(Berkman Center) The Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative's response to the FCC's Notice of Inquiry (09-94) on "Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape". The response synthesizes current research and data on the media practices of youth, focusing on three main areas: 1) Risky Behaviors and Online Safety, 2) Privacy, Publicity and Reputation, and 3) Information Dissemination, Youth-Created Content and Quality of Information. See also submission by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
(John Palfrey) Prof. Sahara Byrne, of the communications department at Cornell, studies responses to Internet safety techniques. She's interested in the "recipes for disaster," such as when parents love a given safety technique and kids hate it. She's a believer in psychological reactance theory: that when kids really don't like something, they're going to work hard to get around it. Her methods: an extensive Internet survey of 456 parents, with matched child pairs (10 - 17 years old). Asked parents how much they would support a particular tool and kids how they would feel if their parent adopted this strategy. Parents were asked more questions than the kids. A few of her findings from the matched pairs: - Surveillance of kids' online behavior by the technology/service provider is popular by parents and particularly disliked by kids. - User-child empowerment strategies were popular with both parents and kids. See video.
A survey of nearly 900 Internet stakeholders reveals fascinating new perspectives on the way the Internet is affecting human intelligence and the ways that information is being shared and rendered. The web-based survey gathered opinions from prominent scientists, business leaders, consultants, writers and technology developers. It is the fourth in a series of Internet expert studies conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University and the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. In this report, we cover experts' thoughts on the following issues: Will Google make us stupid? Will the internet enhance or detract from reading, writing, and rendering of knowledge? Is the next wave of innovation in technology, gadgets, and applications pretty clear now, or will the most interesting developments between now and 2020 come "out of the blue"? Will the end-to-end principle of the internet still prevail in 10 years, or will there be more control of access to information? Will it be possible to be anonymous online or not by the end of the decade? See Overview of responses. see also presentation by Lee Rainie.
(Heise) Internetnutzer haben sich im Jahr 2009 häufiger wegen illegaler Inhalte im Netz bei der Beschwerdestelle des Verbandes der deutschen Internetwirtschaft gemeldet als im Vorjahr. Mit 5987 Beschwerden sei die Zahl um 19 Prozent gestiegen, teilte der Verband in Köln anlässlich des "Safer Internet Day" mit. Der Verband betreibt die Beschwerdestelle gemeinsam mit der Freiwilligen Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Dienstanbieter. Hauptsächlich seien Hinweise auf kinderpornografische und ähnliche Inhalte gemeldet worden.
(Guardian) More people are coming to US news sites via Facebook and other social networking sites such as Twitter - supplanting Google News, which had been one of the primary sources of readers, according to research by the metrics company Hitwise. During the past year, the proportion of traffic that Facebook sends to US media sites has tripled from around 1.2% to 3.52%, while that sent by Google News has remained roughly static, at around 1.4%.
(BBC) Facebook dominates the lives of mobile internet users in the UK, according to figures from a mobile industry body. The social network accounts for nearly half of all the time people in the UK spend going online using their phones.
The data, from the GSM Association (GSMA), showed that people in the UK spent around 2.2bn minutes browsing the social network during December alone
The average young American now spends practically every waking minute - except for the time in school - using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Those ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices, compared with less than six and a half hours five years ago, when the study was last conducted. And that does not count the hour and a half that youths spend texting, or the half-hour they talk on their cellphones. And because so many of them are multitasking - say, surfing the Internet while listening to music - they pack on average nearly 11 hours of media content into that seven and a half hours. The study's findings shocked its authors, who had concluded in 2005 that use could not possibly grow further, and confirmed the fears of many parents whose children are constantly tethered to media devices. It found, moreover, that heavy media use is associated with several negatives, including behavior problems and lower grades.
(UCSIA) 27?28 May 2010 - Antwerp - Belgium. UCSIA and the University of Antwerp are pleased to announce the organisation of a two-day international, multidisciplinary conference on children, adolescents & ICT. The conference will focus on national and international research dealing with social, cultural, economic, legal, psychological and ethical issues regarding young people's uses of various internet applications and mobile telephony. Confirmed keynotes so far are: Jos de Haan, Sonia Livingstone, Yves Poullet, Peter Smith, Patti M Valkenburg, Seounmi Youn.
(Economist) E-reader sales have been gathering momentum since Amazon launched the Kindle in 2007. In 2009 falling prices, combined with a flurry of deals, announcements and technical upgrades, primed the market for a vast expansion. There are about 5m e-readers in circulation worldwide and double that amount will be sold in 2010, according to iSuppli, a market-research firm.
(Pew Internet) As texting has become a centerpiece in teen social life, parents, educators and advocates have grown increasingly concerned about the role of cell phones in the sexual lives of teens and young adults. A new survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 4% of cell-owning teens ages 12-17 say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves to someone else via text messaging, a practice also known as "sexting"; 15% say they have received such images of someone they know via text message.
(TechCrunch) Italian writer, blogger and photographer Vincenzo Cosenza has for the second time put together a visualization that shows the most popular social networks around the worldon a map, based on the most recent traffic data (December 2009) as measured by Alexa & Google Trends for Websites. Facebook, with over 350 million users, is the undisputed leader of social networking in the English speaking parts of the world, and has been making strides in Latin-America, Europe and Africa as well.
(CNET) Sending explicit content, such as naked or near-naked photos, via text message - a phenomenon also known as "sexting" - is a familiar phenomenon among some teens, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Older teens, especially those who foot their own cell phone bills, are much more likely to send and receive these images. While 8 percent of 17-year-olds with cell phones have sent a sexually provocative image by text, this number goes up to 17 percent among those who pay their bills themselves. In all, 30 percent of 17-year-olds have received explicit images on their phones. The survey also shows that while the exchange of nude images mostly takes place among romantic partners or potential partners of the same age, these images are also forwarded to non-partners or people in different age groups.
