Friday, March 17, 2017

Network Filters Don't Work for Protecting Children - Science

It's probably not a surprise that network filters don't work but the researchers wanted to verify that for themselves and they did confirm the filters don't do any harm but they don't do anything particularly useful either.  (Science Daily:  Study casts doubt on whether internet filters in the home protect teenagers online)

Internet filters are widely used in homes, schools and libraries throughout the UK to protect young people from unpleasant online experiences.  However, a new study by Oxford casts doubt on whether such technologies shield young teenagers after finding no link between homes with internet filters and the likelihood of the teenagers in those households being better protected.  The research paper, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, says the effectiveness of internet filters is 'dubious' and suggests that resources would be better spent trying to develop the resilience of teenagers to such experiences.

- SD

The Rockhouse guess is this is not surprising you so onward.


Here's the model for the review:

Researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) at Oxford University analysed Ofcom data from 1,030 interviews in the homes of 515 teenagers aged 12-15 years across the UK.  There was broadly an equal number of boys and girls in the sample.  Their parents were also interviewed about whether they had used technical tools to control or manage their child's access to online content.  Nearly one in six (or 14%) of the teenagers interviewed reported they had had at least one negative experience online in the past year that they would class as significant; 8% said they had been contacted by someone online who they did not know and wanted to be their friend.  Around 4% said they had encountered another person pretending to be them online; 2% saw something of a sexual nature that made them uncomfortable; 3% reported seeing or receiving a scary video or comment that made them feel scared.

Meanwhile only one-third of the parents said they used content filters, with two-thirds (66%) saying they had not. One quarter (24%) of the parents did not know or were unaware of the filter technology at the time of the interview.

- SD

There's a significant percentage of reactions which I wouldn't want to see the Internet eliciting in my kid (e.g. fear, discomfort, etc).


The findings:

The findings show that the use of internet filtering in the home did not appear to mitigate the risk of young people having unpleasant online experiences and that technical ability to bypass these filters had no observed effect on the likelihood of such experiences. The paper says the findings are unexpected as they do not support the clear presumption that internet filters in the home effectively protect teenagers.

- SD

That's not likely the answer parents want to hear so the first question coming to me is if this doesn't work then what does.


Instead of a policy emphasis that prioritises internet filters in the home, the paper suggests we need more focus on educating and supporting teenagers to view online material responsibly, especially given increasing use of mobile devices outside the home. The main emphasis should be on how teenagers manage online experiences that make them feel uncomfortable or scared, it concludes.

- SD

You probably anticipated this would wind up at education but, lacking any magical solution, I'll be with it.


For the case, study, there's a Web site out there or at least it was out there fifteen or twenty years ago and it's sole content was reams of pictures of people in car crashes and every horrifying picture they could find of that nature.  Perhaps it still exists and I would damn sure never want my kid to see that since that photography will make nightmares.

If I talk to the little rotter to advise him, young man, I'm giving you my best advice to stay away from that horrible place but an advisory like that can make something magnetic.  I know the filter won't work so how do I keep him out of there.

I'm not a parent and it's stupid to second-guess the parents who have been through this so it's over to you on dealing with it since we see the filters are mostly useless.

2 comments:

Kannafoot said...

"For the case, study, there's a Web site out there or at least it was out there fifteen or twenty years ago and it's sole content was reams of pictures of people in car crashes and every horrifying picture they could find of that nature. Perhaps it still exists and I would damn sure never want my kid to see that since that photography will make nightmares."

Um, have you not seen the video shown during every driver's training class in this state? It's bloody, it's graphic, and it's mandatory viewing.

Peas InOurThyme said...

Nope, I don't believe I ever saw that one and I'm sure I attended for driver ed in my time since that copped an insurance break if I did it.

I'm willing to cut the state a tiny bit of slack for misguided mandate of that type of video in driver ed since they likely see it as effective for education but it's not been my observation much of anyone knows about education before university and then they don't care (i.e. learn it or get out).

That kind of overly-dramatic pseudo-education would not likely create anything but nightmares and I seriously question whether it has any preventative value in reducing teenage car crashes. This one seems like the result of some pol making a cheap play to say, "Hey, look how much I love your kids."