Computer Kid 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Due to the overwhelming influence of the Internet and social networks, children
and teenagers spend almost no time playing outdoors anymore, and are constantly
exposed to the threat of virtual violence, the Knesset Science and Technology
Committee was told on Monday.
Acting committee chairman MK Eitan Cabel
said on behalf of the committee that the Education Ministry must bolster
information to schoolchildren about this threat and that teachers and parents
should familiarize themselves with the new media to help protect youth from the
Cabel said that parents’ worry about their children’s safety has
moved from the streets and courtyards to the computer room.
haven’t a clue about what is keeping their children busy online for hours on
end, said Cabel, who said at the meeting – to which many young people had been
invited – that he has small daughters and is on the alert.
Klinger, a board member of the voluntary organization Eshnav, which works
against virtual violence, said that “any individual can create his own content,
and the boundaries between imagination and reality mix. More than half of
children say they were exposed to violent content on the Internet.
is no one solution to online violence,” he said, “but education is a proper tool
to fight it.”
Young people who spoke said that “just as we learned to
look right and left before crossing the street, we have to be careful to avoid
violence on the Web.”
They noted that numerous parents have joined
Facebook and other social networks so they can follow their children’s “virtual
But Cabel said that while there is a trend of parents becoming
their kids’ Facebook “friends,” he didn’t think this was the right
“Instead, they should present parental authority,” he
Yaron Ben-Zvi, who heads the computer crimes investigation unit in
the Israel Police, said that only 12 officers work in this field, and their
responsibility includes investigating the illegal dissemination of computer
viruses and the hacking of Web sites, not only virtual violence against young
people on the Internet.
A hotline for complaints about improper
activities online has been set up by the Israel Internet Society, said its
representative Zvia Algali, but she added that there is not enough research and
data about Internet use risks.
Dr. Shiri Daniels Baltush of ERAN
(Emotional First Aid) reported that of all the phonedin complaints relating to
the virtual violence, 40 percent deal with loneliness and 20% with social
Nir Hinski and Orly Friedman of Microsoft Israel said that the
company is trying to find solutions for parents who are not computer savvy but
want to protect their children.
Einav Luk and Ronni Dayan of the
Education Ministry said the ministry has targeted virtual violence as a serious
problem and has initiated intervention programs around the country with help
from educational advisers and counsellors.