(Mashable) TrendStream, who publishes the Global Web Index, has created a fantastic visualization that shows the penetration of different social technologies in major markets around the globe. The research is based on interviews with 32,000 Internet users in 16 countries.
(IPTS) This report by the The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies provides a systematic empirical assessment of the creation, use and adoption of specific social computing applications and its impact on industry, personal identity, learning, social inclusion, healthcare and public health, and government services and public governance.
(Hamburg Media School) Um den internationalen Dialog zum Thema „Privatsphäre und Web 2.0“ zu fördern, finanziert die DFG ein wissenschaftliches Netzwerk von fünfzehn internationalen, renommierten Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern. Zum Netzwerk unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Sabine Trepte von der Hamburg Media School gehören auch Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt vom Hans-Bredow-Institut sowie als Mentor Institutsdirektor Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink. Das DFG-Projekt „Young Scholars' Network on Privacy and Web 2.0” ermöglicht den direkten wissenschaftlichen Austausch zwischen exzellenten, internationalen Nachwuchsforscherinnen und -forschern. Die fünfzehn Mitglieder des Netzwerkes stammen von der Harvard University, der University of Amsterdam, der Michigan State University, der City University of Hong Kong, der University of Bath, der Universität Hamburg, dem Hans-Bredow-Institut Hamburg, der Universität der Künste Berlin, der Universität Hohenheim, der Universität Mainz und der Universität Duisburg-Essen.
(Press Release) The Canadian Centre for Child Protection today released a new study titled Child Sexual Abuse Images: An analysis of websites by Cybertip.ca. The study reinforces concerns regarding the scope and severity of child sexual abuse imagery and underscores the need for additional solutions. The report was based on the examination of nearly 16,000 incidents involving sites hosting child pornography and the analysis of more than 4,000 unique images of child sexual abuse. More than 82% of the images assessed by Cybertip.ca depicted very young, pre-pubescent children under 12 years of age. Most concerning was the severe abuse depicted, with more than 35% of all images showing serious sexual assaults.
(CNET) The New Oxford American Dictionary has picked the verb "unfriend," or "to remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook," as its 2009 Word of the Year. [Ed: Other new words were considered including hashtag, netbook and sexting]
(Berkman Center) It has been three weeks since the FCC posted for public comment the Berkman Center?s study (PDF) of international experience with broadband transitions and policy. The FCC recently upgraded its comment facility, and we want to encourage everyone who cares about the future of broadband, and the National Broadband Plan, to take advantage of this updated system and to add their comments to the appropriate FCC dockets. The comment period for the Berkman Center study closes November 16. In the meantime, comments in the blogosphere have also emerged, and we thought it would be appropriate to respond to the ones that have received the most attention. The study is long and dense, and we hope that P.I. Yochai Benkler's responses below, that highlight some key considerations of the study?s methods, will be helpful for those who are reviewing it.
(BBC) Technology addiction among young people is having a disruptive effect on their learning, researchers have warned. Their report concluded that modern gadgets worsened pupils' spelling and concentration, encouraged plagiarism and disrupted lessons. The study - Techno Addicts: Young Person Addiction to Technology - was carried out by researchers at Cranfield School of Management, Northampton Business School and academic consultancy AJM Associates
(Social Media) posted by Ryan Kelly. We embarked on a study as to how people are using and consuming Twitter. Some felt it was their source of news and articles, others felt it was just a bunch of self-promotion with very few folks actually paying attention. But mostly, many people still perceive Twitter as just mindless babble of people telling you what they are doing minute-by-minute. So we took 2,000 tweets over a 2-week period and categorized them into 6 buckets: News, Spam, Self-Promotion, Pointless Babble, Conversational and Pass-Along Value. See also Twitter: "pointless babble" or peripheral awareness + social grooming? by danah boyd. Studies like this one by Pear Analytics drive me batty. They concluded that 40.55% of the tweets they coded are pointless babble; 37.55% are conversational; 8.7% have "pass along value"; 5.85% are self-promotional; 3.75% are spam; and ::gasp:: only 3.6% are news. Twitter - like many emergent genres of social media - is structured around networks of people interacting with people they know or find interesting. The vast majority of Twitter users are there to maintain social relations, keep up with friends and acquaintances, follow high-profile users, and otherwise connect. I vote that we stop dismissing Twitter just because the majority of people who are joining its ranks are there to be social.
(Guardian) Cynics have long dismissed social networking as a fad - but the appetite for connecting online appears to be growing more rapidly than ever, after Facebook announced that it now has more than 300 million users worldwide. The announcement, made by the company's 25-year-old co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, underlines Facebook's reputation as one of the largest properties on the internet with an audience that could encompass almost every man, woman and child in the United States. The number is almost as large as the entire internet population of China, and equivalent to the number of web users in Europe's ten largest countries combined. It also marks the latest chapter in an astonishing period of growth for the company. The site reached the 250m user milestone in July, meaning that it has added an additional 50 million people in just two months.
(Net Family News) Online video is just huge and growing. YouTube is now the fourth most visited site on the Web, globally, according to Mashable.com, citing comScore figures for this past July. YouTube had 120.3 million viewers in July, over one-third of the US population, and in that one month, they watched 8.9 million videos. "What may be more shocking is the average number of videos per viewer: 134.9. That?s nearly five YouTube videos per day." Here's The Guardian on how peace recently broke out between YouTube and the music industry. And here's TheJournal.com on how one teacher made the case for using YouTube at school.
This Google resource brings together the latest industry facts and insights. These have been collected from a number of third party sources covering a range of topics from macroscopic economic and media trends to how consumer behaviour and technology are changing over time.
