In these two stories:
Underage kids flock to social networks
‘They keep signing up and we keep chasing them,’ says Nexopia’s Chris Webster
September 15, 2008 at 11:27 PM EDT
According to a recent study, more than 750,000 kids between the ages of 8 and 12 have set up a profile on the big social-networking sites. Most simply enter a false birth date when they register; others get a friend or sibling to help them circumvent the age-restriction policies.
. . . Attorney-General Michael Mukasey has commissioned an Internet safety task force to find better ways to verify the age of users.
The task force is looking at implementing age-verification technology from Microsoft and IBM on several sites and even opening the process of enshrining age restrictions in law, said John Palfrey, . . . who chairs the task force. But determining the age of users is a complex problem without clear answers, Mr. Palfrey said. “There’s no way to stop people from getting on to the site at the front end, when they sign up,” he said. “But I think there are ways we can improve the systems that work behind the scenes to find the underage kids and deter them from using sites where they shouldn’t be.”
John Palfrey, one of Harvard’s leading thinkers on the Internet, has recently finished a study on kids raised in the digital age. He now has a few tips to share about Web porn, online piracy, and Sen. John McCain’s lack of tech know-how–Palfrey, who wrote a book about the study called Born Digital, was fairly upbeat about the Web’s affects on young people. That’s not going to surprise too many people as Palfrey is a recognized Internet booster. But after completing 100 “in-depth interviews” with young people, ages 13 to 22, Palfrey sees some possible solutions to problems confronting Web-connected youth.
Source: Source: Harvard Law School’s News@Law – September 17, 2008