This article caught my attention this morning. It’s not so much the topic — Web safety isn’t exactly new, right? But look at the participants and the focus. The title of the article should be “Everyone Out of the Pool — the Big Kids are Wading In”. I’m glad to see this group get into the discussion, and I hope it will be good research, but I’m still disappointed that the focus of the article (perhaps not the research — who knows?) is on fear. At first blush, it sounds more like an investigation of MySpace than it does a research program on net safety.
NEW YORK (AP) – Leading Internet scholars at Harvard Law School will head a task force exploring the safety of users at MySpace and other popular online hangouts amid growing fears that youngsters have become targets of sexual predators.
The creation of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force is part of an agreement that MySpace, a unit of News Corp. (NWS), reached with all attorneys general except Texas’ in January.
Initial participants include leading Internet companies such as Google Inc. (GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Yahoo Inc. (YHOO), Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s AOL and MySpace rival Facebook, along with Internet access providers and nonprofit groups.