lundi 11 juillet 2011

Final Research Paper

Finally, we are done !! :D

I am very happy to share with you my final research paper, but just before I would like to thank our SSK1212 professor Dr.Boudihaj for teaching us this 2011 summer session, and also my teammates Amine Benlemlih and Salim Lahbil for their hard work. Now, ENJOY !! ;-) 

Social Network and Child Safety

Amine Benlemlih
Ayoub Fikri
Salim Lahbil

Professor Boudihaj
SSK 1212, Section 3
12 July 2011

Amine Benlemlih
Ayoub Fikri
Salim Lahbil
SSK 1212, Section 03

Throughout the time, the world has known different historical facts that changed human’s way of life, for instance, World War I & II, The walk on the moon, the French revolution or the Brazilian's longest wave on the Earth. But the world did not know only these natural or historical events. It has also met a more revolutionary phenomenon:  Internet. All over the years, Internet has been developed and made more public. As a result, it creates one of the most dangerous inventions: Social Networks. Facebook, MySpace, Msn, etc. all these social websites aim to make the world open and connected. Nevertheless, besides all the advantages, social networks can occur negative consequences on users. In fact, these websites have been repeatedly put under fire and landed themselves in hot water especially in terms of the users’ privacy.
It goes without saying that the world's largest social network occurs to users whom are mostly girls and between the age of 12 and 25 a number of advantages. Those users possess a wall where they post, comment statues and express their opinions about other ones by the “Like” option. They can share pictures, links, articles, etc. Facebook can also be a place where to share opinions and points of views about different topics. Indeed, people can join groups and discuss different issues. In addition, it helps to keep contact with friends and family. However, to create an account, users need to give enough information about them (full
name, dates, relationships, likes, religion, Political views, etc). This might be a real  danger. Indeed, data mining is illustrated as one of the biggest issue concerning social network privacy. Moreover, the privacy issue has different factors starting from cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking passing through the brain changes and that can lead to one of the most critical issue which is child safety. Without a doubt, a child who has access to internet is faced to a real danger such as the fake profiles or the information that he provides and receives along with pictures.
The credibility of the information put by different users has raised concerns about this social network. In other words, the possibility of having an account freely and easily made it possible for some users to create fake account. As a matter of fact, some people pretend to be another person, either for malicious, playful reasons or to bother others. This issue does not concern only Facebook, since any site using user accounts has the possibility for users to create fake accounts or give wrong information. According to Poe, an American writer, Russian historian, and – most recently- a Wikipedia scholar has cited in his essay, The Hive, when he was talking about, the Internet behemoth, Wikipedia. Anyone has the possibility to put in entries, change entries or suggest for deleting other entries after giving few reasons that most of the time are weak (510). In fact in 2008, a Moroccan engineer wanted to make a joke by using a royal’s identity profile and pretended that it was the official profile. Fortunately, the police caught him and got his punishment. Therefore, it is always difficult to keep track of people who are regular users and who are not (fake ones) after the massive daily registration rate on Social Network (Facebook, for instance). It is true that sometimes fake profiles are set up by spams or malware virus. The problem is that social networks do not have a strict policy towards fake profiles which it gives the entire freedom to cybercriminal to practice their malicious acts.  The profile might be deleted if they become aware of it.  As Zuckerberg, Facebook founder has said: "You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies." Without a doubt, people should take some steps to save their privacy.
The children’s interaction with social network websites might be a real danger relating to different issues such as cyber-stalking and bullying, fake profiles, data mining especially if we see that 85% of the users share their personal information. Indeed, Cyber-Stalking and Cyber-bullying have raised concerns about these social networks. It can be illustrated in sending harassing emails, forwarding pictures and personal information, etc. To be sure, Olweus, who has been involved in research and intervention work in the area of bully and victim problems among school children and youth, stated that:”A person is bullied when he or she is exposed repeatedly and over time to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself” (Olweus bullying prevention program, Olweus.The world’s foremost bullying prevention program. Hazelden Foundation. n.d.07.july.2011). Furthermore, teenagers who share their pictures, profiles, and identities online through websites and social networks are more vulnerable to cyber bullying. Additionally, there is a direct link between time spent online and cyber bullying with the awareness that most of the users nowadays spend more than 3 hours usually in the purpose of chatting with