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Summer Camps Join Fray Against MySpace 251

Posted by timothy
from the jhu-cty-fnm dept.
The New York Times reports that now even summer camps are raising concerns about social networking sites such as MySpace, Friendster, and Facebook. Camps are worried about the ramifications of certain activities being associated with their summer programs after revealing pictures or postings are made online. Some camps are banning digital cameras, while others are instructing campers and parents to remove references to the camps from blog postings. Of course, the camps take the stance that they are merely trying to protect the children:
"The information that kids share today often is personal and private information that allows predators to track them down. We're also concerned about cyber-bullying."
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Summer Camps Join Fray Against MySpace

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  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:04PM (#15593246)
    I can't wait for the Band Camp references to begin.
    • Sorry, i really tried and just came up blank.....no wait that was the censor you should see...oh nm

      hehe just glad i was usually the only one with a camera at band camp ;)

      anyways, good luck with getting kids to not talk about camp. Complain about ppl talking behind your back and what do you suppose happens :)
    • This one time, at Band Camp, I tried to go online and check Slashdot from the computer lab.

      So this one kid, who hates me because I'm better, looked over my shoulder while I was surfing.

      When he saw the "News for Nerds" banner, he started shouting "News for Nerds! Stuff that Sucks!" over and over again. Everyone at camp stopped what they were doing to chant along.

      I cried myself to sleep that night and the next day, everyone called me "nerdface".
    • Just as paedophiles are profiled on the web, so are their victims. rather than using paedophilia as an excuse for governments to pound us back into the stone age, governments should stop worrying about dropping paedophiles' docs and start worrying about doing its job locking up or killing child rapists. Governments have always used dangerous people as an excuse to take our freedoms away rather than doing something about the dangerous people. MySpace should remain open and children should continue to post
      • governments should [...] start [...] killing

        Barbarian.
  • I heard... (Score:4, Funny)

    by tacarat (696339) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:04PM (#15593247) Journal
    ... that Camp Crystal lake was heading this initiative.
  • by the_furman (931683) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:06PM (#15593255)
    It's perfectly understandable that summer camp administrators are concerned. There's cause for concern. I think, however, that trying to ban kids from socializing online and discussing their camp experiences is definitly not the way to go. Social networking sites like Myspace are a reality, and trying to ban reality never works. Teaching kids about safe behaviour on the 'net would be a much more viable option, IMHO.
    • Absolutely correct, and while I think it's cute that camps are taking an interest in the kids that attend, where are the parents in all of this? There's no doubt that these social networking sites can be dangerous for teenage girls who can't keep their lid shut about personal issues (have you ever met a teenage girl who could?), so why are parents not taking an active interest in their children's online activity?
    • Observation. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stalyn (662)
      There is a mantra that exists on /. and perhaps society as a whole that the simple solution to problems akin to MySpace is proper parenting. I think it is a gross oversimplification to think being a "good parent" is going to solve all children related problems. In the same way it is an oversimplification to solely blame MySpace.

      I think the solution sits somewhere in the middle. That MySpace should make a concerted effort to work with parents to ensure their children's safety. Also parents need to educate th
      • Re:Observation. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pla (258480) on Friday June 23, 2006 @08:06PM (#15593858) Journal
        the simple solution to problems akin to MySpace is proper parenting.

        Not at all - The simple solution to 99% of MySpace problems rests in recognizing that the "problems" don't exist in the first place. With the exception of the twits threatening to extort MySpace and posting about it thereupon, every other "problem" involved some busybody 3rd party authority-figure overstepping their bounds and panicking over harmless boasting and dick-waving.

        So Little Jimmy posed with a bottle of Jack - Can you prove he drank it and that it contained actual whiskey, rather than drinking cherry kool-aid out of a previously empty bottle? Can you even prove the punk in the poor-quality overly-compressed picture, wearing the same style of clothes and hair as every other 14YO male in the country, as the same Jimmy?

        So Susie has a list of people she hates and wants dead. We all (at least mentally) kept lists of people we hated and wanted dead. We just didn't act on them. Nor would Susie - Her "enemies" stand a better chance of dying in a freak accident involving snakes on a plane, than of her snapping one day and reenacting Doom down her school's corridors.

        So a 40 year old guy has a MySpace page saying he likes cartoons. Ever met a Disney employee? They really do act like that, no hidden pedophile motives involved. And if he admits to playing with Legos - My god! Call the swat team, we might just... gasp... have an engineer on our hands!


