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In the public imagination, there are two sides to the Internet coin.

There is a shiny side, celebrated in numerous government policies and programs, which holds out the promise of a new economy based on access to unlimited information, new and exciting curricula and schooling that will engage children and young people in purposeful and useful activity.

And there is dark side of illicit information, criminal activity, dangerous knowledge and harmful content.

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In some cases they will use blocks and filters but these are never fully effective and they know that they need to find other ways of guiding children to safe use.

Censorship does not work in cyberspace (or works in only partial and transitory ways) and what is generally agreed is needed is education in ‘responsible use.’ This includes developing educational strategies that take account of the appeal and attraction of the Internet and supports young people in reflecting on their own practice as Internet users and the consequences of their Internet interactions on others. Generally speaking we found that the fears that young people had about the safety of the Internet differed from those of adults.

In this paper we describe a particular set of Internet–based interactions that have great appeal to young people but create most anxiety among parents and other adults. In the main they were concerned about security rather than pornography, which they saw as amusing rather than harmful.

This paper reports a small number of interviews with young people in Athens about their use of Internet chatrooms as a means of meeting people.

In the last few years there has been a growing public concern about the dangers of socialising with strangers in chatrooms, but what do the users themselves think about the risks involved, and what strategies have they adopted to manage these risks?

Last modified 16-Jun-2015 02:43