Monitoring Kids’ Social Lives

AOL now offers SafeSocial, a program that scans Facebook, Twitter and Myspace to find and report inappropriate behavior, such as bullying, drug use, or suicidal words. This is not the same as the parental controls being offered by cell phone companies. This is for parents who actually talk to their kids. AOL makes a point that SafeSocial is not an outlet for parents to spy on their kids. Parents must invite their kids who must accept the invitation to be monitored by SafeSocial.

States Struggle with Teen Sexting Laws

Nearly 20 states have enacted new laws, or are working on measures that deal with teenage sexting, aimed at treating children more leniently than adults. The Wall Street Journal reports Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana and Illinois are among the states that enacted laws this year. Many of the new rules impose only modest penalties, such as small fines and short stints in juvenile detention, instead of prison terms and a cameo on the sex offender registry. Across the nation, lawmakers and child advocates are struggling with the issues:  Should they hammer teens, or let parents and schools handle sexting incidents? One in five teens admits to “sexting,” according to a survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.