About Leonie Smith

Leonie Smith is a much sought after Cyber Safety expert both as an educator, speaker, workshop presenter and private consultant to teachers, parents, children and business. She has been featured on 60Mins, The Project, The Morning Show, Many T.V news bulletins and many print newspapers and magazines in her role as a Cyber Safety spokesperson.

Based in Sydney Australia, Leonie is known as "The Cyber Safety Lady" and is the Author of the online book "Keeping Kids Safe Online" available from this website as an eBook.
Follow Her On:

Twitter
Facebook
Google+

Keeping You And Your Family Safe Online

  • http://venessapaech.wordpress.com Venessa Paech

    Thanks for this post Leonie. Not enough people ask the questions you’re asking.

    I agree with most of your points here, particularly thorny elements like Facebook’s record on privacy and lack of duty of care.

    You are I are both a fan of teaching and supporting critical media literacies (including privacy literacies) for kids early on. The more they dive in and learn the mores and realities of the web, the better equipped they are to deal with uncomfortable or threatening behaviours.

    I don’t consider Facebook a trustworthy environment or company, and this move doesn’t surprise me at all. They need new users, as their current user base atrophies. Their model requires fresh blood and we’re seeing trends that must concern them – namely, that younger people are less interested in the platform as it’s become the online home for parents and grandparents. Nature’s on our side in that regard :-)

    Facebook’s ridiculous “real name” policies (which are quite transgressable for anyone inclined), already mean that younger people share comments or content that creates problems for them at work, or at school. The discoverability of that data is already breeding cottage industries devoted to helping people clean up evidence of their youthful messes.

    Kids should be allowed to be kids, to fail and live large. They should have the right not to have youthful choices that are now on show and monetised by Facebook come back to haunt them. This is already a problem of our age – now we want to add 0-13 years of content to that?

    To me this is probably the biggest concern with this move. Kids < 13 cannot be asked to publicly identity themselves by their real names. For those few predators out there, it'd be a gold mine.

    A FB platform that age group must be non-searchable, non discoverable and, not associated with real names. Ownership of data must reside with parents. The majority of platforms for very young users demand anonymity, as well they should. They are actively community managed and moderated. Will Facebook do this?

    I don't have an easy answer, but I do consider Facebook more of a threat to children that the users of Facebook themselves (though there's clearly plenty of idiots out there). We already have teenagers and some adults who let Facebook monopolise their intimacies and personal content. We need to be diversifying our online lives, partciularly our social lives, as much as possible. Warehousing one's life in one spot creates a worrying singular point of failure.

    Wholeheartedly agree with your point about blind trust in letting adults manage younger people in this context. Some would do a great job, but many wouldn't have a clue how to negotiate those challenges. I haven't seen evidence that FB wants to support or empower users meaningfully, so I doubt they'd offer any scaffold to help this mentorship. Thinking kids will be ok on their own, or with some older people around, is akin to the idea that communities don't require moderation, that they successfully self-moderate – naive and not true.

    We need to challenge the monoculture and methods of Facebook far more, and while they're entitled to make a play for younger users, I think we're accountable to interrogate everything about that effort.

    As well as keeping our kids safe, we have a responsibility to introduce them to a *wide* and full web. If FB's rhetoric about 'openness and connectedness' was authentic, they'd be up for that conversation and a debate that would be good for all of us.

  • http://www.thecybersafetylady.com.au admin

    Thankyou for your well considered comment Venessa.

    Facebook’s lack of transparency is a huge issue. It’s not in their interest to tell us in understandable language what they are doing with our data.

    Your comment about community moderation is very true. I’ve just uploaded a podcast on Mummy bloggers being bullied on Blogs in Comments. http://digitalbreezes.com/2012/06/08/mummy-bloggers-being-bullied/ It is very clear that Adults also need moderation, and are in many cases a poor example for the youth of today.

    Yes let kids be kids. I advise kids to use handles when playing games online, and your point about Facebook Real Name policy, goes against this protection of privacy. Of course Facebooks stock price will go down if handles are allowed. The reliability of their stats and data will fail.

    I wonder how Facebook will change if it’s still around when Mark Zuckerburg has children of his own?

  • check blackfriday sale

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

    • http://www.thecybersafetylady.com.au Leonie Smith

      Sorry I don’t use one, look in New plugins in your wordpress plug in’s page, and search for Captcha I guess.

  • Brett

    I hardly write comments, however I read a
    few of the comments here Get Your Hands Off Our
    Kids Facebook! | The Cyber Safety Lady. I do have a couple of questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be simply me or does it give the impression like a few of these comments appear like they are coming from brain dead people? :-P And, if you are writing at additional sites, I’d like to follow you.
    Could you list of all of all your social pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook
    page or twitter feed?

  • http://artsonet.com/index.php?do=/profile-9615/info/ Robt

    Great website you have here but I was wanting to
    know if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get comments from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Appreciate it!

    • http://www.thecybersafetylady.com.au Leonie Smith

      There are some groups on LinkedIn you can join.

  • Penny Stocks

    Awesome post.

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | TechCrunch

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | Ediary Blog

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | Modulates.com

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | Lord of the Net

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook - TRAIKA

  • Pingback: My Internet Press » Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | Crowdfunding News

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | Story-Tail consulting

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | imGlobalNetwork

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | Search Engine Optimization & Internet Marketing (SEO & SEM) Blog

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | sloantech.com

  • Pingback: Tech Gages » Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | BookSocial.net

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | CB Smithwick

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | Networld Interactive

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | Banking IT Solutions Architect | Enterprise Architecture

  • Pingback: Zuckerberg Says Teens Still Steadily Engaged With Facebook | BaciNews