Thursday, February 24, 2011

New service "True Care" also helps monitor kids online

A spokesperson has informed me of another parental screening service, “True Care”, which may help parents shield their children especially from cyberbullying, basic link here.

The press release they sent out by email paid particular heed to harassment due to perceived sexual orientation. 

It also cited GLSEN statistics of high percentages of LGBT teens who report bullying in various forms at school.
The site also offers the ability to parse language and lingo for common slang and abbreviations, as well as phrases associated with intention to do harm. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Man arrested for fake video based on elementary school performance

CNN reports a case where a first grade class (in Pennsylvania?) teacher invited a singer to make a presentation.  The singer recorded and then edited the presentation and posted a YouTube video to make it look like the kids had listened to porn. The singer was arrested, although it’s not clear that he broke the law in a technical sense. 

On my main “Bill Boushka” blog I’ve covered a number of cases of teachers fired or suspended for blog content or Facebook (including my own back in 2005), but this is the first where there was obviously objectionable content involving children. In the other cases, the speakers had a reasonable moral foundation for their actions.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Despite end of ICRA, there are still some other voluntary content labeling systems (like RTA and Safesurf)

The ending of support for the (UK originated) ICRA content rating system was a bit of a blow to the idea of voluntary content classification by webmasters.  It was a very sophisticated system, with many categories, and made heavy use of the “semantic web”.

There are some other systems that may be simpler. There is RTA, “Restricted to Adults” here.  It can label wordpress pages (although apparently not Blogger pages) with a plugin.    Note their progress report link (dating to November 2010).

RTA apparently offers the ability to label selected pages within a site.  But it helps to know PHP and Apache (Unix) or IIS (Windows) server programming, or, particularly Perl script language, if you really have multiple (dozens) of pages with but don’t want all of them.   The trademark slogan is “Adult Entertainment, Adult Responsibility”.

The facility was launched in 2006 by the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP).

There was a Voluntary Content Rating system with Solid Oak Software, but Wikipedia pages for these facilities have been removed, so they seem to have become extinct as well.

There is also an older system called SafeSurf, link here.  It appears that these tags can apply to individual pages. SafeSurf maintains that search engines can use the metatags for “safe mode” search results. 

It’s interesting that Wikipedia entertained its own internal content rating system, but that was dropped.