NJ Senate Bill Asks: Are Kids Safe Online? [AUDIO]
NEW JERSEY 101.5
A New Jersey Senate panel on Thursday will consider a bill directing the Department of Law and Public Safety (LPS) to start a public education campaign focused on Internet privacy and social media responsibility.
Many parents allow their kids to surf the Web unsupervised, according to law enforcement experts, leaving material posted by those children available to pedophiles and perverts.
"Mistakes that you make as a young person can just follow you and haunt you for the rest of your life," said state Sen. Jim Beach (D-Cherry Hill), who sponsors the legislation. "The state has a responsibility to try to look out and do the right thing for our citizens, especially our children."
Under the bill, LPS would be required to create a website informing children about how to use social media platforms responsibly and maintain online privacy, as well as the negative consequences of failing to follow those guidelines. The department would also produce instructional videos on how to use the privacy settings on popular websites, and post those videos on the site.
"People are just so open and willing to give information," said Beach. "There are people putting on Facebook that they're going on vacation. What an opportunity for someone with bad intentions."
Officials with LPS would maintain an active presence on popular social media sites like Facebook, and use those platforms to relay information about the campaign.
The measure additionally authorizes the department to develop an internship program and partner with student organizations, academic institutions, and state and local agencies to further promote its message.