Too Sensitive for TwitterPosted: 08/05/2011 | |
Twitter announced about a week ago that they are testing a way to flag links within tweets as being “potentially sensitive.” Currently, the feature is under development and likely will not be fully functional for at least a few months.
Here’s my question: how much does the ability to censor tweets actually prevent children from seeing them? The internet is a Medusa of bad content: one wrong glance, and it could turn you to stone. Prevention and content-flagging is only a partial solution to this problem.
I get frustrated when people discuss shielding the bad parts of the internet from kids without teaching them how to understand navigating it for themselves. It’s not the collective responsibility of internet users to shield children (there’s a great article I’ve linked at the end espousing this point), but rather the responsibility of parents to educate their children on how to analyze and filter content. From my experience on Twitter, it’s pretty easy to tell which links may be shady once you know the signs. TwitterBots that follow you without posting anything or context-less links that random Twitter users tweet at you should raise red flags (more tips on identifying Twitter spam linked below).
Granted, young kids cannot be expected to filter and identify bad content this easily, but then again, neither can adults. I’m pretty convinced that people are still falling for Nigerian email scams and clicking through the links about the Facebook Killer being in their town. Clearly, this is larger problem than just censoring sensitive information. Our collective internet intelligence is extremely low.
Twitter can crowd-source flagging of sensitive material, but it doesn’t substitute for internet intelligence education.
Now, to figure out how to solve that problem…
Mashable: Twitter To Add Parental Controls
Social Media Daily: Your Children Are Not My Responsibility on Twitter
All Twitter: 5 Clues That You’re Reading Twitter Spam
Are you internet intelligent? How would you teach others about being internet intelligent? Let me know in the comments.