As many of you know I enjoy reading the work of a number of authors, danah boyd in particular. He research and studies on the role of the internet in the socialization of youth is both timely and every changing. Recently she and a few of her colleagues at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society composed a response to official FCC Notice of Inquiry Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape.
I was impressed with the scope of the inquiry and believe that it will develop some worthwhile positive findings. It is actively looking to better understanding the bad: (i) exposure to exploitative advertising; (ii) exposure to inappropriate content (such as offensive language, sexual content, violence, or hate speech); (iii) impact on health (for example, childhood obesity,tobacco use, sexual behavior, or drug and alcohol use); (iv) impact on behavior (in particular, exposure to violence leading to aggressive behavior); (v) harassment and bullying; (vi) sexual predation; (vii) fraud and scams; (viii) failure to distinguish between who can and who cannot be trusted when sharing information; and (ix) compromised privacy.
... and the good: (i) accessing educational content; (ii) acquiring technological literacy needed to compete in a global economy; (iii) developing new skills in the use of technology and the creation of content; (iv) facilitating new forms of communication with family and peers; (v) improving health through telemedicine; and (vi) removing barriers for children with disabilities.
The NOI findings could have substantial impacts on future internet policy, and that could directly impact how youth use, and are allowed to use the internet. The topic is in a constant state of flux influenced by media outlets, personal experiences, and the ebbs and flows of conventional wisdom. It is my hope that the NOI can bring in academically sound research and insights, and that the recommendations from those who have the deepest understanding of the issues hold the most weight in the creation of policy.