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‘Facebook Roadshow’ Comes to Mississippi

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 06 Oct 2011 08:13pm | comments
Facebook's Brook Oberwetter

The most popular social networking site in the world is reaching out to Mississippi parents and teens about Internet safety. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on the state's first ever Facebook road show.

Parents and Teens headed to Clinton High School outside Jackson to listen to tips and advice for Internet safety from a representative of the 800-million user social networking site Facebook.

Facebook representative Brook Oberwetter is stressing what she calls 'digital citizenship'....which she sees as an important key to improving safety for teens and adults on the Internet.

"People should behave online the way they behave in the real world. That they should be good citizens online the way they are good citizens in the real world. So they report crime. They report suspicious or malicious activity. They treat each other with dignity and respect. The way we teach our kids to play nicely on the playground we need to teach them to play nicely on the Internet as well," Oberwetter said.

That, says Oberwetter, means parents should be talking with their children about the risks online and paying close attention to their activities...but also allowing room for the children to have a healthy social life.

In the crowd was 13-year old Kayla Turner and her father Michel.

Kayla says she is aware of the risks of posting photos and information on Facebook and the Internet and is cautious about what she writes.

"I make sure I don't put any personal information out there. I pay attention to what I put on there so no one can see exactly what I am doing," Turner said.

Kayla's father Michel says he talks with his daughter about the risks but also has her password and frequently checks the page to monitor her activity.

"As a parent, it is important that I protect her well-being whether that is her mind, her body or her spirit. And I think we come to good conclusions on how that should be done. She knows I am the parent," Turner said.

As social networking has grown, so has the need to be safer online....studies show many children report being sexual solicited on line and more employers say they are turning to the site to research potential new hires.



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