Dopy Internet Legislation Hurts Kids

Social networking Web sites like MySpace, Friendster and Facebook are becoming increasingly popular with the nation’s youth, prompting attempts to control the medium. However, though protecting children is the goal, the outcome is too often the opposite.

Recently proposed legislation by Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican, threatens to effectively stop minors from accessing social networking sites in schools or libraries. His Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) would prohibit schools and libraries from allowing access to a commercial social-networking Web site or chat room through which minors might be subject to sexual material or advances. For many kids, that amounts to a ban on using the sites from anywhere outside the home.

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