Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI, discusses the recent InBloom Failure. “Let's include parents as well as teachers and the administrators in the discussions about what is necessary and acceptable in terms of what information is kept and what is not. Let's address the privacy and security issues head on and then build a real sense of trust among parents.”
Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI, comments on debate over whether or not teachers and students should connect on social media. "To have a blanket ban on social networking sites like Facebook is a bit like saying there's a fight on the playground but we don't know where the playground is, but even if we did, it's locked".
A working group has been established by the UK government to tackle the issue of over blocking within safety filters, ensuring that sites with educational or otherwise positive content are not inadvertently blocked. "We are building a master list of sites that the charities are helping us with and actively testing this right now," David Miles, Chair of the working group, told the BBC.
UK charities and Internet Service Providers will be working together closely on how best to implement a process for how they label content in their respective filtering systems. David Miles acknowledged the problem and said ISPs would become more transparent about which categories are included with the filters. "Quite a lot of the issues are not to do with inadvertent blocking," he said. "They're to do with the decisions ISPs make around categorisation."
Facebook has removed a video clip showing a woman's decapitation and issued new rules about what can be shared on its site. Stephen Balkam also welcomed the move. "The Family Online Safety Institute is encouraged by the changes that Facebook announced today to the posting of graphic or disturbing material," he said in a statement.
Google has started testing new parental control features for its Chrome web browser and Chrome OS laptops to allow easy restriction of content and services. "Chromebooks with this kind of potential for parental internet control, as well as Amazon's Kindle with its family settings, are a tremendous development," said Stephen Balkam, chief executive of Family Online Safety Institute.
Facebook found itself in a fresh controversy over a graphically violent video Tuesday, as the world's largest social networking company changed its mind -- twice -- on an earlier decision to block the posting of a clip showing a person being beheaded. Stephen Balkam said that said he complained about the video last spring and was surprised and upset to see it resurface.
The Guardian reports that David Cameron has accused Facebook of being irresponsible following its decision to allow a video of a beheading to remain on its website. Stephen Balkam said that the social network should rethink and consider how it uses and adopts its own policies.
BBC News reports that Facebook is allowing videos showing people being decapitated to be posted and shared on its site once again. The social network had introduced a temporary ban in May following complaints that the clips could cause long-term psychological damage. Stephen Balkam gave his reaction to the development.
The Wall Street Journal notes criticism of Facebook's recent privacy changes for teens who use the social network. Stephen Balkam gave his thoughts on the changes.