Last week Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick introduced the Deleting Online Predators Act
, which among other things would prevent access by anyone under 18 to social-networking sites like MySpace and Facebook from public school and public library computers and networks.BusinessWeek
has some discussion of this.
Obviously the Internet industry is up in arms about this, as a draconian measure without necessarily any clear way to enforce it. And they certainly have some good points. This is a pretty broad brush to use to paint the social networking cottage industry.
At the same time, we should ask: what is the right balance between teaching individual responsibility for safe Net usage, and building a "walled garden" for the kids to play in? And how should responsibility be shared between parents, the kids themselves, the schools, and governments?