Disney’s parental controls

Disney is planning to launch a social network for kids. Apparently they are going to offer parental controls as well. Most reactions in the blogosphere are that this might kill the initiative, check here and here. Although I’m all for open models I think this is a difficult issue. I’ve been working on an online kids related initiave for one of the majors recently and have discussed the issue extensively. It makes a big difference which age group we are talking about. If we forget about toddlers aged 0-5 the first group to probably use a PC and Disney’s assets are in their middle childhood and can be split into the subgroups 5-7/8 year olds and 8/9-11 year olds. I think that parental controls for the first subgroup can be understood from parents point of view and shouldn’t be an issue for the kids themselves. Introduce parental controls affecting kids aged 8 years and older and you’re toast. Just my guess.

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