        That MySpace should make a concerted effort to work with parents to ensure their children's safety

        Sure - Just as soon as those parents start paying MySpace to act as babysitters. Seriously - We have a basic issue of "responsibility" here, specifically, who bears it. Parents have a responsibility to raise their kids. MySpace does not, regardless of how many "tweens" use it.

        MySpace represents the modern equivalent of playground gossip and note-passing. And, like it or not, the swingset doesn't censor its occupants, nor does the pencil refuse to write down obscenities.



        What you do on the Internet has RL consequences and vice versa.

        No - What you stupidly do on the 'net under your own name has consequences. Not that, if really motivated, you couldn't figure out my RL identity - I've probably given more than enough info without you even needing to leave Slashdot to track me down. But you can't just type in my real name in Google and see 183 reasons to fire me, 26 reasons to arrest me, and four reasons to execute me for treason (hey, don't forget that nontrivial crypto used to count as "munitions"). If these stupid kids would figure out the same thing, and do just a teensy bit to obscure their identities (no real names, blur faces and obvious location-signs in photos), we would all-but-stop-hearing about the evils of MySpace.
        • Sure - Just as soon as those parents start paying MySpace to act as babysitters. Seriously - We have a basic issue of "responsibility" here, specifically, who bears it. Parents have a responsibility to raise their kids. MySpace does not, regardless of how many "tweens" use it.

          I never suggested such a thing. I said MySpace should work with parents in some way. Maybe actively educate parents about MySpace. Provide parents with some tools to monitor their child's page. I'm not asking for draconian measures but
          • Re:Observation. (Score:3, Interesting)

            by JonathanR (852748)
            MySpace already works with parents. Since everything online that is public, is accessible to the parents, should they be the least bit interested in what their children are up to.

            Not that I'm saying that parents should merely engage in covert snooping, but it certainly is a tool for them to get to understand what goes through the minds of their offspring.
          • Also why do corporations skirt all responsibility? Aren't corporations people too?

            No - they are made up of people, and they have some of the same rights, but ultimately they are not people and you shouldn't go thinking they are.

            Why should a corporation bear any responsibility beyond what is legally required? A corporation didn't have any say in whether you spawned or not - a corporation gains nothing by your child's existence unless it is a customer.

            You really need better reasons for others accepting respon
          • Re:Observation. (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Jasin Natael (14968)

            Draconian Measures are fine, too. The problem is that it's pretty difficult to enforce such things, as MySpace and its ilk have no ID-verification service. And MySpace is so big, it really behooves the sexual predator or paedophile to join up -- there's an excellent chance they can find some dumb schmoe they're interested in attacking or exploiting.

            Children shouldn't expect too much privacy since they're still kind of "in training", and especially shouldn't expect things they share with anonymous strange

        • by mantar (941076) on Friday June 23, 2006 @08:38PM (#15593997)
          "But you can't just type in my real name in Google and see 183 reasons to fire me, 26 reasons to arrest me, and four reasons to execute me for treason"

          Don't be so sure... Haven't you heard about "Google DirtFinder Beta"? :-)
        • Re:Observation. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Firehed (942385)

          If these stupid kids would figure out the same thing, and do just a teensy bit to obscure their identities (no real names, blur faces and obvious location-signs in photos), we would all-but-stop-hearing about the evils of MySpace.

          Well, as long as typical Myspace page design continues to be considered just a faux pas rather than an evil.

          You nailed the problem though - stupid kids. It's the stupid ones that can't realize that meeting that friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend from Mypsace might not b

        • Re:Observation. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ash Vince (602485)
          "If these stupid kids would figure out the same thing, and do just a teensy bit to obscure their identities (no real names, blur faces and obvious location-signs in photos), we would all-but-stop-hearing about the evils of MySpace."

          And start hearing about the fictitious evils of some other fad that most people won't understand so will believe.

          Lets face it, the original family who are trying to dredge myspace through the courts are only doing it because there is a chance they will get paid. The lawyers repre
      • Bzzzt. Wrong. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by the_furman (931683)
        Disagree completely. You simply cannot push the burden of chaperoning kids onto Myspace the same way you can't expect phone companies to monitor calls to make sure the conversation is safe. That's silly. All Myspace is is a communications medium and there's absolutely no way they, as a company, can ensure that all the communication that takes place within the medium happens to be safe.

