Using Facebook on the Internet 370 (R).
(photo credit: reuters)
The Israeli National Parents Association issued a letter to Facebook this week calling on the social networking website to further regulate content available to youth on its site.
Written by INPA chairman attorney Gideon Fisher, the organization expressed its concern regarding “the alarming increase in childhood and teen suicides resulting from the improper use and abuse of Facebook.”
The INPA represents some four million parents from all level schools across the country and regularly works with governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations and private entities.
Fisher wrote that global reports on “cyber-bullying, unauthorized postings of embarrassing and nude photographs and other malicious and offensive conduct by Facebook users have reached a fever pitch.
“Parents and child advocacy groups across Israel are deeply troubled by these reports and are demanding that effective measures be taken to stem the tide of this problematic trend.”
Fisher added that the organization wishes to “discuss ideas for possible control measures to be implemented on Facebook’s system.”
It mentioned one such proposal for developing and implementing an application that would search for key buzzwords – such as “boycott,” “suicide” and “naked” – often associated with these types of incidents.
“We are confident that Facebook’s commitment to corporate and social responsibility makes it share our goal to minimize the danger posed to our youth by the improper use of social networking sites,” the letter said.
“As such we believe that practical solutions which properly address these concerns while at the same time respect the freedom and privacy of the individuals using your site.
“As a father of five children, and the head of an organization which represents millions of parents, I believe that this is truly a matter of life and death,” Fisher wrote.
The chairman also stressed that the INPA is a democratically-elected and pluralistic organization charged with addressing concerns of parents from all sectors of the Israeli population including religious and secular, Jews, Muslims and Christians. It also works in formulating educational policies in collaboration with government officials.