How Safe are Social Networks?

In June, Common Sense Media released a comparative analysis the Internet safety features on the most popular social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, YouTube, Club Penguin among others.

Though there has been significant improvements over time in building safety features for the users, more than half of the sites were deemed not adequate. Also many of the features are not easy to find or too obscure for the users. However it is still too easy for someone (think: children or teens) to lie about their age or access bad or inappropriate sites or videos.

Many popular blog networks like blogspot as well as video sites can contain anything and everything without regard to the content. It is easy for us to ignore this fact of life but it really sends the wrong kind of message to our generation about what is acceptable and not acceptable. There has been a time when something crass or too violent would cause an uproar and companies would be ashamed to be associated with such content. However in this “open” internet world, suddenly for every company that is willing to simply let things slide contributes to lowering the standard of what is considered unacceptable and outrageous. Media impacts people & culture, culture impacts people & media, people impacts media & culture.. and the cycle continues.

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