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Nontechnical Strategies to Reduce Children's Exposure to Inappropriate Material on the Internet: Summary of a Workshop

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Citation Edit

National Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Nontechnical Strategies to Reduce Children's Exposure to Inappropriate Material on the Internet: Summary of a Workshop (2001) (full-text).

Overview Edit

The Committee on the Study of Tools and Strategies for Protecting Children from Pornography on the Internet and Their Applicability to Other Inappropriate Internet Content was charged with the task of exploring the pros and cons of different technology options and operational policies as well as nontechnical approaches that could facilitate young people's positive Internet use and experience. As a part of the committee's work, it convened a workshop focused on nontechnical strategies and brought together an interdisciplinary group of researchers, educators, policy makers, practitioners, and other key stakeholders to consider how to create effective strategies to protect children from pornography and other inappropriate material on the Internet that do not rely on technical tools.

Public concern that young people may encounter sexually explicit and other inappropriate material online has been coupled with increased interest in the availability of developmentally appropriate tools and strategies, both technological and nontechnical, that can protect children from online content that they may not have the resources to handle.

The workshop focused on four key questions:

  1. What is known about how young people (including young children as well as adolescents) use the Internet, and, from a child development perspective, what does existing research say about the impact of exposure to sexually explicit and other harmful material?
  2. What framework does this knowledge offer for designing effective and age-appropriate nontechnical strategies?
  3. What strategies of this type have been used in schools, libraries, and at home?
  4. What further research is needed, and what opportunities exist to bridge research, policy, and practice to improve children's online experiences?

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