Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds teen bloggers at risk for cyberstalking

21.02.2006


A study of 68 randomly selected weblogs produced by teenagers aged 13 to 17 finds that teen bloggers often willingly reveal their actual names, age and offline locations, putting them at risk for cyberstalking and cyberbullying.



David Huffaker, a Northwestern University researcher working in the technology and social behavior program with Northwestern Professor Justine Cassell, will present his study findings within the context of other studies of teenage Internet behavior at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in St. Louis Sunday, Feb. 19.

In "Teen Blogs Exposed: The Private Lives of Teens Made Public," Huffaker finds that half of all teenage bloggers link to other bloggers, and often include a "friends list." Sixty-seven percent of teen bloggers provide a comment section in order to get feedback from readers of their blogs.


From a developmental perspective, Huffaker says, blogs play a positive role by offering teens a place to construct narratives and share stories. "These activities are important to identity exploration which is one of the principal tasks of adolescence," he says. "What’s more, the mechanics of these online diaries, with their opportunities to link to and get feedback from peers, also aid teenagers in creating and maintaining social ties."

The randomly selected teen blogs -- equally divided between male and female teens and with a mean age of 15.47 years – were examined for content and amount of personal or private information revealed.

Seventy percent of the teens disclosed at least their first name, 67 percent revealed their age, and 61 percent provided their contact information either in the form of e-mail (44 percent), instant messenger name (44 percent) or a link to a personal home page (30 percent). Fifty-nine percent of those who provided contact information disclosed the city or state in which they reside.

"Studying teen blogs highlights the fact that blogging is not an individual pursuit in the way teen diaries once were. Instead, blogs are used by teens ato form a small or large community," says Huffaker.

On the positive side, blogs give teens an opportunity to share their stories and feelings. "They provide a venue in which they can reflect upon their experiences," says Huffaker. "The ability to create a community online also bodes well for future social development."

Almost half of all the blogs included discussions about boyfriends, girlfriends, or attractions to someone in the form of a "crush." Seventeen percent of those who wrote about their own sexuality discussed homosexuality and their experiences of "coming out."

Not surprisingly, 71 percent included commentary about school-related topics, such as grades, homework, high school, college or college pressure. Almost half of the online diaries discussed aspects of music, including use of MP3 players, songs, lyrics, favorite bands and concerts.

Huffaker found that the positive effects of blogging on verbal and digital literacy and social interaction to be accompanied by some negative effects."The danger of sexual predation by adult strangers and of bullying by peers are sometimes unfortunate products of the teen blogging phenomenon, he says.

Unlike the tattered, leatherbound teen diary of old, online teen diaries can be read not only by members of the family "sneaking a look" but also by strangers with questionable intentions.

Huffaker cites a study in which 2,500 children aged 10 to 17 years of age reported being harassed or threatened online. In another study, one in five teenage Internet users said they’d been approached or received a sexual solicitation within their last year of Internet use. One in 33 reported being aggressively solicited by predators who asked to meet them, called them on the phone, or sent them letters, money or gifts.

Despite their apparent frequency, these incidents of predation seldom were reported by teens to parents, school administrators or other authorities, according to the surveyed teens.

Huffaker says some of the negatives of blogging can be thwarted by blog software packages that offer the opportunity to make one’s online diary "friends-only" by including password protection.

Wendy Leopold | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>