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jon kats on "geek profiling":
March 29, 2000 12:44 PM   Subscribe

jon kats on "geek profiling": "W.A.V.E joins new sofware "security" programs ... being tested in public schools in America to compile and computerize information on students believed to be dangerous or potentially violent. This new rat-on-kids industry is an offshoot of the Geek Profiling anti-Net hysteria that broke out all across the United States after the Columbine High School killings, whose first anniversary is fast approaching. Despite the fact that horrific incidents like Columbine are extremely rare, and that the FBI and Justice Department have both reported that youth violence has dropped to its lowest levels in more than half a century, the belief persists in much of America that technologies like the Internet (and activities like computer gaming) are turning otherwise healthy school children into mass murderers."
posted by palegirl (7 comments total)

 
I'm not ashamed to say that, when I was a high school geek, if this kind of anonymous system were available, I would have used it to turn in the Joe-Cool-Star-Athlete-Popular bullies who were tormenting me, and would have encouraged all my fellow geeks to do the same. This kind of system is made to be abused; who's to say it can't be abused for a good cause to put pressure on the REAL troublemakers and put a few cracks in the structures that protect THEM?
posted by wendell at 2:07 PM on March 29, 2000


this kind of system *has* been abused: look at Nazi Germany, or the US during the McCarthy years.

we can hope for two things: that the young people prove themselves to be more responsible and respectful than their elders have been in the situations I cite above; or that the system is so *widely* abused that it instantly becomes obvious that it is worthless.

rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 3:05 PM on March 29, 2000


It's not the internet and computer gaming which makes American kids kill each other... it's television!
posted by andy at 4:46 PM on March 29, 2000


Maybe Id will get coerced by the Feds to include a network reporting function in their games. Anyone that's too good at Quake gets put into some database, and is marked as "potentially violent."
posted by endquote at 6:34 PM on March 29, 2000


Isn't this the same media fuelled hysteria that blamed video 'nasties' for child violence in the 1980's?
The fact is that the media needs to write scare stories about something, people have a need to blame what they don't understand on something and the authorities need a way of diverting attention away from them having to actually tackle a problem. What better than the internet - it's big, it's unregulated and at the moment it sells stories. Fear not, like the video nasties, some day we'll all look back and laugh at this.
posted by Markb at 5:03 AM on March 30, 2000


In case you ahven't seen it, the latest study appears to contradict most of the stereotypes about the effect of the net on children.
posted by harmful at 6:15 AM on March 30, 2000


That's nice, but what are the correlations between internet use and family income, and interest in school/books/etc. and family income?
posted by EngineBeak at 8:10 AM on March 30, 2000


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