Writing on cbs.com, Larry Magid argues that the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) recently passed by the House is the wrong approach to child safety on the web, calling it “well-meaning but ill-conceived”.
I’m not generous enough to give the sponsors of this mess the “well-meaning” part. But I certainly agree with Magid that the law will result in far more penalties for kids than it will be for the predators.
Even worse, however, is the way this proposal reinforces the concept of Congress as national nanny.
They, along with too many members of the American public, believe that any social problem can be eliminated with a wave of their legislative wand.
The only way to help students, teachers, and parents understand how to use the web safely is through education.
No electronic filter can shield kids from doing stupid things online. And telling teens anything is forbidden makes getting to it more of a challenge.
Of course, first we need leaders who understand the web. And educating them will be a much tougher task than teaching the kids.