June 16th, 2010 | Published in Google Public Policy
It’s Internet Safety Month, and we’ve been on the lookout for creative ways to help users learn about best practices and responsible use of the Web. In addition to some tips from the YouTube team, we came across an interactive game from the Federal Trade Commission called Admongo where kids (and adults!) can learn about ads and commercial messages.
Everyone knows that young people spend a lot of time on the Internet, but the numbers are still eye-opening: Over 93% of teens go online, and 63% access the Internet to email, connect with friends, upload and view content, play video games, and use many other online applications. Recent studies show 73% of teens actively use social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and blogs -- a rate much higher than those of their parents’ generation. Additionally, teens continue to create and share more online content than adults.
Interpreting marketing messages can be tough -- especially for young people or those new to online media. It’s important that kids, teens, and adults alike all know how to decipher what the message of an ad is, whether or not it’s true, and how beneficial it might be. Admongo walks them through the sleuthing process in an online video game that helps them to make better buying and browsing decisions.
This initiative, and others like it from the FTC, are extremely valuable when it comes to empowering consumers (even young ones) to become more informed and aware of what’s out there on the Web. Check out their NetCetera guide for tips on how to talk with kids about protecting themselves when they go online.