Social Media Responsibility

Header

 

The Titan Media Center at Tidwell is dedicated to our district’s goal of assuring all students have the digital skills necessary to be ready for college, for the global workplace, and for personal success in the 21 century.

In class we learn about the evolution of media from the first printing press to its development into the greatest advancement in modern times; the internet. Students use social media and social applications daily in class to collaborate with peers, synthesize new information, and to effectively communicate with our school as a community.

As an advocate of social media and its empowerment in education, our Media Center must also be an advocate for social media responsibility and information for students, parents, and guardians to keep students safe from 21 century dangers.

Social Media is often protected with the right of free speech; however, the many private and public organizations have provided a wealth of information for parents who want to be informed. The government has also done its part.

Most parents do not know that COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law in the U.S., actually makes it illegal for children under the age of 13 to have a Facebook, Twitter, or  any social media site that gathers personal data without parental consent.

The FTC, Federal Trade Commission, has the authority from congress to impose regulations and enforce COPPA through fines and restrictions to companies that violate this rule. Due to the FTC, most responsible social media will not allow children under 13 to have subscriptions even with parental consent. Be mindful of any social media site that does not allow for some sort of age verification from users.

thoughts

Where to Start?

By the time a child is 8 years old, he/she is consuming media through a mobile device an average of 7.5 hours a day. Your child probably knows just as much about social media as you, if not more. It is NOT an invasion of privacy to know what’s going on in your child’s online ‘world.’  It IS a way of protecting your child from violence, bullying, and number of individuals and companies who do not have your child's best interest at heart.

Getting more involved in your child’s ‘online’ world can start with three easy steps.

1.) Make sure they know that their friends in the ‘online world’ should match those in the real world.

2.) Have a ‘delete day.’ Take some time to sit down with your child and go through his/her accounts on various apps and filter friends to be only those that are known in the real world.

3.) Make sure your student understands that it is perfectly acceptable to no respond to emails, requests for ‘friends’, and even texts from people they do not know personally. You could even go as far as to let them know that this isn’t just ok but this is what is expected.

An important statement to use around your child is this; "Keep your private parts private: If you wouldn’t share it with your family, don’t share it online."

 

Be Ahead of the Game

A number of new apps and media sites enter the online world daily. Being proactive in researching each new app can be the best approach in making decisions for your child’s safety. A number of family friendly organizations have highlighted apps and social media sites that have the possibility to be dangerous in regards to a teenager and tween safety.

The following websites offer a great resource for parents who are interested in becoming more proactive with regard to social media.

1.) The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has a number of resources for parents of any age children; kids, tweens, and teenagers. (www.netsmartz.org/Parents)

2.) Common Sense Media is an organization that not only gives parents resources, but they have places where other parents can respond to questions and post on message boards regarding internet safety. The organization covers safety for children as young as preschool age. (www.commonsensemedia.org/privacy-and-internet-safety)

3.) The National Crime Prevention Council has limited reading regarding frequently used terms in social networking as well as a few tips to keep children safe in general. (www.ncpc.org/topics/internet-safety)

4.)The FBI has a similar service to that of the NCPC. (www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/parent-guide)

5.) Stay Safe Online is an organization that has provided a collection of various resources for parents. The site also offers to steps parents can take in being proactive in protecting a child’s social security information as well as important information about hot topics like sexting and sextortion. (www.staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/parent-resources/)

6.) Yoursphere For Parents is a great site that monitors social apps and provides reviews on digital media that is revisited and re-rated often to account for changes in safety and privacy for users. The site allows for parents to also provide feedback. (http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/)

7.) On Guard Online is a government run site that provides information on such things as avoiding email scams, phone hacks, tips for using public wi-fi, and general security information. (www.onguardonline.gov/)

 

Know the Target Audience

Almost all social media must adhere to COPPA or similar laws in other countries.  Even if the app seeminly targets younger users, the content allowed on each app often determines what an app must claim as its primary audience.

The social media app 'Vine' has a minimal age of 17.  Users under 17 are, according to the platform's user agreement, not allowed to have the app with parent permission.  Why?  The app allows users to create video footage that is unedited and unregulated.  As anyone can assume, video footage on the app can include anything that a user wishes to display.  The app cannot have a market of users under 17 due to what it allows on it's platform.

Below you will see an age restriction guide for Social Media Platforms.  Part of the scope of Titan Media is to discuss, learn, and use social media.  Students do NOT use any media form that is not available for their age group.

 

Age Restiction