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Solicitation and harassment much more likely in chat rooms and over IM says study

Social networking sites have been under fire for poor security measures and screening of users leading to harassment and sexual solicitation of minors using sites like MySpace and Facebook.

The results from a study were announced today that was performed by child health researchers Michele Ybarra of Internet Solutions for Kids and Kimberly Mitchell of the University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center. The goal of the study was to find where young teens and children were most likely to be the victims of unwanted sexual solicitation and harassment.

Many may think social networking sites are the most likely place for kids to be harassed online. DailyTech reported in December of 2007 that a family had sued MySpace after a teenage girl killed herself after being the victim of cyber bullying on the site. MySpace competitor Facebook was also the target of legal action last year when the New York Attorney General filed a subpoena against the site due to allegations of sexual solicitation of minors.

Contrary to the image these types of cases give social networking sites, the new study shows that young teens are much more likely to be harassed via instant messages or in chat rooms than on social networking sites.

Of the 1,600 kids between 10 and 15 years of age surveyed across the nation, 4% reported unwanted sexual solicitation and 9% reported being harassed on social networking sites. The study respondents reported 59% more solicitations were received over instant messengers and 19% more in chat rooms. Overall kids were 96% more likely to be harassed in instant messages than on a social networking site.

The study authors use this data to illustrate to parents that they need to be aware of what their children are doing online and not simply focus on social networking sites. The authors also point out that the vast majority of children using social networking, instant messages or chat rooms will never be the victims of harassment of unwanted solicitations.

Ybarra also says, “Young people experiencing problems online are often experiencing problems offline as well. We need to make sure that we are giving them the support and tools to healthfully navigate across all environments, both online and offline."



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I love the modern age.
By SavagePotato on 2/5/2008 10:35:06 AM , Rating: 4
I really love how we need studies to tell us the obvious more and more.

Parents should take care of their kids? Preposterous!

I should think not posting ones address on the internet ought to be something parents should be beating into their kids brain from the age of 5 these days, sort of along the same lines of not getting in a car with strangers.

I think now we need Jack Thompson to get behind the anti social networking site campaign for effect.




RE: I love the modern age.
By Smurfer2 on 2/5/2008 11:18:33 AM , Rating: 2
I concur!

P.S. It's actually kinda of funny and sad at the same time...


RE: I love the modern age.
By mdogs444 on 2/5/2008 11:18:59 AM , Rating: 1
I know...its like "Thank you Captain Obvious".

Now are they days when the media promotes "personal responsibility"??? How astonishing!


RE: I love the modern age.
By AlphaVirus on 2/5/2008 11:39:04 AM , Rating: 5
I dont think up-and-coming parents have a clue what perenting is though. They watch shows such as Sweet Sixteen and the like, they think spoiling their children and being their childrens freind will be the best thing.

I honestly think more parents need to act like parents and adults, take responsibility into their own hands and stop blaming everyone else. They say "Oh the teachers arent teaching enough" "The Myspaces and Facebooks are making my child depressed because of online bullies"

<In smokey the bear voice>
"Only you can prevent your childs stupidity"


RE: I love the modern age.
By BMFPitt on 2/5/2008 1:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is we're getting into second generation stupidity now. What you're seeing is the children of the children of the baby boomers. Their parents didn't know how to raise them, so they sure as hell don't know how to raise their own kids. But they do know that if a teacher disciplines your kid you can sue the school district.

When elected President, the first thing I'm gonna do is put up a bounty for the first pharma company that can come up with a passive birth control we can give to everyone at birth that has to be turned off by a pill or something. Then we can have a parenting test to get the pill.


RE: I love the modern age.
By clovell on 2/5/2008 1:47:31 PM , Rating: 1
I know you're just joking, but you wouldn't get that far.


RE: I love the modern age.
By onwisconsin on 2/5/2008 7:19:49 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the first part isn't too far from the (unfortunate) truth of many boomer parents


RE: I love the modern age.
By amanojaku on 2/5/2008 12:13:51 PM , Rating: 1
Amen! I really feel bad for the kids I will have one day. I have no sympathy for people of any age who take the 'net so seriously outside of identity theft. I find out my kids are getting hung up on cyberspace I will personally tell them to get lives.

"Daaaaad, boogerlicker0001 is making fun of me!"

"Who?"

"Boogerlicker0001! He says my MySpace theme sucks!"

"Honey, you know they found out boogerlicker0001 is a MONKEY, right?"

"But he won't stop sending me IMs!"

"Hon... why don't you act like the girls from MY day? Get drunk, get high, get gang raped by the local football team, and suffer from mental anguish for the next 20 years. THAT I can deal with."


RE: I love the modern age.
By Screwballl on 2/5/2008 5:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I really love how we need studies to tell us the obvious more and more.

Parents should take care of their kids? Preposterous!

I should think not posting ones address on the internet ought to be something parents should be beating into their kids brain from the age of 5 these days, sort of along the same lines of not getting in a car with strangers.

I think now we need Jack Thompson to get behind the anti social networking site campaign for effect.


