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back to article Facebook games teach teens bad habits

A Welsh online safety campaigner is warning that popular Facebook social games encourage bad habits among young users. Charles Conway, an associate member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, says games like Pet Society use virtual cash to reward players interacting with strangers. He says out that in a game designed for …

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Silver badge
Stop

Not so

"While it’s impossible to interact on Facebook without encountering people you don’t already know..."

Well I use Facebook and I don't.

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Trollface

"Well I use Facebook and I don't."

Bit of a Billy No-Mates then?

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Go

Easy

Isn't everyone that is on facebook for more than an hour a month a wierdo?

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Childcatcher

OMG!!!

THERE'S PEEDOS EVERYWHERE!!!!!

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Childcatcher

re: OMG

I understand they occupy "an area of internet the size of Ireland".

Or at least that's what the TV told me.

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Thumb Up

or, to use standard units, 3.382 Wales

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Stop

The same problem time and time again

This is again the problem of some parents using the Internet as a child distraction device, rather than spending time with their kids.

The Internet isn't the problem, (or any program using the Internet), its that a certain percentage of the population are dangerous in a variety of ways to kids (and to adults). I wish we didn't live in such a world, but that's simply the way the human race is. Therefore kids need parental protection and guidance as well as simply parental attention to provide support and encouragement to help them learn in a safe way.

If kids are left alone with the Internet (or in the real world) there is any number of ways they can make contact with strangers and in an ever increasingly connected world the potential for connections with strangers is going to increase. None of us can stop that, but parents can stop neglecting their children (and as much as these parents would wish to deny neglect, that is exactly what they are doing and their kids will grow up to deeply resent the parental neglect they suffered).

But then with each new addition to the Internet I'm sure we are going to have this same discussion again and again, ultimately because some parents frankly never learn to be responsible parents.

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Bronze badge

Internet = the new tv?

I can only agree with your points, if parents are letting the web, or network enabled devices such as the ever increasing number of smartphones and tablets, keep their children occupied then they automatically lose any right to complain that the internet is to blame when their precious little darlings encounter unsavoury people & media and/or 'go off the rails'.

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Anonymous Coward

Good grief

Good grief. Why is there always some childless idiot wanting to grind the axe of "parents should monitor their kids 24/7 otherwise they're neglecting them"?

Have kids, watch them grow up, and see if you still think there's something to "deeply resent" about them being left alone for 20 minutes while their parents have a bit of luxury time to themselves to do things like cook meals or earn a living.

I guess it never occurred to you that giving kids private time and trusting them to do as they've been told is actually a good thing?

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Stop

I assume here that neither of you are parents from your words. If you think you can be there to distract your children 100% of the time you are fooling yourselves.

First, I have 3 children. My oldest being 4. He can already use all manner of devices (it is after all what Daddy does for work) using these things is not the problem and using them to distract kids is also not the problem.

The main problem is what they are being taught if they are not shown the right way to use technology then it will go horribly wrong. Is this any different than anything else in life? No. But because it is technology everyone shouts "what about the children" without even thinking. My oldest is taught that he can use these devices for a limited time and in a limited way. He knows if he goes against that he will not be able to use it next time he wants to use it. He is taught the difference between right and wrong and what is real and pretend.

You can try to distract them all you want with what you call normal toys (I don't know how creating pile ups with his trains and cars is any different than him destroying blocks in angry birds, they are both teaching him the same thing) but at the end of the day the attention span of kids is just that, the attention span of kids. They get bored, really easy!

He rides his bike, he goes for walks with daddy and he prefers to play outside (weather permitting) but not all the time. Just like you and I, sometimes they just don't want to.

You both come across as sanctimonious better than thou types that resent people that have children.

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CHC
WTF?

Did you miss this bit?

"Perhaps refreshingly, however, Conway agreed that at least in the home, parental education and supervision are likely to be the most effective defense against online predators."

When parents see their kids playing "fluffy games" like Pet Society on Facebook surely they'd be forgiven for thinking that they're playing safely and not being encouraged to add strangers for "virtual cash"?

Get down off your high horse.

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Childcatcher

Stranger Danger!!

Funny, I thought we'd covered this territory before...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/04/28/the-myth-of-online-predators.html

Want to decrease the chances of your child being kidnapped? Don't go through an ugly, contentious divorce where custody is a major issue. Want to (drastically) decrease the chances of your child being molested? Be suspicious when Creepy Uncle Bob starts offering his babysitting services.

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Trollface

"Facebook games teach teens bad habits"

Sorry, I simply read that as:

Facebook teaches teens bad habits

How silly of me.

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Childcatcher

O M G

Wheres Chris Hansen when we need him!!

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Silver badge

Just Facebook then?

Having got fed up with Facebook trying to tell world+dog what mindless games I'd like to play for a few minutes I've found most of them available elsewhere.

Frequently they play better away from being wrapped inside a Facebook that wants me to drop the https log on and revert to http just to idle a way a wee while.

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Anonymous Coward

Give them a Spectrum, BBC or C64

Depending on the game, there might be violence, or there might be educational value. But there won't be paedophiles.

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