        Also note that in my post above I did not single out parenting as a solution to the problem. In fact, I've never even me
        • I never said ban it or MySpace should take sole responsbility. MySpace should work with parents. See my other reply [slashdot.org].
      • I respectfully disagree. MySpace supplies a framework in which users supply content. They do not and never will completely control the content and no one, especially parents, should assume otherwise. Parents educating themselves and getting more involved in their kid's online activity, now that I agree with.

        I'm not a parent but I have a brother who has 5 kids, including a 13-year old girl, and his answer is simply to set really strict rules on computer usage. First, he has a squid proxy server in place
      • I think people are overcomplicating this whole issue.
        I have an idea.
        If your kid is stupid enough to get themselves in deep shit on the internet after you've already made an attempt to educate them, then it probably can't be helped. Your stupid kid will find some other way to fuck up. And they're not going to "learn from your mistakes" that doesn't usually happen. Also, really now, does anybody think they'll be able to stop kids from being able to talk about things online? If it isn't one site it will be ano
    • This issue goes deeper than just 'security' of the campers, but also to disgruntled campers taking random nude photos off the internet and claiming that they were taken at camps etc, smearing the names of camp councelors etc.

      Still, most social networking sites have some kind of profile reporting system, usually staffed by volunteers, to keep nudity offline... but yeah, i can kinda see both sides of the issue on this one, both letting kids socialize, and at the same time trying to keep them safe. really it'
  • here's an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grapeape (137008) <mpope7NO@SPAMkc.rr.com> on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:07PM (#15593261) Homepage
    Why not provide better supervision of the kids at summer camp so that there is less dirt to post about? Oh wait that would require someone to actually take some responsibility...
    • Re:here's an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bunions (970377) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:11PM (#15593279)
      Yes, we should be watching the children 24-7 and never let them make mistakes. That's a sure way to raise kids that are smart and self-reliant.
  • by wiz31337 (154231) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:08PM (#15593266)
    I'm getting sick and tired of hearing parents, school counselors, child psychologists, etc blaming MySpace for virtually everything bad that could occur in a teens life.

    "[Camps] worry about online predators tracking children to camp and about their image being tarnished by inappropriate Internet juxtapositions"

    They claim in the article that predators will use MySpace to discover summer camps where children are going and then possibly kidnap them or something worse. Summer camps don't suddenly pop-up over night and contact parents via ESP to get their children to come; they advertise in the paper, on the Internet, and by fliers. MySpace isn't tipping anyone off to these "secretive" camps, anyone can go to Google and find 30 summer camps without any problem. As for predators using the information to choose their specific target, probably not.

    The article then goes on to say:
    "[Kids] were some things that we found that some of the kids posted that were really kind of nasty, saying bad things about counselors"
    If they have to list this as one of the reasons to abolish MySpace, they need to grow up.

    If someone can point me to some concrete facts about the number of abductions that have occurred solely as a result of a kid using MySpace (without any other factors) I will get off my soap box. I agree
    one case is too many, and it is horrible, but would it have happened anyway without MySpace?
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:21PM (#15593320) Journal
      "[Kids] were some things that we found that some of the kids posted that were really kind of nasty, saying bad things about counselors"
      It's called CYA (Cover Your Ass)

      All kinds of shit goes on at summer camps that would cause parents to freak.

      The administrators running these camps don't want those kinds of details to come out, since we know that people (regardless of age) are stupid when it comes to pictures on MySpace, FaceBook, Etc. It'd be a huge liability issue on their part. parents would be asking "how could you let [bad behavior caught on camera] happen?"

      "For the children" is just the easiest way to get everyone onboard.
      • I think you hit it right on the head of the nail there

        they are covering themselves from people saying bad things about problems with the camp but much more so, they know exactly what goes on at the camp. They probobly know that some parents also know what goes on and dont care but there are parents who would care if they knew and would at the least not send their children there and at the most, take legal action against the camp. I'm not sure exactly what is going on at these camps but if its not bad en

      • So now... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Belial6 (794905) on Friday June 23, 2006 @07:04PM (#15593566)
        So now you can know that the camp is taking an active role in covering up activities that parents would find objectable. This is certainly not to 'protect' the children. If anything it makes sure that any dangers continue to go on uncorrected.
    • by bcat24 (914105)
      Amen! Parents/schools/camps/etc. want a scapegoat, something they can blame for their incompetence. MySpace is the perfect thing to blame: it's new, it's different, and it's on Teh Scary Internet where Bad People hang out. Of course, the media doesn't help any with their scare tactics.

