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Blue Skies Thread, Phones for kids? in General; There's a discussion on Radio 2 about kids sexting etc... and it made me wonder - why is the technology ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Phones for kids?

    There's a discussion on Radio 2 about kids sexting etc... and it made me wonder - why is the technology that is used by companies such as Google to filter image search not available in phones?

    So, when a kid goes to send a photo, it is scanned to see if it is likely to be pornographic and the same for incoming images. Or if not that, have it send a copy to your email address or something like that, so that you are seeing what the kids are sending.

    These technologies exist but don't seem to have been utilised for kids' phones.

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    you can get a sim like that, think vodaphone were going to be running it Bemilo - The Safest Mobile Network it was in the news earlier this year BBC News - SIM card to help parents protect children from bullying

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    why is the technology that is used by companies such as Google to filter image search not available in phones?
    Que?

    You mean like safe-search, strict, etc?

    That's done with image tags, alt text and the website it's on.

    As far as I know it doesn't scan the image itself.


    You know what's easier? Delete the MMS settings. You now CAN'T send images. [Unless you use facebook/email]


    Also, define "kid".

    If it's a young child, say KS1/KS2, why do they have a phone? Especially one that can send images.

    If they're secondary age, why haven't you taught them not to do this?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    No. I mean skin detection algorithms that are used to determine if something is pornography. It isn't done with tags or alt-text, as that would be massively unreliable.

    Delete settings? They just find them out and put them back in.

    Tell a kid not to do something? Yeah, that works... 8-)

    And a specific SIM isn't what is needed, I'm on about making 'normal' blackberry sims etc..., ones on normal tarrifs, not ones that people have to go searching for, safe. So, when a parent buys their kid a blackberry, they turn it on and during setup it asks them about parental controls with options.

    Nothing exists like this really. Just one SIM run on a network that isn't that great in my experience doesn't really cut it IMO.

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    rich_tech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    You know what's easier? Delete the MMS settings. You now CAN'T send images. [Unless you use facebook/email]
    Most phones these days come complete with a wizard that people can run to restore these settings, especially the smartphones, that being said, I can see me being one of these lock it down techno-dads benefit of working in IT I think. (I am a big believer in having shared computers in the house and none in bedrooms though for this reason).

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    You know what's easier? Delete the MMS settings. You now CAN'T send images. [Unless you use facebook/email]
    Or have a kid with half a brain to Google it

    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    If it's a young child, say KS1/KS2, why do they have a phone? Especially one that can send images.
    There are a variety of reasons a young child may have a mobile phone. My step-daughter (age 8) has a basic Android phone because her Dad has a problem communicating with myself and Mom, so when she's with him she has a means of contacting us, plus she likes to play games on it. She is well educated in the dangers and responsibility of owning a phone and we monitor her usage of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    If they're secondary age, why haven't you taught them not to do this?
    Kids, no matter what age, have a mind of their own. As teenagers, our hormones are raging and sending a dodgy photo to somebody you fancy might seem like a good idea to your clouded mind. You can teach kids just about anything, warn them of every conceivable danger, but they're still going to make mistakes. They're human.

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    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    You could develop the technology (or just make current technology available) to those that want it, but it's gone beyond MMS.

    Kids are using BBM, WhatsApp and the horrible SnapChat. Data is cheaper than MMS/Text. As soon as you give them a phone that allows apps, you're control has gone.

    Much better to educate your children and be open enough that they feel comfortable to approach you when they make mistakes.

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    In answer to the OP: although theoretically possible (no matter what the app used, all network data goes via the mobile network's server so filtering could be applied), I imagine the biggest obstacle in the path of this technology is privacy. Although I know what you are suggesting is with the best intentions, would we really trust these companies not to abuse the ability to screen our every text, email, web search, photo etc.

    I know I wouldn't be happy about that.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrritableTech View Post
    You could develop the technology (or just make current technology available) to those that want it, but it's gone beyond MMS.