(Net Family News) "As the Twitter audience has mushroomed in recent months ? to 21 million US visitors in July 2009 ? the younger age groups are the ones flooding in the fastest," the comScore blog says about the micro-blogging service. In fact, people under 35 are "fueling Twitter's continued growth," with July usage spread evenly among the 12-17, 18-24, and 25-34 age categories, blogger Andrew Lipsman shows very visually with his growth charts.
(Ars Technica) In tests where they were asked to perform tasks that required working memory and focus, people prone to consuming multiple streams of information at once failed relative to their more single-minded peers.
(Pew Internet & American Life Project) Teenagers have previously lagged behind adults in their ownership of cell phones, but several years of survey data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project show that those ages 12-17 are closing the gap in cell phone ownership. The Project first began surveying teenagers about their mobile phones in its 2004 Teens and Parents project when a survey showed that 45% of teens had a cell phone. Since that time, mobile phone use has climbed steadily among teens ages 12 to 17 ? to 63% in fall of 2006 to 71% in early 2008. In comparison, 77% of all adults (and 88% of parents) had a cell phone or other mobile device at a similar point in 2008. Cell phone ownership among adults has since risen to 85%, based on the results of our most recent tracking survey of adults conducted in April 2009. The Project is currently conducting a survey of teens and their parents and will be releasing the new figures in early 2010.
(BBC) Broadband users are not getting the speeds they are paying for, according to the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken by telecoms regulator Ofcom. Nearly one fifth of UK broadband customers on an eight Megabit per second (Mbps) connection actually receive less than 2Mbps, it found. The research showed that less than 9% of users received more than 6Mbps. see also Virgin defends broadband speeds(Ed: an odd choice of ISP for the BBC to interview, since Virgin did best in the test).
(NetFamilyNews) Russians are the most engaged social networkers in the world, spending an average of 6.6 hours in social sites a month, based on comScore's survey of online social networking in 40 countries. "Of the 1.1 billion people age 15 and older worldwide who accessed the Internet from a home or work location in May 2009, 734.2 million visited at least one social networking site during the month, representing a penetration of 65% of the worldwide Internet audience," comScore's press release says.
(Pew Internet & American Life Project) 56% of adult Americans have accessed the internet by wireless means, such as using a laptop, mobile device, game console, or MP3 player. The most prevalent way people get online using a wireless network is with a laptop computer; 39% of adults have done this. The report also finds rising levels of Americans using the internet on a mobile handset. One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking. On the typical day, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans use the internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11% level recorded in December 2007. See also Home Broadband Adoption 2009. 63% of adult Americans now have broadband internet connections at home.
(Christian Science Monitor) A new report from Forrester Research estimates that approximately 2.2 billion people will be online over the next few years - an increase of over 45 percent. Analysts at Forrester forecast that, by 2013, 43 percent of that 2.2 billion will be based in Asia, with 17 percent in China alone. In 2008, the United States was home to the most Internet users, followed by China, Japan, Brazil, and Germany. By comparison, in 2013, China will be in first place, followed by the US, India, Japan, and Brazil. See also chart.
(About.com Sexuality Blog) By Cory Silverberg. Researchers in Switzerland took unique advantage of a 2002 sweep of child pornography viewers in Zurich to examine what the relationship between viewing child pornography and sexually offending against children might be. Researchers got the names of 231 men charged with viewing child pornography in 2002. They searched their criminal records prior to 2002 and also recorded any convictions or police investigations between 2002 and 2008. The researchers surmise that viewing child pornography alone isn't, at least among these men, enough of a risk factor to predict that they will commit a hands-on sexual offense against a child. The consumption of Internet child pornography and violent and sex offending. Jerome Endrass , Frank Urbaniok , Lea C Hammermeister , Christian Benz , Thomas Elbert , Arja Laubacher and Astrid Rossegger. BMC Psychiatry 2009.
(BBC) A third of young people regularly access Facebook and Twitter via their mobile, a new report has found. The study, published by mobile research firm CCS Insight, found that access to social networking sites was driving the take-up of mobile internet services. Facebook is more popular than Bebo, MySpace and Twitter combined, it found.
(LSE) The last alert from EU Kids Online contains information about the follow-up European survey project EU Kids Online II. It has details about the wealth of analysis of research results, recommendations for research methodology and policy recommendations produced by the project. See the Final Report of main findings from the EU Kids Online network. A summary of the final report has been translated into 11 languages (Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovene and Spanish). The report of the international one day conference on 11th June 2009, with PowerPoint presentations, research summaries and a video of the plenary speakers can all be found on the website.
(Net Family News) A report by Morgan Stanley's 15-year-old intern Matthew Robson on his friends' media habits got "five or six times more feedback" than its European media team's usual reports, the Financial Times reports. Robson "confirmed" that teens don't use Twitter; don't watch much TV or listen to much radio, preferring music-focused social sites such as Last.fm; "find advertising 'extremely annoying and pointless'; and, as in newspapers, "'cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text'" instead of "summaries online or on television." Teens' "time and money is spent on cinema, concerts and video game consoles which, [Robson] said, now double as a more attractive vehicle for chatting with friends than the phone." See also Dissing Matthew Robson (or was that Morgan Stanley?).
(CNET News) While 99 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds have profiles on social networks, only 22 percent use Twitter, according to a new survey from Pace University and the Participatory Media Network. This is consistent with what some observers have said about Twitter's recent push from early-adopter territory into the mainstream: that it's catching on with a slightly older demographic than the teenagers and college students who formed Facebook's initial core. But of those young people using Twitter, the survey found that 85 percent of them follow friends, 54 percent follow celebrities, 29 percent follow family members, and 29 percent follow companies - not stellar news for the brands and marketers that have flocked to Twitter as the latest "conversational" destination.