      Sure, MySpace can be dangerous, but so can anything other forum, or social thing in the world, for that matter. I guess I just wish people would spend less time attacking MySpace and more time teaching kids how to be safe and
      • Amen! Parents/schools/camps/etc. want a scapegoat, something they can blame for their incompetence. MySpace is the perfect thing to blame: it's new, it's different,

        Parents don't want someone to blame for problems, they want to prevent problems. It doesn't matter who is to blame when your daughter turns up dead, because blame won't bring her back. Parents know there are fucked up people in the world, and the last thing we want to do is fuel their fantasies. but at the same time we don't want our children t

    • Everyone knows predators use personal cloaking technology, vision-guided energy blasts, multi-wavelength heads-up displays. Much more effective than MySpace.
    • by hackstraw (262471) * on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:39PM (#15593412)
      I'm getting sick and tired of hearing parents, school counselors, child psychologists, etc blaming MySpace for virtually everything bad that could occur in a teens life.

      Me too. The ironic thing is that those are the parents that simply should not have kids either.

      I mean, since when will the old standby of waiting at a school bus or going to a shopping mall and pulling the "I'm sorry Johnny, your parents were just in an accident, and I was asked to take you to the hospital to see them" or similar trick stop working?

      Yet again, more evidence that logic and reason go out the window when "computers" or "online" is involved. Every week I see kids missing on milkboxes or on those token mailers with the "Have you seen me?" on them. And you know what? I'm pulling this number out of the air, but its probably pretty close, over 90% of those missing kids were taken by most likely a parent or someone else they know. The others simply had such shitty parents that they just decided to fend for themselves.

      Lets just put all kids and their parents in prisons and call it even.

      • I mean, since when will the old standby of waiting at a school bus or going to a shopping mall and pulling the "I'm sorry Johnny, your parents were just in an accident, and I was asked to take you to the hospital to see them" or similar trick stop working?

        One means of protecting your kids from this trick is to discuss this possibility with them ahead of time. Then come up with a passphrase for strangers to use if they really are supposed to pick up the kids. It's what my parents did for me and my broth
    • I don't think they're worried about people hanging out at summer camps and trying to grab kids at random, as that crime is virtually untouched one way or the other by the internet. They're worried about stalkers of specific children being able to identify a time and place when their target is vulnerable, which is a dramatically increased concern in this situation. Other than that, I think you've pretty much summarized accurately.
  • by SecaKitten (925554) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:09PM (#15593273)
    So much for "What happens at camp stays at camp."
    • Yeah, especially when it amounts to the (nearly inevitable) group of young (and sometimes older) male counselors who make it a point to bang as much teenage pussy as they can get their hands on. Now their hot, young, indiscreet partners will describe the encounter in detail on MySpace, putting an end to a revered camp tradition (not to mention an employment perk)!

      Max
  • by Stick_Fig (740331) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:15PM (#15593296) Homepage
    ...it sure feels like they're trying to solve all their problems by throwing Eggserronious on them.

    Let's not blame MySpace for any behavioral/discipline/legal problems. The real problem is that, much like the Last Chance kids from "Camp," you spent all your time allowing the older kids to treat them like dirt, and only Ernest (despite the whole posion ivy incident) really cared about them -- enough so that he was able to stop Kramer Construction singlehandedly.

    God, I love that movie.

  • It is like Jason's mom is going to come back the camp and avenge his death after some old guy pretending to be a horny girl seduces him over myspace for a tryst that results in a tragic boating accident in which they both drown. Hey, entire industries have been built on lamer premises.
  • A new age (Score:3, Insightful)

    by celardore (844933) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:20PM (#15593317)
    We all have digital cameras, camera phones etc... It's just a part of technology becoming more and more a part of our lives. It needn't be a bad thing, summer camp is probably one of the best places a teen can capture memories to show the family. Just because bad stuff can be done with these things doesn't mean an outright ban should follow.

    You're not allowed to take a camera into most swimming pools now, however much you want to capture your child first swimming. A few bad apples...
  • So in other words, summer camps don't want parents to look at some kids account of his camp experience on myspace about making out with a girl, and then freaking out that it's all one big den of sexual experimentation.