    Kids are using BBM, WhatsApp and the horrible SnapChat. Data is cheaper than MMS/Text. As soon as you give them a phone that allows apps, you're control has gone.

    Much better to educate your children and be open enough that they feel comfortable to approach you when they make mistakes.
    Ok, I understand, however the technology should still be possible. All phones that I know of require the use of a system API call to use the camera built in, so the technology would sit there, not within the messaging technology.

    Receiving images would be more difficult to deal with, due to the plethora of ways to display images though.

    However, there are ways to restrict which apps are allowed on any device so you could control that too.

    Its all well and good saying 'educate them' but that approach has been the one which has been followed for a good few years now, with it even being on the curriculum but sexting is *still* on the rise and causing issues world-wide.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    In answer to the OP: although theoretically possible (no matter what the app used, all network data goes via the mobile network's server so filtering could be applied), I imagine the biggest obstacle in the path of this technology is privacy. Although I know what you are suggesting is with the best intentions, would we really trust these companies not to abuse the ability to screen our every text, email, web search, photo etc.

    I know I wouldn't be happy about that.
    I wouldn't want this as a 'server side' tool. It would be on the phone itself, as part of the OS. I dislike any centralised 'public' filtering solution.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    No. I mean skin detection algorithms that are used to determine if something is pornography.
    Oh, yeah that's probably to do with one of the more idiotic laws in America. [Idiotic in the sense it goes way to far.]

    I can't remember the full extent of it, but it's basically "If you possess sexual images of children, you go to jail."

    Which stupidly includes any images you may take as evidence of abuse taking place.


    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Its all well and good saying 'educate them' but that approach has been the one which has been followed for a good few years now, with it even being on the curriculum but sexting is *still* on the rise and causing issues world-wide.
    It may be on the curriculum, but how many of the kids that do this sort of thing pay attention at school?

    It has to come from the parents [who won't be listened to] and there needs to be consequences.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    It may be on the curriculum, but how many of the kids that do this sort of thing pay attention at school?

    It has to come from the parents [who won't be listened to] and there needs to be consequences.
    I think you've just accidentally proven the point @localzuk was making in those contradictory statements right there

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    "There's seldom a good technological solution to a behavioural problem"

    Also, its the parents that don't educate their kids properly that would also not check the phone has that tech enabled...

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I wouldn't want this as a 'server side' tool. It would be on the phone itself, as part of the OS. I dislike any centralised 'public' filtering solution.
    Hadn't even thought of that option, my mind was elsewhere. Seems to me there's a market for an Android ROM to be made for just this purpose... I say Android as it seems be the most logical base to start with; it already has a large number of devices, can be fairly simply ported to work on any Android device and is open source so the framework is already there to be built upon.

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    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Its all well and good saying 'educate them' but that approach has been the one which has been followed for a good few years now, with it even being on the curriculum but sexting is *still* on the rise and causing issues world-wide.
    I think the discussion was probably based on this research which came out today..... 11th December - new sexting research out today - UK Safer Internet Centre

    I haven't had time to read it fully, but the biggest issues seem to be that parents and professionals are not approachable enough. Yes kids will make mistakes despite us trying to teach them right and wrong. Support is what is currently lacking. The SWgFL recently developed a fantastic resource on what to do when things go wrong. A new, and desperately required direction. South West Grid for Learning Trust - So You Got Naked Online

    The Amanda Todd tragedy seems to have highlighted the issue to many. Hopefully many of our young people will learn from those sad events.

    eSafety in all it's forms is something that educators need to keep chipping away at. It's no good having a yearly assembly and an ICT course in year 7 (most schools current provision). New technologies are developing daily, but the same old messages generally work. Think before your post. I've run eSafety sessions with pupils and staff, it is sinking in.
    Last edited by IrritableTech; 11th December 2012 at 02:47 PM.

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