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Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
Most young adults have had some experience with MySpace or other Web communication sites. Security issues aside, millions of people are communicating in previously unheard-of ways via the Internet. One area of concern, however, is how to protect younger communicators from the dangers of an open Internet. Many parents of preteens have banned them from popular more adult social networking Web sites. A relatively new social networking Web site, however, has been designed with the preteen in mind. Stardoll (http://www.stardoll.com) provides a mechanism for preteens to communicate and chat with other preteens via a “MeDoll” that can be dressed and accessorized from a long list of celebrity avatars.
Go to the Stardoll Web site and familiarize yourself with its components. Your challenge is create a short creative brief to promote this Web site. The objective of the communication is to attract more viewers and participants. Present your brief in class if time permits.
According to information presented in the Digital Natives section, preteens and teens can go to a monitored Web site and participate in a communication community that is structured just for them. The Web site (http://www.stardoll.com) advocates protection for its viewers and participants from controversial topics, visuals, and conversations that plague more adult-oriented Web sites.
One of the purposes of this Web site appears to be the protection of its young participants from more adult-oriented content and exploitation. Examine the Web site and its policies. From an ethical point of view, assess the Web site and its capabilities for protecting its visitors. Can the organization’s implied protection promise be delivered? Summarize your thoughts.