This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/23/2016

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For the most part, The Guardian does a good job covering some of the more nuanced aspects of social media. That being said, this article baffles us. They found a handful of millennials who have quit social media entirely and are happy with their decision. If they were unhappy, they would have gone back to social media.

Does quitting social media make you happier? Yes, say young people doing it

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Chances are at least some of the news that your teen consumes is delivered via social media. Facebook has acknowledged that some of that news is fake, and they are taking steps to clean it up.

Facebook to roll out tech for combating fake stories in its Trending topics

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Yik Yak downloadsYik Yak, the once anonymous local chat app, is dying – even at colleges. RIP.

College students have totally lost interest in Yik Yak — and it could kill the app

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We don’t see how the word needs another messaging app. Google created one anyway, and it uses AI to write your messages for you. The previews of Allo featured pretty lofty privacy protections. Not so fast.

Google weakens Allo privacy promises

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“Mooning” is a new term for ignoring someone’s text messages by turning on the “do not disturb” function on your phone for that person. I think my teens have been mooning me.

Is someone texting you too much? Just moon them.

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A Belmont University student made a post on Snapchat Monday that was very inappropriate and very racist. By Tuesday, he was expelled. Friendly reminder: Snapchat posts aren’t necessarily private, and don’t always disappear.

Belmont removes student after racist post goes viral

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Twitter’s algorithm, if you have it turned on, shows you the tweets you are most likely to be interested in first. If there are tweets that you don’t like, and want to see less of, Twitter is rolling out a setting for that too.

Twitter Asks You To Identify Tweets You Don’t Like So It Can Hone Its Algorithm

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A Massachusetts legislator has introduced a bill that will require the FBI to track cases of online harassment of individuals. Will tracking the number of cases of online stalking and abuse lead to better behavior? Tough to say.

Will tracking digital harassment help defend against internet trolls?

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Creepy clowns are taking to Facebook and threatening to show up at schools and terrorize kids. Really.

Clown Facebook post, warnings put more Alabama schools on lockdown

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/16/2016

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A 14-year old girl from Northern Ireland had a nude picture fall into the wrong hands – the result of extortion according to her claim. The photo was posted to a shame page on Facebook, and then reposted repeatedly. She is now suing Facebook for unspecified damages, claiming that Facebook’s failure to quickly take down the original picture has caused her significant pain and suffering. Facebook claims it took the picture down as soon as it was reported. This could set an interesting precedent.

14-year-old sues Facebook over nude photo posted to “shame” site

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This case in Austria also has the potential to set an interesting precedent: An 18-year old is suing her parents over the 500+ photos of her they’ve posted on Facebook over the years. Her father has repeatedly refused to take them down. She has a good case, we think.

Daughter, 18, sues her parents for posting embarrassing photographs of her as a child on Facebook
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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMMichael Jackson’s daughter Paris took to Instagram and posted a series of videos decrying cyberbullying. She says that she left social media for two years over the abuse and even attempted suicide. Say something nice online today.

Paris Jackson Speaks out Against Cyberbullying, Defends Justin Bieber

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The iPhone is the dominant device among teens from what we can see. Now that iOS 10 has arrived, there are some changes to the security settings that all users should take a look at.

Five security settings in iOS 10 you should immediately change

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Is there a cause that your teen is passionate about? Does she post about it on social media? Good news – a new study has found that online activism really is making a difference.

An Annenberg study found that social media activism is way more powerful than you think

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The back to school playbook on social media is in full effect: Week 1 – school bomb threats. Week 2 – schoolyard fight videos posted on Twitter and Instagram fight accounts.

Disturbing videos of teenagers fighting posted on social media

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This week a New Jersey school was forced to have a delayed opening and postponed back-to-school night after a series of school shooting threats were posted to Facebook. Plot twist 1: The person making the posts was not quickly apprehended. Plot twist 2: The police claim that it was not a student who made the threats.

Threats to ‘shoot up’ school not coming from students, officials say

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/9/2016

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Facebook’s age limit is 13 years of age, but it doesn’t seem to matter. According to one survey, one quarter of 9 – 10 year olds and one half of 11 – 12 year olds are using it. The numbers for Instagram and Snapchat are probably similar, and these kids are prime targets for cyberbullies and predators. It’s time for some real thought and effort to go into online age verification.

The Kids Who Lie About Their Age to Join Facebook

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An iconic image of the Vietnam war was deleted from Facebook (by Facebook) and the poster’s account was banned. The photo, which featured a naked girl running from a napalm attack (you know the one) apparently violates Facebook rule against showing full nudity. Norway’s largest newspaper is calling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg the world’s most powerful editor, and calling for him to end his abuse of power.

