MySpace + SecondLife / Ponies!1 = BarbieGirls

futurelab default header

by: Danah Boyd

Over at Wired, Annalee Newitz's post entitled MySpace + SecondLife / Ponies!1 = BarbieGirls describes one of the scariest side effects of all of the predator panic. A new site called BarbieGirls has launched for young girls to socialize with other young girls.

To handle parental concerns, the site informs parents:

We also monitor chat to help ensure it stays safe and appropriate. Barbie Girls administrators frequently review reports of chatting in the environment and adjust the word filters as needed to block or allow new words or phrases. This monitoring is strictly for the purpose of maintaining a safe chat environment – chat reports are not used in any other way, and we do not save or store any private information.

What does it mean that an entire generation is growing up to believe that the only way to be safe is to be constantly surveilled? ::shudder:: I'm rather concerned about the longterm implications of all of this monitoring and control. Aren't we supposed to be raising a generation of creatives? Le sigh.

Original Post: