Following my blog post Webzilla (if you haven’t read it yet, read it here) I was excited to read about the launch of AOL SafeSocial, the first social media tool for parents to monitor their children’s movement and activity across large social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Ceop, the child protection agency, suggested the use of ‘panic buttons’ on Facebook sites which a child could hit when he or she felt endangered or suspected a paedophile. Although good in theory, this suggestion had one major flaw… the whole reason there is such high danger on these social networking sites is because these men do not actively tell the child they are a paedophile, but dress up as boys their age.
Also, the main concern surrounding young children on social networking sites is the lack of knowledge that parents hold about their children’s activity on the internet. AOL SafeSocial opts to encourage positive dialogue between parent and child but requires permission from the child before monitoring can begin. The tool alerts parents to any irregular or concerning behaviour arising whilst time is spent on social networking sites.
The great thing is, it does not require the parent to be-friend their child on the site.. something which all teenagers want to avoid, and provides a comprehensive overview of their online footprint including: an easy-to-read report card of overall activity and the identification of any potential red flags.
It allows parents to receive a real-time alert to any strange connections outside of the child’s networks and help detect behaviour in reference to bullying, drugs and suicide. It also allows parents to view photos their child is tagged in.
The tool provides a revolutionary way for parents to gain access to their children’s internet activity without the fuss of leaning over their child’s shoulder when their on the laptop or trying to add them as a friend. Hopefully it will reduce the amount of awful crime that comes from social media sites.