Mark Zuckerberg accused of abusing power after Facebook deletes ‘napalm girl’ post

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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMNiantic, the makers of smash hit game Pokémon GO, are introducing Pokémon Go Plus, a watch-like device that will allow Pokémon hunters to play the game without having the phone in their hands.

Pokemon Go Plus finally launches next week

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Much has been made about how social media can make you sad, or if you’re already down make it worse. A new study out of Carnegie Mellon University reveals that the converse is also true. Facebook can make you as happy as getting married or having a baby. Your results may vary.

Friends help friends on Facebook feel better

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Officials at a Massachusetts high school are warning students to be wary of a predator on Snapchat who is soliciting compromising pictures from sophomore boys. The police are struggling with the investigation, as no victims have as yet come forward.

Weston schools warn of Snapchat account soliciting explicit photos

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An Uber driver’s car was shot up by a San Diego teen after an argument. What were they arguing about? The teen was bad mouthing the driver on social media, then left his phone unlocked in the car after drop off. Not cool.

Teen Shoots at Uber Driver After Argument Over Social Media Posts

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If your teen daughter (a) goes to college in the Atlanta area, (b) has a large Instagram following, (c) is gorgeous, and (d) is interested in modeling, we still don’t recommend this “opportunity”.

craigslist modeling

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/2/2016

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The kids are back to school, and armed with their phones. Have you talked to them recently about not making school threats, even if they’re joking?

school social media threats

Back To School and Social Media Threats

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A new study from Oxford University found that for the first time, social media has passed television as the top news source for 18 – 24 year olds. Let’s hope these young adults are getting their news from Reddit and not 4chan.

Study: Social Media Overtakes TV as Main Source of News for 18-24

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Some kids are taking social media posts way too personally. A Texas girl was stabbed on a school bus on the way to school over social media post from the night before.

Girl stabbed on school bus during fight over social media post

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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMFacebook’s suggested friends feature has a way of creeping users out from time to time. In an instance this month, a psychiatrist was shocked to find out that his patients were being served friend suggestions to each other, even when they had never met.

Facebook recommended that this psychiatrist’s patients friend each other

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Facebook’s Trending News section was until recently manned by a group of curators, who some claim were largely ignored. Now they’ve been dismissed entirely and the Trending section is curated by an algorithm alone. It’s still not working all that well.

Facebook replaced human news curators with an algorithm, and it’s already a total mess

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It’s 2016, so of course there’s a Twitter account that exists solely to rate dogs on a scale of 1 – 10. Silly? Sure, but the account has 376,000 followers. This week, the man behind the account was revealed, and he is a college student from North Carolina.

NC college student behind wildly popular ‘WeRateDogs’ Twitter page

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The Texas Tech football coach admitted in an interview this week that he and his staff use fake Twitter accounts to spy on players who have their accounts set to private. Not cool, coach.

Texas Tech Football Coach Admits to Catfishing Players

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 8/26/2016

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Do teen social media preferences come down to intimacy vs. immediacy? The Wall Street Journal interviewed experts on why 5 – 15% of teens don’t use social media at all. We haven’t met any of them, by the way.

Teens Who Say No to Social Media

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The media’s fascination with how teens really use social media continues. There is an unwritten code of conduct, especially on Instagram. “If I’m not touching 40 likes, I’m probably going to delete it.” These teens are extremely plugged in, and “recognize guidelines that govern their social habits.”

 

LIKE. FLIRT. GHOST: A JOURNEY INTO THE SOCIAL MEDIA LIVES OF TEENS

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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMSnapchat is currently to go-to app for millennials and teens. Everybody wants a piece of the pie, and Apple may be its next competitor.
Apple is reportedly developing a Snapchat killer
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Messaging app WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has avoided showing ads to users so far. This week, news broke that they will start sharing user data with Facebook. Permission creep continues. Good news: users can opt out, and should.

WhatsApp and Facebook data sharing: How to opt out of the invasive new terms

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It seems to me that teens know this but parents might not: our kids are more likely to be cyberbullied by “friends” than by strangers. Sad but true.

Teen Cyberbullies More Apt to Be Friends Than Strangers

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This week we did a quick review of Lifestage, Facebook’s new app just for high school students. App store rankings and a lack of buzz make it look like it’s anything but a hit. It has a 2-star rating in the iOS App Store, and is not in the top 100 free downloads. That’s a good thing, since it’s a privacy disaster. FB addresses part of that here.