    The whole thing sounds ridiculous to me. Trademarking your camp name, and then using that to try to control speech sounds just wrong to me. If parents are really getting the wrong idea about a camp by reading what a 12 year old has to say about it on myspace, the problem is in the parents li
  • by IthnkImParanoid (410494) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:22PM (#15593327)
    Proof the internet is now just as much for dumb jocks as it is for nerds. Guess it's time to get started on the Metaverse, where we can be free once again ;p.
    • NEVER! We turned and ran once; we will NOT leave the Internet -- BROTHERS... SISTERS... uh... SECOND COUSINS TWICE REMOVED!!! Let us rise up! Two words will strike fear into the hearts of our bullying oppressors: battle bots. We must build to survive! Metal, plastic, fiberglass, pick-axes, chainsaws, sledge-hammers -- these are the materials from which our liberation will come!

      It should be noted that if that doesn't work, we can always spam their asses back into the stone age.
  • by posterlogo (943853) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:24PM (#15593343)
    ...and if the summer camps claim they want to help you out, that's their right to do so, and you can decide whether or not they are being overly bureaucratic/paranoid or not. What neither the summer camps nor the parents should be allowed to do, is sue MySpace, etc. because of their failings as parents. In the end, it's almost always inadequate parenting that causes their children to engage in risky behavior.
    • Actually, I'd like to see a few sue MySpace, and lose big time - I mean the judge handing out an absolute arse-kicking to the plaintiffs, utterly shredding their cases, pointing out in no uncertain terms exactly what they've done wrong, what they should have done, and to never even consider suing on similar grounds again.

      With a little luck, it might make a few people think twice and actually take some personal responsibility.
  • Why the snide tone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by apflwr3 (974301) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:25PM (#15593345)
    I know "protecting the children" is a cliche, but doesn't it kind of apply here? Camp administrators are the children's guardians for the time they are there and have as much, if not more obligation as a parent to keep kids safe. They also have an obligation to protect themselves from lawsuits from parents if a fat kid trying to paddle a canoe becomes the next viral video...

    As any Slashdot nerd who's been to camp (or gym class, or any other instance where 8-to-18 year olds are thrown together) there is a lot of pranks, hazing and other forms of humiliation that goes on in these environments. I bet the camps are more worried that photos of kids who had the ol' hand-in-warm-water trick pulled on them by their bunk mates will circulate (and then the potential lawsuits from parents afterwards.)
    • Absolutely not. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Skadet (528657)
      I know "protecting the children" is a cliche, but doesn't it kind of apply here?
      No.

      "Protecting civil rights" is a cliche that DOES apply. That's why this should be called for the bullshit that it is.
    • I would agree if you're talking about posting the video online while still at camp. But it's the parents responsibility to control the little terrors at home, and that's the FAR more likely place where the posting to MySpace will happen.

      Right now I'm sure there's a lot of parents that would never suspect their perfect little terror would do such a thing. But I think that kind of thing will change when the first a million dollar lawsuit is upheld against a negligent parent whose kid posted a harassing vide
    • As any Slashdot nerd who's been to camp (or gym class, or any other instance where 8-to-18 year olds are thrown together) there is a lot of pranks, hazing and other forms of humiliation that goes on in these environments.

      Right, so shouldn't the camps work to stop the hazing that occurs rather than blame myspace when people find out? People are being snide because the camps are only interested in covering their asses, not doing anything about the real problem.

      -Grey [wellingtongrey.net]
  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hogger@ g m ail.com> on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:26PM (#15593349) Journal
    The bad memories...

    We hear so much about camp sex stories... Alas, it was not the case for us.

    We used to go to a private school who, during the summer, had a day camp, where we were supervised by the teachers.

    Can you imagine? Not only spending the WHOLE GODDAMMED SUMMER with the same teachers we had during the school year (and, somehow, they had to magically turn into our friends and were supposed to have fun with them) but also doing this in the very same school building???

    When I turned 12, we managed to convince our parents that we wanted to stay home, so she hired a sitter.

    A sitter dumb enough to sit in front of TV all day long (cable was new 35 years ago), while we pushed the bed against the bedroom door while we had sex orgie (I'm not shitting you - this was the 70's - yes, I was organizing orgies when I was 12 and yes, there was sucking and fucking).

    The teacher lasted about 5 weeks until, one day, my mother came home early and found the sitter sprawled in front of the TV watching a stupid soap, but none of us around.

