The internet is a big place with a lot of options for tweens and teens. Of course we’re in the business of giving parents advice on how to keep kids’ internet activity safe and responsible, and we are quick to caution that there is a lot of cyberbullying, hateful and adult content on anonymous social network 4chan.
4chan’s rules regarding permissible content are pretty straightforward:
“Do not upload, post, discuss, request, or link to, anything that violates local or United States law.”
That’s it. Because it has so few restrictions and so little moderation, it attracts some of the worst internet actors. It also hosts some content that is very good, and quite positive. Consider the following.
I don’t frequent 4chan, but I am a Reddit user, and the above post made it to the front page of Reddit today.
Reddit and 4chan are both not safe for kids, and teens should tread very carefully.
The above post, touching as it is, highlights the fact that parents need to be careful not to paint large parts of the internet with one brush. Yes, with fully anonymous platforms, cyberbullies and trolls can remain nameless, but there is a flip side. From a post by 4chan founder Chris Poole on the dangers of anonymity:
“What I’ve observed is the opposite—that anonymity facilitates honest discourse, creates a level playing field for ideas to be heard, and enables creativity like none other.”
Even with the bad, there are a lot of good things out there.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.