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.

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