    My mother found out where we were when we came back from the swimming pool (a 15 block walk) one hour later. Needless to say, she was glad to save on the sitter (and we could have the orgies in the living room).

    • yes, I was organizing orgies when I was 12 and yes, there was sucking and fucking
      Teach me?
      • by Valacosa (863657)
        "...this was the 70's - yes, I was organizing orgies when I was 12 and yes, there was sucking and fucking." But where did you learn such vile behaviour? That was in the time before video games! *ducks*
        • I learned it from my father's Penthouses (my parents made sure not to make a fuss whenever I read those), or my uncle's Hara-Kiris and Swank (those I could read when I was really nice).
    • I have mod points right now, and shit, not only is there not an appropriate label to mod that comment, I don't even know what to say in response. If only there was a "+7, rendered me fucking speechless" option.
  • by CDarklock (869868) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:26PM (#15593350) Homepage Journal
    ...how many adults are becoming absolutely PANICKED at the idea that children can TALK ABOUT THEM.

    Adults have always treated children like crap, but there's never really been any concrete evidence of it because adults have played the strongarm card over everything the child is allowed to say or do. If you took a picture of an adult doing something embarrassing, the picture could be taken away. But now that the picture is a bundle of unfettered electrons stored on a web server that belongs to someone you DON'T have the right to bully and coerce, they can't do that anymore.

    It might make being an adult somewhat more problematic, but I'm willing to bet it makes the children's lives a whole hell of a lot better.

    The death of privacy is GOOD. The only people that care about it are the ones who shouldn't be doing what they're doing ANYWAY.
    • I'm just curious, how old are you? Also, how many students have an unreasonable hate of a teacher just because they don't do well in a certain class? The world isn't like the Kids Next Door. ;)
    • Amen to that (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Julian Morrison (5575) on Friday June 23, 2006 @07:40PM (#15593729)
      Nowadays children have negative civil rights. They have the right to demand to be oppressed. Other people's civil rights get taken away to keep children "protected". It's fricken' ridiculous. The world they live in is so much worse than a police state it's crazy. They're herded, imprisoned, propertyless, practically property themselves. Every man's hand is against them. If I were a kid I'd look on digital technology as the last small bastion of genuine personal liberty, and I'd be thinking seriously about organizing an armed revolt.
      • Re:Amen to that (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Eli Gottlieb (917758)
        www.youthrights.org - The Armed Revolt. OK, not so Armed, but Revolt.
      • Re:Amen to that (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Geekbot (641878) on Friday June 23, 2006 @11:13PM (#15594677)
        That's why I got into technology. I remember back in the days of Q-Link, Compuserve, and BBS. I was 12, I knew no one who could tell me anything about computers. No one also could talk with me honestly. I could get online, find out anything I wanted to, be an adult as far as anyone else knew. It was the only escape for me. 20 years later he I still am, conversing with anonymous strangers in a forum/board format, exchanging knowledge over which maybe many of us would still be a little bit persecuted over in real life.

        In doing so, I think perhaps I'm not the only guy, who as a kid, found that computers allowed us to socialize, learn new things, and do all of this in an open way that mainstream society might fear.
        • mod parent up! (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bhiestand (157373)
          Thank you. That's the same reason I was posting on fidonet, BBSing, etc. Hell, my parents never would've given me an AOL account, so I found some credit card # generators and trial offer number generators and went to town. I had free AOL for a long time, undetected by my parents. I think I talked to a couple of cops who thought I was a child molestor, since I would say things like "12 year old boy looking for girl about the same age", but hey, I was smart enough not to tell some random predator to pick
    • The death of privacy is GOOD. The only people that care about it are the ones who shouldn't be doing what they're doing ANYWAY.

      How odd... because I'm guessing more kids than not have, at some point, bitched and complained because they wanted their own room with a door they can close, and preferably lock, specifically so they can have *privacy*.
    • The death of privacy is GOOD. The only people that care about it are the ones who shouldn't be doing what they're doing ANYWAY.

      Quite. Now I want you to post videos of yourself masturbating and/or having sex.

      (no i'm not gay :-P)
  • Treating symptoms? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greatcelerystalk (981442) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:28PM (#15593361) Homepage Journal
    Camp directors are attempting to do two things, according to the article: treat the symptoms of a problem and censor negative opinions about their organizations.