(CNN) A history of childhood abuse and use of a provocative online identity increase the risk that girls will be victimized by someone they meet on the Internet, according to a study appearing in the June issue of Pediatrics. A study in Pediatrics sought to identify which risk factors are linked to Internet-initiated victimization of girls. While highlighting the dangers that exist for adolescent girls, the study's authors also offer a word to parents: You can lessen the risks to your children by monitoring their Internet use. The authors sought to identify risk factors connected to increased rates of Internet-initiated victimization of girls. They also wanted to find out whether abuse victims showed increased vulnerability to online victimization. They found that girls are more likely to experience online sexual advances or have offline encounters if they have previously been abused or have a provocative avatar, which is a digital image meant to represent the user online.Those two factors pose a greater risk to adolescents than perhaps more traditionally considered risks, such as Internet naivete and sexual innocence, the study says.
(BBC) The number of websites showing and selling images of child abuse has fallen in the last 12 months. The number of sites hosting such images dropped by 10% in 2008, reveal figures from the Internet Watch Foundation. The watchdog warned that the fall in numbers masked a rise in the severity of images seen on the remaining sites. see also Child Porn Websites Domains Concentrated in Ten Registries (Goldstein Report) A small number of registries and registrars are responsible for three-quarters of child porn websites says the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in their annual report. The IWF found 74 per cent of child sexual abuse domains they traced are commercial operations selling indecent images of children with 76 per cent of these (some 850 unique domains) are registered with just ten unnamed domain name registries. Of these, five registries and registrars accounted for 55 per cent of all the commercial child sexual abuse domains known to IWF during 2008.
(Filtering Facts) Last year, Japan announced a plan to provide filters for mobile devices used by minors. Since April 1, cell phone companies have been obligated to provide filters on cell phones sold to youth under 18 years of age. Though parents are not punishable under the law, they are required to inform cell phone companies if a phone they are purchasing is for use by a child. Only one in every three Tokyo middle school students has activated filters on their cell phones that block access to sites considered harmful to youth, a police survey has found. Among the reasons given by students for not activating the filters, "Because my parents have not told me to" was highest at 42.1 percent. Likewise, the top reason for activating the filters was "Because my parents told me to" at 64.6 percent.
(Guardian) The latest comScore data is good news for Facebook, ranking the site as the sixth most popular website in the world with 275 million unique users each month. Facebook now accounts for 4.1 minutes of every 100 minutes we spend online. The site accounts for more than 30% of all time spend on social networking sites, up from just over 12% a year earlier. Facebook has seen very strong growth in Europe over the past 12 months, ranked as the most popular social networking site in 11 of the 17 countries comScore monitors.
British parents grossly underestimate how much time their children spend on the net, suggests a report. Written by security firm Symantec, it found that UK parents believe their children are online for 18.8 hours per week. The true figure is 43.5 hours.
(BBC) New figures just out show that the number of people using Twitter in the UK has gone through the roof over the last year. Market research company Nielsen Online says Twitter grew by 1,689% from February 2008 to February 2009. That means there are now more than 1.78 million people signed on. This time last year the social networking site only had 100,000 members. The same figures, however, show Facebook is still far and away the leading social networking site, with 17.8 million users and steady, strong growth of 114%.
(Europa) Lusoli, W., & Miltgen, C. (2009). Young People and Emerging Digital Services. An Exploratory Survey on Motivations, Perceptions and Acceptance of Risks (JRC Scientific and Technical Reports EUR 23765 EN). W. Lusoli, R. Compañó & I. Maghiros (Eds.) Sevilla: EC JRC IPTS. This survey has a twofold objective: identifying a) young people's perception of the risks that the new eID technologies may pose and b) young people's acceptance levels of these risks, and their general motivation and intent regarding the use of these new technologies. In summary, the survey should identify the key factors that should encourage or support the development of actual and potential eID-based services, in the views of young European consumers.
(Press Release) ITU's new ICT Development Index (IDI) compares developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) in 154 countries over a five-year period from 2002 to 2007. The Index combines 11 indicators into a single measure that can be used as a benchmarking tool globally, regionally and at the country level. These are related to ICT access, use and skills, such as households with a computer the number of Internet users; and literacy levels. The most advanced countries in ICT are from Northern Europe. The exception is the Republic of Korea. Sweden tops the new ITU ICT Development Index, followed by the Republic of Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway.
(Sunday's Zaman) According to a study conducted by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) in August 2008, 24.47 percent of households in Turkey are online. Internet connections are becoming ubiquitous, and a large number of children are using the Internet on a daily basis to browse Web pages, chat, connect to peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and participate in online forums. Parents and teachers encourage children to use computers to prepare them for the future. Some teachers even assign homework that requires students to search for information on the Internet. According to experts, the most widespread threat against children on the Internet is "accessing inappropriate content."
(Inside Facebook) The famous Dunbar number, or "theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships", is generally accepted to be about 150. However, in a recent interview with The Economist, Cameron Marlow, a research scientist at Facebook, shared some interesting stats on Facebook users' social behavior patterns. His findings: while many people have hundreds friends on Facebook, they still only actively communicate with a small few. Or to quote the author of the article, "Humans may be advertising themselves more efficiently. But they still have the same small circles of intimacy as ever." see also Primates on Facebook (Economist).
(Daily Telegraph) Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Friends Reunited have taken over from pubs and nightclubs as the most popular place to find love, it has emerged. One in four British people are dating - or have dated - someone they met through online community websites. And over a third have got back in touch with an old flame through the sites. One in ten have even had gone a step further and had an affair or a one-night stand with someone they met via a social networking site.
