[Air-l] Deleting Online Predators Act, MySpace and a plea for help

Jessica L. Beyer jlbeyer at u.washington.edu
Thu Jun 1 13:55:39 PDT 2006


I am very interested in this issue danah, though I am new to this area 
(and this list I should say).  I'm a PhD student in Political Science and 
my dissertation is going to have something to do with the ways in which 
online communities and the state interact.  It's interesting that though 
different countries regulate the internet in a variety of ways they all 
seem to share a basic perception of these e-communities as threatening.

Also, it's fascinating the way that stories about online predators have 
replaced kidnapping coverage in the popular press.  The level of spectacle 
that is involved appears ridiculous to anyone who participates or knows 
anything about the online spaces where this supposedly rampant problem is 
occurring.  These two things combined make it difficult to not see the 
sudden political attention on the issue as an easy way for policymakers to 
farm for votes.

And to address the first of Lois' notes-this to me is such a nice example 
of how regulation of these spaces in the US is occurring "backwards" in a 
reactionary way.  I know that many public technology spaces have blocked 
the use of sites such as MySpace, and so the average under-18 user already 
knows about all the sites to circumvent the blockage.  One of the most 
striking things about this debate is the mismatch between the under-18 
crowd's use of the internet and authority figures beliefs about how it can 
be regulated.

Anyway, I'm reading along with interest!
Best,
Jessica

---------------------------------
Jessica L. Beyer
University of Washington
Department of Political Science
---------------------------------

On Thu, 1 Jun 2006, Lois Ann Scheidt wrote:

> Lauran, you asked for opinions so here goes.  If you read the text of
> HR 5319 IH, the "Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006"
> (http://www.techlawjournal.com/cong109/bills/house/hr5319/hr5319ih.asp), you
> will see that the document has so many problems I would be surprised if
> it ever got out of committee.  If enacted it would, in essence, bar
> minors from  anything but passive consumption of the internet when they
> access from school or a library.  It is also so broadly worded that
> most online writing sites, even those that are passworded and held on
> school servers would have to be discontinued under the bill.
>
> Two notes:  1) Chat sites were blocked by many schools and libraries
> after the enactment of previous legislation, so that part of the
> discussion has already been resolved by many schools and library boards.
>
> 2) This bill does nothing to stop the flow of questionable materials
> through email.
>
> A list of co-sponsors is available at
> http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-5319.  If your
> legislator is on the list please take the time to contact their office
> with your opinion on this bill.
>
> Lois Ann Scheidt
>
> Doctoral Student - School of Library and Information Science, Indiana
> University, Bloomington IN USA
>
> Future Faculty Teaching Fellow (2005-2006) - School of Informatics, Indiana
> University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis IN USA
>
> Webpage:  http://www.loisscheidt.com
> Blog:  http://www.professional-lurker.com
>
>
> Quoting "Lauren M. Squires" <lauren.squires at gmail.com>:
>
>> Well put, danah.  I am interested in the fact that this message didn't
>> inspire any responses to the list or discussion.  Perhaps I've been
>> out of the loop, but this was the first I'd heard of DOPA - HAVE I
>> been out of the loop, or has it not been covered very thoroughly? I'm
>> very curious as to other AoIRer's thoughts about it, if anyone feels
>> like sharing.
>>
>> Related, I just heard a story on NPR about high schools in Illinois
>> starting to police "blog sites," which folks working on
>> youth/privacy/parenting might find interesting:
>> http://www.suntimes.com/output/tech/cst-nws-online23.html  I guess the
>> story broke about a week ago, but I have some summertime news lag.
>> Apparently only one parent spoke up to protest the schools' decision -
>> regardless of where one stands on the issue personally, that
>> singularity seems kind of shocking.
>>
>> Lauren
>>
>> On 5/25/06, danah boyd <aoir.z3z at danah.org> wrote:
>>> Henry Jenkins and i co-authored an interview essay based on questions
>>> from the MIT News Office to address concerns related to the proposed
>>> American law entitled Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA).  We
>>> recognize that parents and legislators are concerned, but we do not
>>> believe that DOPA is the best approach and we fear that, if
>>> implemented, it will cause more harm than good.  We conducted this
>>> interview in the hopes that it provides valuable information for
>>> parents, legislators and press who are interested in the issue.
>>>
>>> http://www.danah.org/papers/MySpaceDOPA.html
>>>
>>> I believe that this topic affects our research community as a whole.
>>> The proposed law affects most Internet communities, including
>>> chatrooms, mailing lists, photo sharing sites, gaming environments
>>> and social network sites.  It is also a slippery slope legislative
>>> piece, working to give American legislators more control over who
>>> participates online, in what ways and where.  Collectively, we have a
>>> lot of knowledge about this terrain and the positive aspects of
>>> digital culture. This needs to be surfaced publicly in order to
>>> combat the culture of fear.  I know that most of you aren't obsessing
>>> about MySpace as much as i am, but i believe that what is happening
>>> with MySpace will affect many of us on this list.
>>>
>>> Finally, as researchers, we're often faced with how press cover this
>>> terrain and we're often asked to speak out as experts.  For better or
>>> worse, i've become a press puppet on all things MySpace and i'm tired
>>> of seeing myself in print.  I also believe that there are other
>>> voices that need to be heard, other relevant academic knowledge that
>>> needs to be elevated.  I have to imagine that there are other
>>> academics who could join me in addressing the press and combatting
>>> the fears the public has over how people use technology.  If you are
>>> interested in speaking to the press about these issues, please let me
>>> know.  In particular, i'm especially looking for other researchers
>>> who have expertise in digital youth, online/offline sociability,
>>> online dating, risk assessment, reputation costs, gaming, blogging
>>> and anything else you might be seeing the press cover right now under
>>> the fear category.  I know that public-facing academic engagement is
>>> controversial, but i'm definitely in the camp which says, "I am
>>> obliged to contribute. Silence is complicity" (Diane Bell, "Writing
>>> in the eye of a storm").  My hope is that others are interested in
>>> helping combat the fear-mongering with all of the knowledge that we
>>> have about this domain.
>>>
>>> danah
>>>
>>>
>>> - - - - - - - - - - d a n a h ( d o t ) o r g - - - - - - - - - -
>>> "taken out of context i must seem so strange"
>>>
>>> musings :: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts
>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>> http://www.aoir.org/
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> lauren m. squires
>>  lx: http://polyglotconspiracy.net
>>  cmc: http://sociocmc.blogspot.com
>> _______________________________________________
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>
>
>
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