Misleading ad campaign about online privacy targets teens

Filed under: Media, Gadgets

I know the Internet can be a dangerous place. But let's stop it with all the boogie-monster scare tactics. Just because you write about yourself online, it does not mean you're going to be recognized in real-life by dozens of creepy perverts.

That's essentially the message of this new TV commercial aimed at teens who post personal information on the Internet. The ad follows Sarah, an innocent-looking girl who is noticed by random male strangers. A coach at her school asks "how's the new tattoo, Sarah?" A ticket guy at the movie theater asks, "what color underwear today, Sarah?"

Even if Sarah was posting info about her undergarments online, the chances of her writing being so popular that she'd be recognized by local strangers is minuscule -- to put it mildly. (This is assuming she also posted photos of herself in addition to the racy writing.) Plus, even if she was world-famous ala Lonelygirl15 (assuming that wasn't a hoax), unless she was dumb enough to post her full-name, she'd still be almost entirely anonymous. (And according to recent research, kids aren't that dumb -- far from it, in fact.)

I'm all for educating kids about online safety, but over-simplistic, misleading information like this is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

[via Geek Sugar]


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.