(Berkman Center) We invite everyone to explore Herdict Web and participate by reporting websites that they cannot access, testing sites that others have reported, or downloading the browser add-on for reporting sites on the fly. Using Herdict Web, anyone anywhere can report websites as accessible or inaccessible. Herdict Web aggregates reports in real time, permitting participants to see if inaccessibility is a shared problem, giving them a better sense of potential reasons for why a site is inaccessible. Trends can be viewed over time, by site and by country. The brainchild of Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Herdict Web builds out from the OpenNet Initiative's research on global Internet filtering. The OpenNet Initiative tests Internet filtering through an academic methodology. Herdict Web takes a different approach, crowdsourcing reports to learn about and display a real-time picture of user experiences around the globe.
(IPSOS) A l'occasion du Safer Internet Day organisé par la Commission Européenne (journée européenne d'encouragement à une utilisation plus sûre et plus responsable d'Internet chez les jeunes) l'association e-Enfance, en partenariat avec l'institut IPSOS, publie la première étude française exhaustive sur l´attitude des parents face à l'utilisation d'Internet, du mobile et des jeux vidéo (enquête réalisée en novembre 2008 sur un échantillon représentatif de la population française auprès des parents d´enfants entre 6 et 18 ans).
(EU Kids Online) A study released for Safer Internet Day 2009 shows that Britons take more practical action to screen their children from the dangers of the internet than anyone else in the EU. They are most likely to use filtering software (77 per cent) and most likely to talk to their children about what they do online (87 per cent). The survey, conducted for the European Commission and analysed by the
EU Kids Online research project at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), shows that British parents still worry about internet safety ? with 59 per cent concerned about the dangers of their children seeing sexual or violent content. However in France ? the highest ? the figure is 88 per cent while in Portugal and Greece it is 84 and 81 per cent respectively.
(Microsoft) Almost a third (29%) of European teenagers have been bullied on the internet according to new research by Microsoft. The research, which examines the rise in social media and the habits and attitudes of European teenagers, was released today in support of Safer Internet Day and the launch of a new Microsoft volunteering programme designed to educate children, parents and teachers on safe internet use. See also Teens targeted in net safety push(BBC).
(Washington Post) Nearly 83 percent of all Web sites advertised through spam can be traced back to just 10 domain name registrars, according to a study. The data come from millions of junk messages collected over the past year by Knujon ("no junk" spelled backwards and pronounced "new john"), an anti-spam outfit that tries to convince registrars to dismantle spam sites.
(Official Google Blog) by Vint Cerf and Stephen Stuart. When an Internet application doesn't work as expected or your connection seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your broadband ISP, the application, your PC, or something else? It can be difficult for experts, let alone average Internet users, to address this sort of question. Last year we asked a small group of academics about ways to advance network research and provide users with tools to test their broadband connections. Today Google, the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, and academic researchers are taking the wraps off of Measurement Lab (M-Lab), an open platform that researchers can use to deploy Internet measurement tools.
(danah boyd) A year ago, I teamed up with John Palfrey and Dena Sacco to co-direct the Internet Safety Technical Task Force. Going into this Task Force, I was extremely naive. I genuinely believed that people were making bad policy, bad technology, and bad decisions because they lacked the data or knowledge to interpret the data. I thought that presenting data would motivate people to innovate and devise solutions to help kids. I was wrong. I'm used to folks dismissing qualitative work because they don't understand it, but I've never before witnessed so many people reject solid quantitative studies done by reputable organizations that are replicated with different sampling techniques across different studies. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect someone to say to me, "Go find other data." See also Challenging Assumptions About Online Predators (Washington Post)
(NetFamilyNews) I've been reading social media scholar danah boyd's PhD dissertation, Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics, the result of her 2.5-year enthnograpic study of how teens use social-network sites. The study is unique in a couple of ways: she was like an embedded reporter, not a data cruncher, and she approached her fieldwork very differently than most adults - "with the belief that the practices of teenagers must be understood on their own terms."
(Guardian) Children are spending increasing amounts of their lives in front of televisions, computers and games consoles, cramming in nearly six hours of screen time a day, according to research. The online activity is building barriers between parents and children, the authors say, with a third of young people insisting they cannot live without their computer. From the age of seven children are building multimedia hubs in their rooms, with games consoles, internet access and MP3 players, which they wake up to in the morning and fall asleep to at night, according to the study of five- to 16-year-olds. Girls in particular are likely to chat online to their friends at night and 38% take a console to bed instead of a book. The latest research from market research agency ChildWise finds children and young teens are more likely to socialise than do homework online. Some 30% say they have a blog and 62% have a profile on a social networking site.
(BBC) Ninety-five per cent of music downloaded online is illegal, a report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has said. The global music trade body said this is its biggest challenge as artists and record companies miss out on payments. There has, however, been a 25% rise since last year with downloads now accounting for a fifth of all recorded music sales. The IFPI said worldwide music market revenues shrank by 7% last year. This was blamed on falling CD sales, while the increase in digital sales failed to make up for this.
(Berkman Center) Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys General of the United States. The Internet Safety Technical Task Force was created in February 2008 in accordance with the Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Safety announced in January 2008 by the Attorneys General Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking and MySpace. The scope of the Task Force's inquiry was to consider those technologies that industry and end users - including parents - can use to help keep minors safer on the Internet.
(Heise) Einer Studie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München zufolge gibt es keinen Zusammenhang zwischen der individuellen Belastung durch Mobilfunkstrahlung und dem Wohlbefinden von Kindern und Jugendlichen. Das Institut und die Poliklinik für Arbeits-, Sozial- und Umweltmedizin der LMU hatte die individuelle Mobilfunkbelastung von rund 3000 Heranwachsenden (1524 Jugendliche zwischen 13 und 17 Jahren, 1498 Kinder zwischen 8 und 12 Jahren) über einen Zeitraum von 24 Stunden per Dosimeter gemessen und parallel dazu ihr Wohlbefinden abgefragt. Die Studienteilnehmer sollten angeben, ob und wie stark sie unter Befindlichkeitsstörungen leiden, wie Kopfschmerzen, Gereiztheit, Nervosität, Schwindel, Müdigkeit, Angst, Konzentrationsproblemen und Einschlafproblemen. Dabei wurde sowohl das aktuelle Befinden am Untersuchungstag als auch das Wohlbefinden der letzten sechs Monate betrachtet.
