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Kids Online

March 22, 2006

The website MySpace has been in the news a lot recently–and not for good things. But before parents start taking their kids’ computers away, one researcher wants them to know that kids can have positive experiences on MySpace, too.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Hanging out online. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

MySpace.com is a popular social networking website for teenagers. Members post profiles, and they can leave messages and chat with other members. Many parents worry that their kids are meeting strangers on MySpace or are making themselves targets for predators. But social scientist Danah Boyd has spent time on MySpace studying the kids who use it. She says they may run into strangers on occasion, but they tend to ignore them.

DANAH BOYD (Social Scientist):
…whereas they’re really spending almost all their time conversing with people that they know and sort of supporting the communities that they already have built in the physical environment.

HIRSHON:
So while MySpace does carry some risks, Boyd says it’s also serving teens by helping them develop their identities and friendships.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.