As a parent of a 5 year old, this is something that is an uphill battle. She is starting to learn from the other kids at school that she is not responsible for her actions, it is easier to blame someone else when the wife and I are definitely not this type of person. We are still fighting it and trying to drill all this information into her brain not to give her email out to strangers, not to try to go to websites other than what she knows (disney, starfriends, webkins). We take responsibility for our actions (both of us are small town 30 year olds) but we still see people of all ages having kids and they blame everything on everyone else and take zero responsibility for their own action which really pisses me off since it is passed to the kids.


RE: I love the modern age.
By Shwanzig on 2/5/2008 6:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
QFT

Government- Remember parents it's up to us (society), not you, to raise your kids :)


Not to be picky
By uhgotnegum on 2/5/2008 11:22:04 AM , Rating: 2
I hate that I have to qualify my statement with a "my personal belief is that it's not myspace/facebook's responsibility, but the responsibility of the parents..." but in any case...

I think the title is a smidge misleading, because the study doesn't claim that social networking sites are not endangering children...it does report that it's significantly less dangerous, which I think is the point




RE: Not to be picky
By VahnTitrio on 2/5/2008 12:50:32 PM , Rating: 3
Having an email account isn't 100% safe either. The internet is a very useful tool, and yet can be dangerous. The bottom line is the user is the best defender against any harm that can come via the internet. Sure there are tools and systems out there to help protect the user, but the bottom line is those with malicious intent will find away around them anyway. Social networking or instant messaging clients really can't be expected to completely halt these things.


RE: Not to be picky
By icemansims on 2/5/2008 7:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The internet is a very useful tool, and yet can be dangerous.


So's a fork.


RE: Not to be picky
By LatinMessiah on 2/5/2008 8:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
You mean a knife. Forks are safe.


RE: Not to be picky
By Screwballl on 2/6/2008 12:05:08 PM , Rating: 1
really? forks are safe?

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=950...

quote:
Preforked children not killed when parent is killed


#!/usr/bin/perl
# preforker - server who forks first
use strict;
use warnings;

use IO::Socket;
use Symbol;
use POSIX;

# establish SERVER socket, bind and listen.
my $server = IO::Socket::INET->new(
LocalPort => 6969,
Type => SOCK_STREAM,
Proto => 'tcp',
Reuse => 1,
Listen => 10
)
or die "making socket: $@\n";


Just ask Christopher1
By arazok on 2/5/2008 11:45:11 AM , Rating: 4
Who needs a study when we have our own resident pervert here at DailyTech?!

Christopher1, what's your preferred channel for luring kids? Facebook, IM, or are you an old fashion boy scout leader?




RE: Just ask Christopher1
By tumby1974 on 2/5/2008 12:00:55 PM , Rating: 3
LOL. No kidding. What he believes as acceptable is astonishing.


RE: Just ask Christopher1
By SavagePotato on 2/5/2008 5:39:29 PM , Rating: 1
We have a 16 year old part time student that answers phones, I tease him all the time that I'm going to sign him up for NAMBLA if he doesn't do his job.

Maybe I'll start teasing him about setting him up with cristopher1.


brought to you by...
By Crucial on 2/5/2008 10:43:37 AM , Rating: 1
Were these studies funded by facebook and myspace?




RE: brought to you by...
By toadzky on 2/5/08, Rating: -1
RE: brought to you by...
By OPR8R on 2/5/2008 1:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
The results of studies can vary, sometimes depending on who conducted them.

Anyway, these "study" results seem to be a weak attempt to shift negative focus from social networking sites to instant messaging.

Maybe playing in the park is more dangerous for kids than hanging out on MySpace, but that doesn't change anything about the nature of social networking sites.


RE: brought to you by...
By Hoser McMoose on 2/6/2008 5:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about studies, but this definitely matches what I've seen/heard from various on-line sites. I participate in a variety of on-line sites including some chat rooms with a wide variety of ages. The kids there are ALWAYS complaining about all the pervs that hit on them in chat rooms and IMs. But over MySpace or Facebook? Pretty much never.

Fun test for people who doubt this, go into any chatroom with a username like 'sexijenny13' and see how long it takes for some old guy to ask if you want to cyber. Last time I did this I had 5 messages within 10 seconds (which naturally lead to many lulz given that I'm a guy in my 20s).


By kattanna on 2/5/2008 1:05:10 PM , Rating: 3
its stated as

quote:
Solicitation and harassment much more likely in chat rooms and over IM says study


when it should really read

quote:
Solicitation and harassment much more likely at home or with relatives


and thats the real sad truth.




By therealnickdanger on 2/5/2008 11:21:45 AM , Rating: 2
A new study? Wait, AIM is to blame? Hey, that's catchy! Quick, to the streets!!! Call the neighbors! Call the PTA! Let's meet at the capital!

When Animals Attack!
Paper Tiger Edition




By HighWing on 2/5/2008 2:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Young people experiencing problems online are often experiencing problems offline as well .


Gee isn't that what most of us with some common sense have known for awhile? Whenever a case hits the news about one of these sites being sued for something that happened to a child, there are always hints that the child's life was not exactly perfect as well, but never really any talk about it. I like to think that this study is confirming what the news media and many of these dumb parents like to ignore. The blame falls mostly on the people in the child's life, because after all it's what the child learned that affects what the child does.




Too fast?
By intogamer on 2/5/2008 6:43:57 PM , Rating: 2
It goes to show that technology and society are outpacing parents.




"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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