(01net) Le gendarme des télécoms et des Postes, l'Arcep, et le Conseil général des technologies de l'information (CGTI) viennent de rendre publics les résultats 2008 de leur enquête annuelle sur la diffusion des technologies de l'information en France. L'enquête (1) donne des éléments intéressants en matière d'équipement en téléphonie fixe et mobile, de connexion à Internet, etc. Il appert ainsi que 58 % des personnes interrogées se déclaraient connectées à Internet à leur domicile en juin dernier, contre 53 % l'année précédente. Le bas-débit a quasiment disparu de la circulation. L'étude montre également qu'aujourd'hui 37 % des personnes interrogées téléphonent au moyen de leur boîtier de connexion à Internet (ADSL, câble...). C'est 10 points de plus que l'an dernier. Par ailleurs, plus de la moitié des moins de 40 ans téléphonent via un boîtier ADSL.
(Net Family News) TechCrunch looks at the latest available comScore traffic figures for "social networking sites" (including blog-hosting, media-sharing, and pre-social-Web community sites). Google's Blogger - which hosts blogs, of course - is No. 1 (with 222 million unique visitors in November, up 44% from '07). The rest of the top 10 are: Facebook (200 million); MySpace (126 million); Wordpress blogs (114 million); Windows Live Spaces (blogs - down 22% to 87 million this year); Yahoo GeoCities (69 million); Flickr photo-sharing (64 million); Hi5 (No. 1 social site in Latin America - 58 million); Google's Orkut (social-networking site that's huge in Brazil - 46 million); and SixApart (blog-hosting - 46 million).
(Ofcom) UK consumers receive an average broadband speed of 3.6 megabits per second (Mbit/s), comprehensive new Ofcom research reveals. That's less than the average maximum possible speed of 4.3 Mbit/s across the UK and significantly below advertised headline speeds. Speeds are slowest between 5pm and 6pm on Sundays, when use of the internet is at its highest. But most consumers say they're reasonably happy with their broadband service - although speed is the most commonly cited cause of dissatisfaction.
(Pew Research Center) The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news. Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the internet, up from just 24% in September 2007. For the first time in a Pew survey, more people say they rely mostly on the internet for news than cite newspapers (35%). Television continues to be cited most frequently as a main source for national and international news, at 70%.
(Filtering Facts) Parents Television Council has just released a study of YouTube's filtering. extremely graphic content and harsh profanity are just a click away for kids entering seemingly innocent search terms on YouTube. The PTC's study not only analyzes content in 280 of the most popular YouTube videos, but also takes into account the text commentary and advertisements that were available alongside the videos. The 20 highest-ranked YouTube videos from each of the site's most popular search terms yielded an extraordinary amount of graphic and adult-themed content.
David Burt, who runs the Filtering Facts blog, comes to simlar conclusions. He found video clips already tagged by YouTube as adult content - but YouTube's filter doesn't catch them. This compares unfavourably with Google text search and Google image search using "strict filtering".
(Net Family News) By 2020, the mobile phone will be the main tool for connecting to the Internet for most of the world's people, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's latest "Internet Evolution" study. The study asked a group of 'Internet leaders, activists and analysts' to forecast what they expect to be the major technology advances of the next decade. Two other interesting predictions concerned social tolerance and virtual reality, and the experts polled seem to have felt just as uncertain as the rest of us about what impact connective technology will have on human relations and social tolerance: "The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness." Their prediction about virtual reality lines up with teens' approach to tech for some time: "divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations."
(Google Blog) Posted by Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products & User Experience.
For the first time, our annual Year-End Zeitgeist features search data from more than 30 countries. Social networks comprised four out of the top 10 global fastest-rising queries, while the U.S. election held everyone's interest around the globe. Republican VP candidate, Sarah Palin, may have lost in the election, but she was the #1 fastest-rising query on our global list (Obama was #6).
(Neteconomie) L'institut Médiametrie a dévoilé le classement des 10 principaux sites « communautaires ». Blogs ou réseaux sociaux, ces sites attirent désormais 22,5 des 32 millions d'internautes français pour environ 1 heure et 40 minutes de surf mensuel. Pionnier du genre, Skyrock.com garde sa couronne avec une audience de 8,5 millions de visiteurs uniques et 57 minutes de surf en moyenne. La plate-forme hexagonale est néanmoins talonnée par Facebook qui revendique désormais plus de 8 millions de visiteurs uniques pour un temps passé de près de deux heures par mois (1 heure 55).
(RAPID) A new Eurobarometer survey "Towards a safer use of the Internet for children in the EU ? a parents' perspective" has ben published. According to the survey conducted in all EU Member States, 75% of children aged from 6 to 17 years already use the Internet ? a trend which continues to grow. Half of the parents who did not use Internet themselves said that their child had online access. At least half of the parents stated that they talk to their children about their online activities. In addition, they take precautionary measures such as not allowing their children to disclose personal information online (92%) or to talk to people they do not know (83%). 59% of parents declared that they use filtering or monitoring software. Parents who do not use filtering tools say they trust their children (64%) or did not know how to access or use them (14%).
The new SIP Bench study on filtering tools shows that overall tools have improved over the last three years and have become easier to install. During the last year of this three-year project, Deloitte once again carried out the SIP Benchmark testing via a comprehensive study of 26 tools for parental control. This benchmark analyses how effectively these technical solutions protect children aged 6 to 16 against harmful content on the Internet. About 140 parents and teachers from various European countries were involved in the study. In addition to these "real life" testers, an Internet laboratory was set up to conduct thorough testing under identical conditions. In general, we observe a very positive trend in filter accuracy.However an number of filters detect more potentially harmful content at the expense of unduly overblocking harmless content.
