Facebook: A cyber-world of dangerous consequences
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Education Ministry issues Facebook warning

Ministry recommends that parents forbid children under 13 from using social networks, stress importance of parental supervision, keeping children aware of consequences of cyber communication

The Education Ministry on Monday published an advisory for parents recommending that they should forbid children under the age of 13 from using Facebook and other social networks without parental supervision for fear that the children could be hurt.


The ministry also recommends that parents exhibit more awareness of their children's web-surfing habits and that they become acquainted with their children's social network "friends."


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The Education Ministry believes that young children have a harder time of understanding the consequences of cyber communication which leaves them exposed to a variety of dangers –  harassment, extortion, impersonation and being ostracized by other social groups.


An example of these consequences can be found in the case of David-El Mizrachi from Jerusalem who committed suicide after his friends made fun of him on the social networks.


The dangers and criminal activity that can be found on social networks and the web were among the issues discussed within the framework of Safe Web-Surfing Awareness Week initiated by the ministry.


No filter, supervision

Limor Harari, who is in charge of the "ethics and the protection online" in the ministry warned: "Experience teaches us that children at grade school level still lack awareness of the consequences of distributing pictures and personal data on the internet.


"For the most part, they generally approve anyone asking to befriend them online without any filter or supervision and so can cause themselves a great deal of damage."


She believes that children often feel frustration and are hit hard on a psychological level by the fact that celebrities including their favorite tv stars don't approve them as online friends.


"We call on all parents to become their children's 'friends' and surf the web and the social networks with them in order to have a first hand view of the content their children are exposed to on these sites.


"Yes it's hard, there is a lot of social pressure on the kids to visit social networks, but parents must be vigilant."


At a Knesset Education Committee meeting on safe surfing, Limor Mizrachi, mother of the late David-El said that they "must work to expose the dangerous trends that exist on social networks in any way possible in order to prevent the next tragedy."




פרסום ראשון: 02.06.12, 17:33
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