours with them 5 days a week for 40 weeks, please reconsider. To be honest, I don't actually want to be responsible for raising your child or any other except my own. However, I do a whole lot of behavior management and social training because I have to. We call it the "hidden curriculum" at the middle school level. (I don't think anyone tries to hide it at the elementary level.) I try to keep it light and directed solely at finding ways to work together effectively so we can all learn actual skills and information, but every adult who spends significant time in your child's life has an impact on how your child is raised, whether they recognize it or not. I wouldn't call it a village, but I would say that if you're not homeschooling, you have subcontracted a hefty chunk of the raising of your child to other people, which is the norm for our society at the moment.

    To address your point at the end, there is a large subset of students who believe that only lecturing is teaching. I don't happen to subscribe to that theory. If I play a video on the subject, I expect students to pay as close attention to what's in the video as they would if I were saying it myself. I'm only not saying it myself because many studies have shown that images have a far greater impact on memory than audio alone. As for bookwork, I give that too when necessary, either as homework that provides basic facts for the next day's lesson or as a type of "scavenger hunt" to provide context for a debate on a topic.

    I certainly think there are teachers who are more direct and less direct, and those who are better or not as good at their jobs or at connecting with a particular student. Methods themselves don't always prove the point either way, and the class sizes in some states don't allow for much direct teacher-to-student connection. (My sister just left a high school where the average class size in all but the AP classes was 38.) In short, there are lots of factors, and I can't really judge based on two sentences without context. Your daughter probably has additional reasons for concern beyond the methods themselves, even if I'm unaware of them.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:26pm

    As stated on "Saturday Night Live"...

    "And Chelsea does look like the lion from 'The Wizard Of Oz'."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Maybe they should think before they speak

    "Did it ever occur to Ms. Clinton that the children who are most at risk and need the most protection, don't even have internet access?"
    VERY WELL PUT, SIR!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: for the children

    I think it could be funny to setup a "For the children day", in that day you finish every sentence you post/tweet on the net with "... for the children" to show how ridiculous this phrase is... for the children.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:53pm

    QUICK FACT

    Many of the Gay Porn Blogs On Tumblr Are Run By 15 Year Olds

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
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    Niall (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 3:59am

    Re: Re:

    Trouble is, how long before any of them *are* in Congress, let alone a decent chunk?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
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    Niall (profile), May 23rd, 2012 @ 4:04am

    Re: Re: Re: for the children

    "Shoot/Fire all the lawyers and politicians... for the children!"

    Doesn't sound so ridiculous, does it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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