Using the Internet to advertise cyber sex

In my last posting, I talked about how porn sites were infiltrating the Internet and their popping up has led to a teacher in the States getting into serious trouble.

Today, in the New Paper, an article talked about how pimps have jumped onto the cyber highway and launched their own Internet sites to advertise sex. Everything is done electronically. The potential customer gets details like hotel name, room number, etc via sms, and simply have to show up at the arranged place and time.

While this takes call girls off the street, it takes them onto the cyberways and straight into homes, and this is definitely a cause for concern. New media is indeed a double-edged sword.    

Knowing how to turn off pornography pop-ups – a crucial digital literacy skill for the new media age

Last week, a case in the States was featured in The New Paper: US teacher faces jail for showing students porn in classroom. What happened was that substitute teacher Julie Amero was convicted last month of exposing her class of 12 year-olds to porn. She had used the class computer to send an email before going to the bathroom, and when she got back, she saw her stduents crowded around the PC. And then the pornographic pop-ups kept, er well, popping up and according to Amero, she tried to close the pop-ups but they kept coming on. In the end, she could only try to shield the PC screen from the eyes of the students.

The jury didn’t believe that she didn’t know how to turn off the porn pop-ups, and a Connecticut court is set to pass sentence soon and that sentence could mean up to 40 years in jail for Amero! Sadly, it’s not difficult to understand why the jury would think that Amero was visiting porn sites in the classroom, as there have been many cases of adults, including teachers, engaged in visiting porn sites in private and in school.

 A few issues have surfaced from this. One is the question of computer security. Who is responsible for keeping the computers at school clean and child-safe? Should there be designated people to check on all the computers in a school? Or given that computer literacy is seen as something belonging to the group of basic literacy skills in today’s world of ubiquitous computers, should teachers be responsible for the security of the systems in their classes?  Or have undesirable sites gotten so sophisticated that they are getting too advanced for basic computer literacy skills? In another article,  Teacher faces jail time for porn pop-ups , the conviction of Amero seems to set a “somewhat disturbing precedent… Teachers may now feel immense pressure to become overnight computer power-users to avoid being arrested for not staying ahead of their schools’ own (lack of) computer security measures. Or to take it a step further, teachers may become more reluctant to use PCs in the classroom.” 

A key issue is also the increasing dangers that not just lurk, but actually pounce on you while you are on the cyber highway. The security threats, as well as undesirable content that have been on the increase need to be carefully addressed as we enter the growing sphere of cyberspace and new media.  In addition, new laws will need to be implemented and enforced. The court will passing sentence soon on on 2 March and no doubt those in the field of IT and education will be curious to know the extent of the penalty for Amero.  

Looks like a useful new media blog!

I’ve just breached one of the rules I set out for myself when I started this blog and that’s to update it at least once a week. Alas, I confess it has been more than a week since I last updated this blog. I know I know…too busy, too many things to do….excuses…? Anyway, like what I’ve mentioned in one of my earlier postings, I feel that I need to have something substantial to say before I blog about it (I mena it’s there for posterity and I don’t want to look back and see that it’s all drivel). In fact, I do have many things I want to share..it’s just that I’ve not had the time lately to digest that info before blogging about it. But I will get to it, ok.

Anyway, I digress.

I just came upon this site which I think holds great potential as a site for new media info (hey, just like this one!) so I’m putting the link here to share it with you as well. It’s called What’s New Media?

Second case of mooching in Singapore

Just this past week, another case of mooching was tried in court. I talked about the earlier case in an earlier posting. Unlike the previous case where the guy mooched in order to feed his gaming addiction, this guy, Lin Zhenghuang mooched and posted a bomb hoax as  he was feeling bored and restless. The 21-year-old had posted that there was a bomb attack at Toa Payoh interchange. For the bomb hoax, he can face a jail term of up to 7 years and a fine of S$50000. For mooching, he can face up to 3 years jail and fined up to S$10000.

The two cases so far should send a pretty clear warning to those out there who are mooching or intend to mooch. Given the numerous free Wi-Fi hotspots that we have around, there’s little reason for someone to mooch anymore.  

Blogscapes and new media

Interesting! I just read about a Profile of Blogscapes on a blog entitled Journalism for the 21st Century. It’s a blog focusing on new  media issues as well, and is worth looking at for some further idea/questions/perspectives on new media issues.