friends and relatives. Those users called Youngsters are the most threatened to endanger cyber bullying. All these above lead to some harmful risks:  first the paedophile represents the threat to children from unknown adults; and second the bully illustrated in the threat from other known children. As Livingstone discussed in her book (Children and Internet chapter 6 Risk and Harm): ‘’both these risks [the paedophile and the bully] position the child as vulnerable victim against feared sexual or violent aggressor`` (157). These risks are widespread but most parents do not supervise their children while using internet. Thereby, children as recipient according to Livingstone are under four online risks: commercial (Advertising, spam, sponsorship), Aggressive (violent/hateful content), Sexual (Pornographic or unwelcome sexual content), Values (Racism, biased or misleading info/advice (e.g. drugs)). Alternatively, children can also be positioned as an actor producing risky content or contact due to the lack of regulation of age, also the fact that age can be disguised online, and that is illustrated in Livingstone’s work: ‘’children are positioned not only as victim but also as perpetrator, raising new challenges for the informal and formal regulation of conduct online`` (157). Similarly to children as recipient, children as actor are under the same online risks but with different role: commercial (Gambling, hacking, illegal downloads), Aggressive (bullying or harassing another), Sexual (creating and uploading pornography), and Values (providing advice e.g. suicide/ pro-anorexic chat).  The results of our conducted survey showed that people still share personal information even if they are aware of its negative effects. Also, 39% of social network (Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter) users had been cyber bullied in some way, versus 22% of teens not using social networking sites. Cyber bullying is a worldwide growing issue and especially in schools. Students have been in fights, brought guns to school (in USA), and even committed suicide because of being cyber bullied. This is an issue which is a growing problem and must be addressed.
Finally, data mining has been one of the most important issues that Facebook lovers have met. According to Facebook privacy policy, Facebook Company may use collected information about users from other sources to support user’s profile. Nevertheless, many users were traumatized after realizing that their own personal data including names and profile pictures has been put in other place rather than Facebook. Actually, as stated on Facebook privacy policy webpage: "We may share your information with third parties, including responsible companies with which we have a relationship." This contradicts completely what has been said by the spokesman, Chris Hughes: "Simply put, we have never provided our users' information to third party companies, or do we intend to”. In reality, Facebook has already made an agreement with a number of companies to provide them the entrée to the individuals' Facebook information for different purposes among what advertising to products or goods. On the other hand, there do not exist enough defenses to struggle hacking and malware. The fact, two students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) were able to download, over 70,000 Facebook profiles from different universities schools related to a research project on Facebook privacy on December 14, 2005. The responsibility turns to the webmaster of Facebook of not taking into consideration the users’ will for sharing their personal data and bring enough security toward hacking and harmful acts.
Indubitably, Social network has changed our lives to a better one in such way that it made our friends closer. Also, there is who has found the right person to spend the rest of their life with, found their old good childhood friends with whom they had spent their most beautiful years. Others even regained their freedom in dignity against dictatorships. We state as concrete examples the Egyptians and Tunisians recent revolutions. However, this should not blind us in front of the fact that behind the scene the stream of the information we are exchanging goes through into the bad hands. This is due to the some breaks in privacy rules and regulations as well as the fact that its administrators worry mainly about their interest rather than people’s rights in their own privacy and we never realize this until we got into the trap. More dangerous than that, policies in many countries do not cover this plague; therefore, the juridical cannot bring you justice if you are victim.
Facebook has been hit with a string of controversies over privacy. After a number of protests and objections from some members and privacy protesters, the Facebook managers made wide-ranging changes to its privacy settings. Yet, still a number of changes need to be done; however, changing some of the network’s privacy settings may become too complicated for the majority of the users to understand. Thus, parents should be aware of the danger that all this privacy breaks constitutes on their children’s life. In addition to that, the Social networks companies should take these changes in privacy settings more seriously rather than just pretending in order to make more benefits. We are talking about humans’ lives, not material currency to fill stacks.

Works cited
Byron, Acohido. "Sex predators stalk social media." USA Today n.d.: Academic Search                  Complete. EBSCO. Web. 11 July 2011.

