SOCIAL NETWORKING The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
What is a Social Network? Basically, a social network is a circle of friends. Technology, through the Internet, has provided more ways than ever before to find people with whom you have things in common – now you can connect with people in your local area or anywhere in the world – people whose paths you wouldn’t ordinarily cross.
So now, essentially a social network is an online location where a user can: create their own online identity and profile include personal information, photos, blog entries and music clips share information with other people directly access even more people via the online “network”
Top Social Networking Sites • My Space • Facebook • Bebo • Black Planet • Xanga
Specialty networking sites: • www.faceparty.com • www.KU6.com • www.vampirefreaks.com • www.deviantART.com • www.zebo.com • www.dogster.com • www.catster.com
Social networking on the Internet took off several years ago, and now there are hundreds of sites that bring people together. This is GOOD! – right??!
Benefits • Stay in touch with friends • Find and connect with old friends • Make plans with others • Make new friends • Communicate over long distance
Educational Benefits • Ability to practice social skills • Show creativity • Practice using emerging technologies • Young people can express themselves without fear of rejection. • Building skills using guided social interaction such as using blogs and message boards
Other benefits • Used by businesses to connect with employees and potential clients • Used to find jobs • Used for answering problems and short queries • Great source for marketing • Law enforcement has used to deter and solve crime
THE BAD While the Internet has given us wonderful new ways to connect, not everyone out there really wants to be a friend. More and more, we need to make sure we understand the dangers found on the Web so that we can help keep ourselves, our children, and our students safe.
POP-UPS www.Myspace.com www.Xanga.com Pop-Ups Can Lure Network Users Into Areas They Don’t Need or Want to Go! www.teenagechatrooms.com
Social Network Personal Profiles • Use of personal profiles and pictures or graphics are emphasized as a way to express creativity and let the world see the user as he or she wants to be seen. • Personal information can led the user into in appropriate subject areas, such as sexual orientation. • Video and audio selections can expose users to explicit scenes and lyrics.
IDENTITY THEFT ON THE INTERNET “Young people under the age of 29 have become the number one demographic target for identity thieves.” Betsy Broder, Federal Trade Commission
IDENTITY THEFT • Most thieves target young Internet users through “Phishing” - • Use of chat rooms, specifically designed web sites, and pop-ups posing as legitimate commercial sites to entice users to divulge personal data. • These often come from well known sites such as eBay and Wells Fargo
Students need to be aware of “PHISHING” for personal information! It looks real enough, but beware of the request for personal data such as bank account numbers, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, etc. Notice that when mouse hovers over the URL – another site is shown! You can bet you won’t be taken to the first URL!
This is an example of a Geocities web page duplicating the Yahoo! login page.
Bad Blogs and Regrettable Photos • School officials are now warning that personal information and images posted online can be read by college admissions officers and future employers. • Many employers and schools regularly “Google” prospective employees and students.
In 2006, a student at TeWinkle Middle School in Costa Mesa, California, was told he faced expulsion for allegedly posting graphic, anti-Semitic threats against a classmate on his MySpace site. • Michael Guinn was dismissed from John Brown University after pictures he posted of himself in drag were found by university officials. Officials contend that the photos violated campus rules for the Christian College.
University of Oklahoma student, Saul Martinez, never imagined that a comment made on his “Facebook” account, under the title “Bush Sucks,” would lead to trouble with university officials - and the secret service appearing on his doorstep. • In May, Millersville University, in Millersville, PA, denied a woman her teaching degree just days before graduation because of a picture she posted on her “MySpace” account. The picture bore the caption, “Drunken Pirate,” and was used as evidence that she promoted underage drinking.
The Ugly . . . CYBER BULLYING Being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material using technological means; an individual or group that uses information and communication involving electronic technologies to facilitate deliberate and repeated harassment or threat to an individual or group.
Cyber Bullying Also known as: ‘Electronic Bullying’ & ‘Online Social Cruelty’
Types of Cyberbullying • “Impersonation”: Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material online that makes that person look bad, gets that person in trouble or danger, or damages that person’s reputation or friendships • “Outing and Trickery”: Sharing someone’s secret or embarrassing information online. Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information which is then shared online • “Exclusion”: Intentionally excluding someone from an on-line group, like a ‘buddy list’
Prevalence This a topic that not many adults have been talking about, but one that is all too familiar with students. Cyber bullying typically starts at about 9 years of age and usually ends after 14 years of age; after 14, it becomes cyber or sexual harassment due to nature of acts and age of actors. Parry Aftab – StopCyberbullying.org
Aftab’s Statistics • 90% of middle school students they polled had their feelings hurt online • 65% of their students between 8-14 have been involved directly or indirectly in a cyber bullying incident as the cyber bully, victim or friend • 50% had seen or heard of a website bashing of another student • 75% had visited a website bashing • 40% had their password stolen and changed by a bully (locking them out of their own account) or sent communications posing as them • Problems in studies: not assessing the ‘real thing’ Only 15% of parents polled knew what cyber bullying was
According to statistics, suicides as a result of cyberbullying are on the increase.
Cyber PredatorsCommon Characteristics • Age 25-65 • Well-Educated • Married • Crosses Socio-Economic Boundaries • Steady Employment • Varied Computer Expertise • Male
Cyber PredatorsCommunication Tools • Chat Rooms • Private Chats • Social Networking Sites – MySpace, Facebook • Blogs • IMing • E-mail • Phone
Cyber PredatorsGrooming Process • Shared Interests • Trust • Secrecy • Breaking Down Barriers • Threats • Face-to-Face Meeting
Recent News: • January 2007 – families of several teenage girls who said they were sexually assaulted by MySpace members, sued the service in January for failing to do enough to protect its members. • MySpace said it is restricted from complying because the law prevented them from disclosing electronic correspondences before obtaining a search warrant.
An agreement was reached and MySpace agreed to release the names of registered sex offenders and to remove them from the popular social networking site. MySpace partnered with Sentinel Holding Corp. to build a database with information on sex offenders in the US. • MySpace then removed about 7,000 profiles while retaining their information. As the Ohio Attorney General said, “These are only the guys who weren’t bright enough to use another name.” He was notified that 470 Ohio sex offenders used the site.
Many convicted sex offenders who had profiles are on parole and some may be sent back to jail for emailing minors. • It is up to the state courts to decide whether disclosing the private communications of its members is legally sound
Because there is so much in cyberspace, technology is way ahead of the law.
4 characteristics of online digital media to keep in mind: • Searchability – anyone, friend or foe, can find it. • Persistence – anyone can find it basically forever – tomorrow or 30 years from now. • Replicability – once they find it, they can share it – in emails, IMs, profiles, networks, etc. • Invisible audience – you don’t know who you are sharing it with, even if your page is private.
“With great power, comes great responsibility.” “Spiderman”
BFF Best Friends Forever
IKYWIMAITYD If You Know What I Mean, And I Think You Do!!
SNERT Snot Nosed Egotistical Rude Teenager
SPST Same Place, Same Time
ZZ Sleeping, Bored, Tired
For More Information: • www.wiredsafety.org • www.isafeorg • www.blogsafety.com • www.netfamilynews.org • www.aolatschool.org • www.safekids.org
Credits and Bibliography • www.isafe.org • www.wiredsafety.org • “MySpace Safety: How-to Primers” by Kevin and Dale Farnham • “USA Today” • www.myspace.com • www.facebook.com • www.blogsafety.com • www.askbobrankin.com • www.netfamilynews.com • wwwhttp://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA011400021033.aspx.msnbc.msn.com • http://usatoday.com