Facebook’s new app for high schoolers raises privacy concerns

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Teen dating was difficult enough before social media. When things get tough and relationships end, Snapchat can add salt to the wounds.

Why Snapchat is hell for the brokenhearted

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 8/19/2016

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Instagram, owned by Facebook, really, really wants to beat Snapchat. If your teen is an Instagram power user, she might have been invited to IG Young Artists, a virtual pizza party and market research feedback group that is digging in to how teens really use the app.

Inside the secret Facebook group Instagram uses to talk to teens

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Arkansas school for boysBack to school! An Arkansas high school posted a sign on the main door, telling parents that if they were arriving to drop off forgotten items for their kids, to turn around and go home. Apparently parents have an opinion about such things. The photo has been shared on Facebook 117,000 times.

High School Rule Going Viral for Turning away Parents

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Twitter is stepping up its battle against terrorism. Account suspensions due to links to or support of terrorism are up 80% this year, and total over 350,000 since mid 2015.

Twitter suspends hundreds of thousands of accounts for promoting terrorism

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Are you seeing a lot of garbage in your Twitter feed? That may be about to change. Twitter announced this week that they’re introducing a quality filter.

Twitter Rolls Out ‘Quality Filter’ to Block Abuse and Automated Content

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There is no shortage of video chat app options in the market, from Snapchat to Facetime to Skype to the handful of popular messaging apps. Now there’s one more, with Google getting into the game.

Google Takes Aim at Apple’s FaceTime

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In a true tragedy, two Irish teen sisters committed suicide within 45 days of each other. Cyberbullying on Ask.fm may have been the cause, or at least the beginning of the problem. School officials knew about the bullying and tried to help, but their actions fell short.

School and health services ‘knew Erin Gallagher (13) was bullied on controversial social media site before her death’ – inquest

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If you’re as famous as Justin Bieber, apparently posting picures of your 17-year old girlfriend on Instagram is not the best idea. He got trolled mercilessly by fans and haters and it went straight downhill from there, when he and his ex Selena Gomez accused each other of cheating in the comments. He has since deleted his account.

Justin Bieber Deletes Instagram Account

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There’s a stereotype about how catty high school girls can be. One author thinks it’s true, and that technology is making it worse. Parents aren’t doing much to help, mostly because they lack the tools to do so.

Why ‘Mean Girls’ are getting even meaner

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 8/5/2016

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Instagram has a problem with teens. They just aren’t posting that many photos, and when they do they’re a good chance they’ll delete them. Where are they posting pics that are less than perfect? Snapchat. Instagram thinks they have an answer – copying Snapchat Stories.

Instagram Takes a Page From Snapchat, and Takes Aim at It, Too

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Good news for parents – a California court has ruled that Facebook must provide refunds for purchases their kids made in apps and games if they or their parents request it. Will this lead to more bad behavior?

Facebook ordered to refund parents for accidental in-app purchases

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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMThe Pokémon Go craze is still going strong. In less than one month, the app has been installed over 100 million times, and creator Niantic is generating $10 million in revenue per day.

Pokémon Go passed 100 million installs over the weekend

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A Japanese gymnast landed in Rio and promptly racked up a $5,000 cell phone bill playing Pokémon Go. Oops. Sounds like his phone company is giving him a break.

An Olympian says he racked up a $5,000 phone bill trying to play ‘Pokémon GO’ in Brazil

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Think your kid is obsessed with Pokémon Go? This PR exec wrote a 5,000 word essay on what is wrong with the game.

The State of Pokémon Go: What The Hell, Man

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Texting and driving is bad. I’m sure you’ve told that to your teens more than once. Playing Pokémon Go while driving might be worse. In Japan, police have ticketed over 700 drivers for doing just that.

Japanese cops are handing out hundreds of traffic tickets to ‘Pokémon Go’ players

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Speaking of distracted driving, the reason we do it may be that we are addicted to our phones.

Driving While Distracted: Why can’t we ignore the pings?

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In the wake of the Dallas police shooting, the University of Houston’s Vice President of the Student Government Association took to Facebook and made an emotional post which included the phrase “Forget #BlackLivesMatter, More like AllLivesMatter.” Bad move.

Student body vice president writes a ‘forget Black Lives Matter’ post, and a university erupts

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 7/29/2016

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Two enterprising men in Illinois are seeking class action status for a lawsuit they have filed against Snapchat. The suit claims that Snapchat is improperly collecting and storing biometric information related to users’ faces – except it looks like they aren’t.