(The Local) A new Swedish study shows that playing violent video games can alter children?s heart rates, raising concerns about violent games' long term physiological effects on youngsters. In a collaborative project, researchers from Stockholm University, Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institutet asked a group of 19 boys aged twelve to fifteen to play two different computer games, one specifically violent, the other not. The data illustrated that after playing the violent game, the heart rates of the boys were no longer regular.
(Times) Almost half of all children want adults to supervise them when they use the internet, a report by Ofsted, the school inspectors, indicates. Two out of three of those questioned want pornographic sites and chat rooms on the web to be blocked or filtered to protect them from graphic or inappropriate sites. The survey of 686 children aged between four and 20, from varying social backgrounds, indicated that 45 per cent think adults should sit next to or near young people when they are on the internet so they can monitor what is being viewed. Children should be taught basic internet safety to prevent them stumbling upon porn or falling prey to paedophiles, according to a quarter of those surveyed at the national children?s conference.
(BBC) Companies should not dismiss staff who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo at work as merely time-wasters, a Demos study suggests. Attempts to control employees' use of such software could damage firms in the long run by limiting the way staff communicate, the think tank said. Social networking can encourage employees to build relationships with colleagues across a firm, it added.
(CNET) Three out of four teens were bullied online over a 12 month period, according to a study released by psychologists at the University of California, Los Angeles. And while that number may seem high at the outset, only 1 in 10 of those kids told their parents or another adult about it, the study showed.
(EU Kids Online) Cross-national Comparisons (D3.2). The first part of this report compares findings from various European studies to address some key research questions and hypotheses. These allow us to reach some general conclusions (i.e. cross-national similarities) which hold across the European countries examined. The second part considers factors that might help to explain the patterns that we found.
(Pew Internet & American Life Project) The first national survey of its kind finds that virtually all American teens play computer, console, or cell phone games and that the gaming experience is rich and varied, with a significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement. The survey was conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The primary findings in the survey of 1,102 youth ages 12-17 include: Game playing is universal, with almost all teens playing games and at least half playing games on a given day. Game playing experiences are diverse, with the most popular games falling into the racing, puzzle, sports, action and adventure categories. Game playing is also social, with most teens playing games with others at least some of the time and can incorporate many aspects of civic and political life. Another major finding is that game playing sometimes involves exposure to mature content, with almost a third of teens playing games that are listed as appropriate only for people older than they are.
(Guardian) Nearly a quarter of children between the ages of eight and 12 are evading the age restrictions imposed by social networking sites Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, a poll of young people revealed. The results suggest that more than 750,000 children are illicitly using the sites - which are supposed to be limited to teenagers and adults - potentially exposing them to risky communications with strangers. The poll of 1,000 children was commissioned by Garlik, an online information company, which said parents are responding by secretly logging on to their children's social networking pages to detect any reckless online behaviour.
(BBC) A US study of instant messaging suggests the theory that it takes only six steps to link everyone may be right - though seven seems more accurate. Microsoft researchers studied the addresses of 30bn instant messages sent during a single month in 2006. Any two people on average are linked by seven or fewer acquaintances, they say.
(PC Advisor) 11 percent of children have had a sexually explicit conversation online, according to a survey by The Carphone Warehouse. The Mobile Life survey, which polled 6,000 adults and children about their web and mobile habits also revealed that a quarter of 11 to 18 years olds had visited adult websites and 10 percent had met people they first interacted with online. Almost half the children surveyed admitted they lie to their parents about their online activities, with most using homework as a cover for surfing the net or social networking. Thirty-three percent revealed they would be in trouble if their parents knew what they were really looking at.
(Europa) eCommunications household survey: The results of a special Eurobarometer survey conducted by TNS Opinion & Social between 9 November 2007 and 14 December 2007 to measure the attitude of European households and individuals towards fixed and mobile telephony, IT equipment and Internet access, TV broadcast services, bundled offers, telephone directories and 112 emergency call number. The survey covers the 27 EU Member States, with an average of 1,000 households interviewed per country. Full ReportSummary
(RAPID) An EU-wide survey of 27,000 households has revealed the emergence of new consumption patterns in telecoms services in Europe. Technological progress and competition have brought more choice to European consumers; 24% of households have given up their fixed telephone in favour of mobile phones while 22% of them are using their computer from home to make phone calls over the Internet. In an increasing number of Member States, European households are using wireless access to connect to the Internet, via mobile or satellite networks. Meanwhile, 29% of European households buy bundled telecoms and media packages, an increase of nearly 10% since last year. Nevertheless, the top priority for consumers in this fast evolving environment remains the quality of services.
(RAPID) Use of mobile data services within individual Member States is growing much faster than cross border data roaming services, says a Connect2Roam study carried out for the European Commission. This is because mobile operators are introducing aggressive retail rates to compete with existing broadband offers. However, use of data roaming services remains limited as consumers are discouraged by extremely high charges when compared to national prices, as well as a lack of transparency related to the pricing by volume of data (Megabytes) used. High-volume users are susceptible to bill shocks if, for example, they surf the internet for long periods when using their datacard connection on a laptop computer.
(CNET) New numbers from metrics firm ComScore show that in May, the battle of the social-networking sites may have gained a new front-runner: Facebook appears to have surpassed longtime rival MySpace in worldwide unique visitors for the first time. ComScore representatives said that this began in April when Facebook passed MySpace by a hair, and widened in May. see also Facebook in France: Bonne chance. Facebook's still a long-shot second place in French social networking, according to the metrics. Skyrock, a site almost completely unknown in the U.S., pulled in 11.5 million unique visitors in April 2008 compared to Facebook's 3.2.
