The so-called dangers of the Internet were highlighted in two recent media frenzies: the MySpace child-predator bust, in which Wired reporter Kevin Poulsen discovered that a registered sex offender was actively befriending and trolling MySpace for kids; and the harassment of Web pundit Kathy Sierra by a group of people who posted cruelly Photoshopped pictures of her, called for her death, and posted her home address.
Despite the genuine scariness represented by both these incidents, I would submit they are no less scary than what one could encounter offline in real life. In general, the Internet is a far safer place for kids and vulnerable people than almost anywhere else. As long as you don't hand out your address to strangers, you've got a cushion of anonymity and protection online that you'll never have in the real world. It's no surprise that our myths of the Internet overestimate both its ability to bring the world together and to destroy us individually. 2
Annalee Newitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a surly media nerd who is biased in favor of facts.
Most Commented On
- Agreed. I don't think tech - December 13, 2013
- Street wall art is becoming a - December 13, 2013
- "Cycling is popular with tech - December 13, 2013
- stainless steel - December 13, 2013
- So you have no problem with - December 13, 2013
- shop - December 12, 2013
- The law actually already applies to them - December 12, 2013
- And how exactly does this help her - December 12, 2013
- We are the future, you are the past - get over it - December 12, 2013
- Hitting The Bottle A Bit Early Aren't We - December 12, 2013