Dvorak, John C. "Why Facebook Privacy Settings Don't Matter." PC Magazine 29.7 (2010): 1. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 11 July 2011.

Facebook’s Privacy Policy. Facebook, 22 December 2010. Web. 05 July 2011.

Lenhart, Amanda. “Cyberbullying Is Not Worse than Physical Bullying.” Opposing Viewpoints: Media Violence. Ed. David M. Haugen. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. GRAPEVINE HIGH SCHOOL. 30 Mar. 2011 <http://>.     
Livingstone, Sonia. “Children and internet: great expectations, challenging realities”. Polity, 2009. Print.
Mogull, Rich, and Mike Rothman. "PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY." Macworld 28.4 (2011): 48-55. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 11 July 2011.

Olweus bullying prevention program, Olweus. The world’s foremost bullying prevention program. Hazelden Foundation, n.d. Web. 2 July 2011.  

Poe, Marshall.  “The Hive”.The Hive (2006) Rpt. Fields of Reading Ed. Nancy 9th Ed Boston Bedford, 2010. 506-21 Print.

Von Feilitzen, Cecilia, and Ulla Clarson. “Children in the New Media Landscape: Games, Pornography,Perceptions”. Children and Media Violence Yearbook, 2000. Print.

jeudi 7 juillet 2011

Reflection about the statistics of the survey


            Statistics are mandatory in every research due to many factors; first we have proof and facts of our subject, second they will show us for example for our survey which category use the most social networks, which social networks are the most used in our society, what are the purposes of social networks, how many share their personnel information, do the users know the privacy issues of social networks, and how can those issues represent a real danger. From these statistics we found that from our environment and society, the majority of the users are girls, and they spend more time on social network websites than boys do. We also noticed that Facebook is the most famous social networks not only in our society but all over the world with a high percentage. In addition to that, users are sharing their personal information which can cause real danger especially concerning children, and the most hazardous part is that statistics showed that the majority of people are aware of the privacy issues that users may encounter using social network websites. Furthermore, the purpose of social networks is usually chatting with friends, and sharing pictures and videos; therefore, important benefits from those kinds of social networks are neglected; whereas, children are usually under the risks of fake profiles and cyber bullying.
To sum up, I would like to say that comments we received, in addition to the professor’s instructions were very helpful because they helped us improve our survey and our research paper in general by indicating what were the weaknesses of our survey that needed to be improved.

lundi 4 juillet 2011

Reflection on the search process : The Survey

Our Online Survey : If you want to fill in our survey please click here.

Analysis of the results of the survey

*Question 1: What is your gender?

Interpretation:We notice through the results of the first question that the number of females is higher than males

*Question 2: What is your age?

Interpretation: We could clearly realize that the biggest age group is between 18 and 25 with a percentage of 90%.

*Question 3: Which of these social network websites do you use the most?

Interpretation:  Through this graph we see that Facebook occupies the first place in the most used social network.
It provides different options and settings that attract people more and more.

*Question 4: How frequently do you use social network websites?

Interpretation:  This graph provides different results. First of all, we see that 40% are using social network at least one hour (or more) per day.
Then, we can see some huge statistics for those who use more than 3 hours which is a big symptom of addictedness.

*Question 5: Do you access your social network account via mobile phone?

Interpretation:  Here is another graph that shows how people are addicted using social network.
Indeed, 61% have access to social network even via their mobile phone.

*Question 6: For what purpose do you use social networks websites?

Interpretation:  People use social network for different reasons. Most of the time for entertainment, in fact, we can see a high score for Chat, Share pictures and videos.
Moreover, social network helps people to promote event and blogs. However, there is a little percentage for the finding job.

*Question 7: Do you share your personal information?

Interpretation:  We realize that people share their personal information through social network without taking into consideration the privacy issues.

*Question 8: Do you agree with the following statements being definition to cyber bullying and cyber stalking?

Interpretation:  From this graph we can see that even people know about what social network can provide as bad effect they still share personal information.
Definitely, people know to recognize some bad and harmful acts towards users.

*Question 9: Which one of these you think children suffer more from?

Interpretation:  We see that people agreed that children suffer more from fake profiles. Therefore, they can suffer from cyber-bullying and stalking since both of them are related.
Finally, children can also suffer from data mining such as all social network users.