    If photographs of a camp and its attendees have managed to wind their way onto an adult website, I have no qualms with the camp in questions taking action to have the material removed, however, it seems the camp might want to devote more resources to educating attendees about safety. I also don't see any issue with confiscating digital cameras, even though many children who've gone to camp in the past were able to take photographs.

    I certainly take issue with camps' attempts to censor negative opinion and activities which take place outside of the camp and are unrelated to the camp. The article makes it seem like these camps are asking both attendees and counselors to censor their outside activities so as not to make the camp "look bad."
  • by SonicSpike (242293) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:41PM (#15593420) Homepage Journal
    I actually use MySpace to keep in touch with friends I met at camp and fellow counselors.

    I am an Eagle Scout and after graduating from college last May I decided to serve as a counselor at my BSA camp in Florida as a water ski instructor (cush job, right?). It was the most fun I had ever had in my life. Gettin paid to drive a power boat around a lake.

    They had a computer room setup for staff and adult leaders with a satellite downlink and phoneline for the uplink. The camp is very remote and no chance of DSL or cable. Because I work in the real world now and have a real job I won't get the chance to work there again this year although I want to soo badly.

    At least using MySpace I can keep up with the people I met at camp. http://camplanoche.com/ [camplanoche.com] is the place.
  • Uh oh... (Score:2, Funny)

    by DwarfGoanna (447841)
    Whatever you do, don't tell this guy [ytmnd.com].

    (Yes, that is the real Donkey Lips from "Salute Your Shorts".
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday June 23, 2006 @06:41PM (#15593428) Homepage
    Hold parents accountable for the mental and physical well-being of their children at all times. I know it might keep the courts systems busy as hell but here's the thing: If people are so worried about that their kids get themselves into, why aren't they just WATCHING THEM?! I have two sons and I don't find it difficult to keep up with where they go and what they do... within reason... "within reason" is my next thing which is the "exception" part of it which should, in the event of a problem, some "professional" should investigate cases to determine if a parent was already doing their best when it comes to caring for the health and well-being of their children.

    We'd end up with some sort of gestapo-like situation with CPS or some other agency breathing down everyone's neck, but this is what people are asking for! They want to blame the world and make a profit through lawsuits. But if people are the first line of blame for their childrens' behavior, there would be a LOT fewer complaints about what kids have available to them won't there? But this addresses all of the concerns from "dangerous video games" to "what they do on the internet." It might even have the added bonus of issues like chilhood obesity and health issues that result from negligence.

    I hate to say it, but we need a law to make it happen.
  • One thing educational institutions can do is use Elgg's open source social networking software, which provides the features of MySpace, etc. Install it locally or on an institutional server, and block MySpace, etc. at the firewall.

    More http://elgg.net/ [elgg.net]
  • Uphill battle (Score:2, Interesting)

    Guess what, camp directors? If you're so deathly paranoid that someone's going to find out what really goes on at your camp, maybe you might make some effort to take control of it. Not that I would want them to, really; underage drinking and sex is part of what makes camping such a memorable part of childhood. "...we don't want to have to deal with that kind of exposure." Maybe it's time to own up, Mr. Seving, director of Camp Fernwood. With regards to MySpace putting all the information out there: gue
  • ...the camps know they aren't keeping as good an eye on the campers as the campers' parents would like... so they're mad at myspace because people are finding out about this. It's about the same as a professor suing ratemyprofessors.com because the administrator found out he took smoke breaks during classes. It's not the website's fault.
  • Camps are FUN (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kyc (984418)
    Just let them post their photos. Being paranoid doesn't work most of the time. And with exponential growth of these sites; can you stop it ? NO Should you stop it ? Questionable; Let these youngsters have fun to the bottom; and share it. How dangerous can it be after all ?
  • they're concerned that the kids might tell the unvarnished truth in public about the food, or more seriously, about abusive counselors or administrators.
  • by OverflowingBitBucket (464177) on Friday June 23, 2006 @07:14PM (#15593613) Homepage Journal
    Excellent! Operation "Suck All Fun out of Being a Kid" is coming along nicely. First we open sites that let kids sign up to potential lawsuits if they speak to anyone else- they might be talking to an online predator! Next, we make sure they can't talk about anything that might affect a commercial interest. Good to see phase two is proceeding according to schedule. Given time, if our operation is successful, all that these kids will be able to post is "Current Mood: Depressed". Which strangely enough, given the crap we're dumping on them, will probably be quite accurate.

    Isn't it time to reign in the lawyers and the mollycoddlers?
  • by kaiwai (765866) on Friday June 23, 2006 @07:36PM (#15593713)
    I thought this whole 'summer camp' thing was a myth, but they actually exist over there

    Why the hell do these places exist? I mean, good lord, when I was a teenager, during the holidays, I worked, went to the movies and kept my self occupied, without the need of my parents spending money hand over fist to some over hyped establishment.

    Geeze, I really wonder sometimes why parents have kids if all they do is boot their kids off to a camp each year, simply to avoid them.
    • Where are you getting your info on camp?

      In the US, it's difficult to get a job before you are 15 due to labor laws.

      It is also very uncommon to go to camp at age 15 or older.

      I never went to camp, but my friends went to camp between the ages of 10 and 13.
    • They really do exist but consider the context. The camps they are talking about are for urban grade school children who would be unlikely to work anyway during the 3 months of summer vacation and are considered too young to supervise themselves while their parents work. They spend 1 or 2 weeks in small groups sorted by age and gender living in a cabin with a counselor who is young enough for them to identify with and not be what they would consider an adult. The movie Meatballs was actually pretty close
  • The problem? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dmdb (937749)
    MySpace is a communication tool, no more, no less. It doesn't create these incidents, they have been there all along. Perhaps they have changed with time, perhaps not. That however is fairly irrelevant, I'm sure we've all done things in our time which we'd prefer not to be published on the internet. For me, perhaps fortunatly, the internet had not caught on to social networking during my teens in quite the same way as it has now. All MySpace does, in the same way that other similar sites do is create a litt
  • Am I the only one who thought this was an Onion article [theonion.com]? Either that, or 1984.
  • Teach kids how to misdirect, develop an alias, and spot patterns indicating a predatory nature.

    Most kids are pretty smart. There will always be a group that is pretty stupid, but most understand that some people like to see others in pain or want to benefit from their misery. The easiest way I have ever found to keep my information safe is to simply be someone else when interacting online. I've used several aliases over the years and a google search on those names usually brings up a bunch of gibberish
  • Someone please help. My teenage daughter sends naked pictures to men online and chats about sex with adults. I can't be expected to supervise my own child and I'm sure my daughter can't be a slut when she's offline because there is no evidence. Someone help me because if we can't blame technology, someone might notice that I'm an incompetent parent.
  • by obnoxiousbastard (239578) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @01:06AM (#15595008)
    We try to blame everyone- bad parents, bad teachers, bad coaches, bad dirty ole men on the internet, bad ole technology, etc, ad nauseum.

    BUT WE FAIL TO >>BLAME THE BRATS
    Our society has the idea that anyone under 18 is pure and innocent until something corrupts them and that is pure and simple HORSE CRAP.

    Teens have been and always will be 1) sexual beings AND 2) immature. The combination of both is a recipe for trouble.

    Modern society thinks that teen pregnancy, teen sex and teen crime is all some shocking, new phenemenon unique to our times. Nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps the technologies have changed but the people using them have not.

    People are essentially the same dumb animals that have made the same dumb mistakes for the past 5 millinia of recorded history. All signs show that they will continue to do so.

    The model for Michangelo's [i]David[/i] was a teen prostitute that was one of Michangelo's personal favorites. What does this have to do with this subject?

    It proves rather elegently that this teen drama crap has been going on a long time before MySpace ever reared its ugly head.

    Blame the people, not the black box.
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @04:38AM (#15595415)
    Every summer camp movie is about kids banging each other at summer camp.

    Now we're taking the sex out of summer camp?

    God dam Bush Administration!
  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @04:17PM (#15597729) Homepage
    "Some camps, like Camp Fernwood, a girls camp in Poland, Me., are trademarking their names, logos or slogans so they can legally order others not to use them online."
    Good luck with that ... so now people will use the names in a satirical context, in which case, the use of the name - even when trademarked - is still protected by the 1st amendment. Furthermore, blogs are also protected by the 1st amendment. They can send cease and disist orders all day. They may as well send the NY Times an order saying they cannot use their companies name in any news articles.

    Which brings me to ... did anyone notice how newspapers are tools for "Print Predators." Why, any pervert could buy a copy of the N.Y. Times and find out that: Xander Green, 15, of Manhattan, is a longtime camper at Island Lake in Starrucca, Pa. They even provide his picture! Something has to de done about these newspapers; they should be stopped! Can't you see? They are a "Print Predator"'s dream!

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