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New Stats On Internet Dangers Dispell Many Myths

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Check out this eye-opening piece from PBS' MediaShift about Dangers Overblown for Teens Using Social Media, which reminds us that the myth of the Internet predator is largely a creation of the media. According to the piece, young children are not the typical victim of online sex crimes, assailants are not pretending to be anything other than creepy losers that they are, and abductions or kidnappings are exceedingly rare. The real issue here according to the article is teens with troubled home lives and or past experiences of sexual or physical abuse. "This is a very different picture of who is at risk than a teen who simply posts their photo and the name of their high school on a MySpace profile."
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Thanks for highlighting these comments and the advisory committee's research. After visits to a dozen schools this spring gathering background for stories on the use of the Web and Web 2.0 tools in teaching, I can tell you that there IS a lot of hysteria -- and more than a few school IT directors crouched behind their firewalls and filters, pretending that they and their supts. and school boards can somehow keep the 21st Century at bay.

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