Illinois residents sue Snapchat over face-scanning technology

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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMSure, your teen might be some singer’s biggest fan. You might want to caution him to stop short of giving that crooner his Twitter login credentials.

Pop star tells fans to send their Twitter passwords, but it might be illegal

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A Georgia mom discovered that her 16-year old daughter was having sex, and decided on a truly dreadful course of action. She gave her daughter a beating and posed the live video on Facebook Live. Please don’t try this at home.

Georgia mother humiliates daughter in beating on Facebook Live as a punishment  

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Hooked on Pokémon Go? For the low low price of $8, there’s an app – a bot actually – that will travel the world, collect Pokémon and visit Pokestops for you.

For $8, this automated Pokémon Go bot will catch Pokémon and collect items for you

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This was bound to happen. New parents are naming babies after Pokemon characters. Say hello to our newest family member, Jigglypuff.

The Pokémon Go baby-name boom has arrived

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 7/15/2016

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You might want to discourage your teen from watching videos on Facebook Live. Terrorist sympathizers, recruiters and terrorists themselves have been using it. Shootings and murders have been posted. Facebook’s moderation team and the technology they use don’t appear to be ready for prime time.

Is Facebook Ready to Be the World’s Live News Network?

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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMKids have been walking into traffic, trespassing and generally having a great time playing Pokémon GO, perhaps the most viral video game of all time. The game creators have their data, and lots of it. Senator Al Franken wants to know what they’re doing with it.

Senator Al Franken demands Pokémon Go release privacy information

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UK supermarket giant Tesco gave in to an unlikely foe this week. In March, 14-year-old schoolgirl Lucy Gavaghan launched a petition calling for Tesco to stop selling eggs from cage-raised chickens. The online petition has been signed by 280,000 people. Winner, winner chicken dinner. Kids are heroes.

Tesco has announced it will stop sourcing caged hen eggs

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Silly season for lawsuits continues. A 14-year old boy and his mother are suing Snapchat after the teen was allegedly able to view inappropriate adult material on the app. Sure, there is adult content on Snapchat, but we suspect the mom is looking for a quick buck.

A teen is suing Snapchat over sexy Discover stories

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Our friends at the Cyberbullying Research Center have outdone themselves with their new definitive guide for Revenge Porn victims. Let’s hope they get a call from Rep. Jackie Speier, who just introduced what could be the U.S.’s first federal Revenge Porn law, something that has been needed for a while.

Revenge Porn Research, Laws, and Help for Victims

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

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Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 7/8/2016

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“It’s as if someone took Minority Report as a shopping catalogue or a punch list rather than a vision of dystopia.” Google-backed CityBridge is bringing free Wi-Fi to NYC. The true cost may be the privacy of its citizens.

Google Is Transforming NYC’s Payphones Into a ‘Personalized Propaganda Engine’

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Here’s an excellent read and resource for parents from Sue Scheff.

10 internet commandments for kids going online

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Pokemon GoDoes your teen struggle with walking and looking down at his phone at the same time? If so, you better hope he doesn’t download Nintendo’s new blockbuster mobile game, Pokemon Go.

I caught some rare Pokemon in the middle of Manhattan, and it’s clear why people are obsessed with Pokemon Go

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Your teen could be betting on video games played on gaming platform Steam. One mom is suing.

Mom takes on Valve, third-party “trading” sites, alleges “illegal scheme”

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The FBI busted a child porn ring and their site, PlayPen, which is undoubtedly a good thing. They left the site up and running and installed malware on new visitors’ computers to track them, without a warrant. While the results may appear to justify what they did, many expected a judge to rule that they were out of line. The judge, however, offered the opinion that by joining a network, users should have no expectation of privacy. That decision is very, very likely to be reversed.

US Judge confuses privacy and security, concludes that you should have neither

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Britain’s Prince William is the latest celebrity (can we call him that?) to come out against bullying. Bravo, old chap.

Prince William Is Letting Everybody Know He’s Standing Up To Bullying

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More teens are getting their news online than from traditional newspapers. No surprise there, but what may be surprising is that more teens are getting their news from Snapchat and Twitter than from Facebook.

Teens are getting almost all of their news from Snapchat and Twitter these days

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A study of the online video game Halo 3 by researchers at two universities revealed that men who were low-skilled players were more likely to harass women than highly skilled players.

Men who harass women online are quite literally losers, new study finds

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