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How Dangerous Is the Internet for Children?

Very good piece by David Pogue in today's Times:

A few years ago, a parenting magazine asked me to write an article about the dangers that children face when they go online. As it turns out, I was the wrong author for the article they had in mind.

The editor was deeply disappointed by my initial draft. Its chief message was this: “Sure, there are dangers. But they’re hugely overhyped by the media. The tales of pedophiles luring children out of their homes are like plane crashes: they happen extremely rarely, but when they do, they make headlines everywhere. The Internet is just another facet of socialization for the new generation; as always, common sense and a level head are the best safeguards.”

My editor, however, was looking for something more sensational. He asked, for example, if I could dig up an opening anecdote about, say, an eight-year-old getting killed by a chat-room stalker.

Read the full article here.

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