Social Sites: Virtual Playgrounds or Predatory Hunting Grounds Essay

Social Sites: Virtual Playgrounds or Predatory Hunting Grounds Essay

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Social interaction via internet has become a raving craze, but the debate of online safety measures necessary for children using social sites has become a hot topic of discussion. Social sites open the door to online interaction with friends, relatives, and classmates; but they also enhance the risk of interaction with online predators. Representative Michael Fitzpatrick, from Pennsylvania, is a sponsor of the Deleting Online Predators Act. He is an advocate for extreme online restrictions for children who use social-networking sites. On the other hand, Henry Jenkins, the director for the Comparative Media Studies program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes that technology is a crucial part of society’s demand of social interaction and that while children should have proper monitoring while they use networking sites they should at least have limited access to these sites.
Representative Fitzpatrick, who is a father of six, comments that technology is undoubtedly a concern for parents. He is worried about the safety of children who use and register with social sites without proper parental monitoring. Fitzpatrick argues that networking sites “open the door to many dangers” for kids. He believes that usage of social sites by children promotes online bullying and exposes users to predators. Representative Fitzpatrick debates that networking sites have “turned the internet into a virtual hunting ground for children.” He points out that since the social site started in 2003, an estimated 200,000 objectionable profiles have been removed from the social site.
Because of his fear of exposure to online predators, Fitzpatrick introduced the Deleting Online Predator Act. This act would require public schools and...

... middle of paper ...

... disagree. Both Fitzpatrick and Jenkins concur that some forms of safety precautions should be determined and enforced. Fitzpatrick and Jenkins are in accord with one another in the belief that lawmakers and experts of online safety must be conscientious of not precluding young users of the benefits of the internet. Nevertheless, both Fitzpatrick and Jenkins want to encourage the lawmakers and online experts to be aware of the potential dangers and to protect children from the hazards of the online world when they are determining the protective boundaries of social site usage of young users.

Works Cited

Representative Michael Fitzpatrick. Pro. "Cyber Socializing." By Marcia Clemmitt. CQ Researcher 28 July 2006:
625-48. Web. 5 Oct. 2011.
Henry Jenkins. Con. "Cyber Socializing." By Marcia Clemmitt. CQ Researcher 28 July 2006:
625-48. Web. 5 Oct. 2011.

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