Over a week ago, my coworker pointed out this article about child abuse and Second Life. There has been a lot of discussion about it on the SL education listservs. Barry Joseph, director of the online leadership program for Global Kids, on Teen Second Life said in regards to questions of managing sex, gambling, and griefing (harassing other players) “it’s our burden as first users in a new mass media. Being the first means we have the obligation, pleasure, and pain of having to advocate for the new medium and be the frontline dispelling myths.” What does this have to do with Teen Second Life? Knowing that such behaviors have no tolerance and will result in banning and that the alleged behavior in the article occurred on the Main Grid. Knowing that there are so many positive projects and partnerships going on in the Teen Grid. It is another place where librarians and educators can be to work with teens in innovative ways.

I am reminded by this discussion, Just the Facts About Online Youth Victimization Researchers Present Facts and Debunk Myths with panelists, Dr. David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes against
Children Research Center, Dr. Michele Ybarra, president of Internet Solutions for Kids, Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist with Pew Internet & American Life Project, and danah boyd, researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. The transcript is definitely worth reading or the video worth watching as the speakers go deeper than the bandaid approaches to protecting teens online.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki