BeSeen for iPhone: Social Network Training Wheels to Teach Kids Social Network Safety

Most people seem to agree that children under the age of 13 (or thereabouts) should not use social networks services. And, yet, a study by Consumer Reports that as many as 7.5 million children under 13 years old are Facebook users. This is against Facebook’s own policies. Since it is apparent that kids want to use Social Networks, it would seem reasonable to provide some kind of education to them them about how to use these networks safely. So, Carnegie Mellon Information Networking Institute (part of Carnegie Mellon University) and Web Wise Kids (a non-profit organization) engaged The Wireless Foundation and Trend Micro Internet Safety for Kids and Family to create a free iPhone app that serves as a kind of social network training wheels for kids.

BeSeen

The goal of the app and service is to teach youth how to be responsible in social networks by securing their private and personal information, protecting their online reputation and defending their peers. This online safety mobile application is a single-player game that simulates a social networking website. The player creates a profile and starts earning “friend” characters and interacting with them. They learn about others through their posts and help them through challenges in order to win awards and make new friends.

An Android version of the app is scheduled to be available in December. More information about the iPhone app and service can be found at:

PlayBeSeen.com

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