*Question 10: Please rate the following statement in terms of your overall agreement.

Some Comments:

Social networks are a real waste of time! Everybody knows it, but they will keep using it. It attracts many people because it allows them to re-shape their personality and show up in front of others the way they want, which may give not only fake pictures and names, but also fake people.
7/7/11 12:37AM

Not sure about cyber-bullying/stalking definitions, so I did not answer

7/6/11 5:12PM 
You did not explain what do Cyber-Stalking and Cyber-bullying mean. If someone else did not find the definition he or she could easily get bored and not continue the survey. Good Luck!!
7/6/11 5:06PM 
Very Nice Survey !! :D
7/6/11 1:38PM
Perfect survey
7/4/11 5:42PM

jeudi 30 juin 2011

Reflection on the search process : Non peer reviewed articles

 Another type of research was to look for non peer-reviewed articles. These kinds of articles are available in websites (commercial websites : (.com), educational websites :(.edu), and organizational websites (.org)...) . These websites give can give you relevant information, even if these articles are not reviewed by experts, but you need to be careful to the domain of websites while searching because there are a lot of websites that can give you irrelevant information. In my search process, I decided to look for some quotes to use in my body paragraph to support my ideas. It was a hard task because I found a lot of websites that contains irrelevant and unreliable information. It took me a long time to find some websites that contains some articles with relevant information.
The search for non-reviewed articles in websites was a somehow difficult task because you need to check the domain of any website you visited, and to check for the author, the publisher, the date of publication to make sure that these websites contain relevant informations.

lundi 27 juin 2011

Reflection on the search process : Peer reviewed articles


Before starting our research on online databases, we attended a workshop that helped know how to use these tools. A library assistant explained to us in details how we use these online databases, such as EBSCO Host and Jstor, and for what purpose. This workshop taught us how to do a simple research and an advanced one. With this database, the research is guided. We can search by keyword or by subject terms for example. We can also limit or extend our research. We may choose some added information like narrowing the date of publication or the language, and we can also impose to the database to search only peer-reviewed journals for example, and many other options are available to facilitate our online search process. When searching for some peer-reviewed articles using online databases, I found some interesting articles that were relevant to my topic. Thanks to the library assistant, I knew exactly how to use these databases efficiently. I personally found that the EBSCO Host database is more efficient than Jstor because it contains a huge amount of data and it gives a variety of options that facilitate your search process.
The online database search for peer reviewed articles was very easy than the book search process because Internet facilitates a lot the search process, and also the EBSCO Host & Jstor databases that contains a huge amount of professional and peer-reviewed articles.

vendredi 24 juin 2011

Reflection on the search process : Books

After using Google and Wikipedia as a starting point reference, now I have to find the most accurate book. To start my research, I used the online library catalog (OPAC: Online Public Access Catalog) in order to locate some interesting books. So to find them, I looked first about titles that contain one of the key words or all of them. The results were not very satisfying because I didn't find any book that has one of these words in its title. Then, I searched by using key words which are: Social network, children safety. I found some relevant books that seemed to be interesting. I took their call number, and search for them. The book that I found was very relevant to my topic: “Children and the Internet: great expectations, challenging realities” by Sonia Livingstone. After a little overview on this book and its table of content, I decided to use some statistics and quotes from it to support my arguments.
Looking for the right book was not an easy task as I thought. However, it was a good source that helped me adjust my topic and try to make it more interesting and specific.

mercredi 22 juin 2011

Reflection on the search process : Starting point

The first idea that came to my mind to get a general information about my theme "Social network " is to start by using search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and others ... For me, I chose to search in Google since I am used to it. After I typed my theme in Google, I did not find any relevant information, I just found some links to famous social networks such as : Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and others. So, where should I look for to get some general ideas related to my theme? The solution was to use Wikipedia as a starting point for my research process.

When I typed my theme : "Social network" in Wikipedia, it gave me general information about this theme that was interesting but not related to my topic. But when I typed "Social network service", it gave me relevant information because in the table of contents I found child safety under the social network issues, and that is my topic : "Social network issues : child safety". The information I found was relevant and interesting, and I found some very helpful references that helped me get more knowledge about my specific topic.