January 17, 2012

SOCIAL MEDIA & CHILDREN: ICT Feature - Social media sites for your children

When we hear the term ‘social media sites’ we automatically think of Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. With some of the recent negativity surrounding social networking sites it’s no wonder that parents fear the worst when their children visit such sites. Yes, they can be useful for socialising, enhancing creativity and developing technical skills but according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, social media can expose children to inappropriate content and cyberbullying. So what is a parent to do?
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prevents websites from covertly collecting personal information about children under the age of thirteen. Fortunately for mums and dads of tweens eager to update their status online, there are many children-friendly social networks available which offer far better options rather than banning your child from the Web. Parents can now adopt a different approach with their children; they can make the experience safer by directing their children to a number of child-safe networking sites. These are ten sites which aim to give children a voice but still allow parents to maintain control and peace-of-mind.

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