(OUT-LAW News) Nine in ten web users want guidelines on what information the media can use from social networking sites and 78% would change the information they publish about themselves online if they thought it would later be reproduced in the mainstream media. The research was carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Press Complaints Commission and involved interviews with 1,000 British web users aged 16?64.
(Economist) The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regularly releases a ranking of broadband penetration, speeds and prices across its 30 countries. More recently, it has begun to look at coverage and competition too. The OECD released its latest report. The number of broadband subscribers in the world's 30 biggest countries grew by 18% to reach 235m, or one-fifth of those countries' total population. Between 2005 and 2006, prices fell by an average of 19% for DSL connections and 16% for cable lines. At the end of 2004 the average speed was 2 megabits(MB) per second; in 2007 it increased to almost 9MB. But the excellent report, written by Taylor Reynolds and Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, goes beyond the numbers and examines why broadband is actually useful. And here the authors face a problem: there simply is not good data to show that broadband matters. there is little evidence to support the notion that faster is inherently better. The rankings miss something crucial about how broadband is used, regardless of where a country stands.
(ITU) The ITU has released WSIS Stocktaking 2008 Report. This Report is an update on the activities undertaken by governments, business, civil society and other organizations aimed at the achievement of the objectives and targets of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) from end 2005 until mid 2008. The Report was prepared through a consultative process with all stakeholders by placing the draft report for comments on the WSIS stocktaking website. The system is publicly accessible and presents information on WSIS-related initiatives and projects. It is possible to search for information within the database by WSIS action line, project, keyword, geographical location and other specifications. Governments submitted 3812 activities, representing 54 per cent of the total number of submissions. International organizations were second, with 29 per cent, followed by businesses, civil society entities and others. Some 44 per cent of activities submitted had been carried out at the national level, while 30 per cent were of an international nature.
(CNET) Nielsen's numbers, which track monthly unique visitors to social-networking sites, indicate that MySpace's growth from April 2007 to April 2008 was just 3 percent, and that Club Penguin's traffic shrank 7 percent. Business social network LinkedIn, is still growing rapidly, pulling in 361 percent more unique users than it did a year ago. Facebook is growing more slowly, with 56 percent more visitors.
(BBC) Virtual worlds can be valuable places where children rehearse what they will do in real life, reveals research. They are also a "powerful and engaging" alternative to more passive pursuits such as watching TV, said the BBC-sponsored study. The research was done with children using the BBC's Adventure Rock virtual world, aimed at those aged 6-12. The researcher said the BBC should have involved children early on to guide development and provide feedback.
(New York Times) The Internet is seeing a stark rise in the number of hate and terror sites and Web postings, according to a Congressional briefing last week entitled "Hate in the Information Age." At the briefing, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, an associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group based in Los Angeles, presented the organization's annual study of online terror and hate. He said the group had identified some 8,000 problematic sites in the last 12 months, a 30 percent spike over last year. Contributing to this precipitous rise was the proliferation of Web 2.0 services, which have made it easy to post videos to sites like YouTube and mint hate groups on services like Facebook and MySpace.
(Net Family News) "America's young people spend more time using media than they do on any single activity other than sleeping," according to The Future of Children, a joint project of Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. So we all need to know how our children and students use media - the Web, phones, videogames, instant messaging, music, video, TV, etc. - and how they affect their users. The just-released new issue of the project's journal Children and Electronic Media, published semi-annually, "looks at the best available evidence on whether and how exposure to different media forms is linked to child well-being."
(Guardian) It seems that Britons are more addicted to poking and tweeting and writing on each other's walls than anyone else in Europe. Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace reached 9.6 million users in the UK in 2007, according to a new report from Datamonitor. This puts it ahead of bigger countries, including France with 8.9 million and Germany with 8.6 million. Spain is in fourth place with just 2.9 million. The UK user base is forecast to almost triple to 27.1 million by 2012. For Europe overall, the user base is forecast to rise from 41.7 million now to 107.4 million over the next four years.
(BSA) New research shows that New Zealand children are savvy media users and that while there has been an explosive growth of media devices in homes in the past few years, television remains the principal form of entertainment. The research, Seen and Heard, was carried out by Colmar Brunton for the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA). It involved interviewing more than 600 children aged between six and 13 and their primary caregivers. The focus of the research was how New Zealand children use and respond to media, including television, radio, the internet, and cell phones.
(vnunet.com) The college educated turn more to Facebook, according to the report, while MySpace caters largely for those who leave school early. A preliminary report from a six-month research project by the School of Information Sciences at UC Berkeley carried out by PhD student Danah Boyd found the class divide between popular social networking sites MySpace and Facebook.
(RAPID) More than half of Europeans are now regular Internet users, 80% of them have broadband connections and 60% of public services in the EU are fully available online. Two thirds of schools and half of doctors make use of fast Internet connections, thanks to strong broadband growth in Europe. These are the findings of a Commission report on the results achieved so far with i2010, the EU's digital-led strategy for growth and jobs.
(RAPID) This summary gives an overview of the findings of the Flash Eurobarometer survey on Data Protection that was conducted in January 2008. Previous waves of the survey had been performed three times before, in 1991, 1996 and 2003. Fieldwork was carried out from January 8th to 12th, 2008. Over 27,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 years and over were interviewed in the 27 EU Member States.
(RAPID) National laws on data protection demand good data management practices on the part of the entities that process data: the "data controllers". These include the obligation to process data fairly and in a secure manner, and to use personal data for well-defined and legitimate purposes. This Flash Eurobarometer survey on Data Protection in the EU (No 226) measures perceptions about data protection among data controllers in the 27 EU Member States.